Russell Westbrook Set Another Triple-Double Record With His Game 2 Performance
Russell Westbrook of the Oklahoma City Thunder had a historic 2016-17 campaign. While he set a new record for triple-doubles in a single season with 42, he also became only the second player in NBA history to average a triple-double for the year (with the other being Oscar Robertson, who did so in 1961-62).
He continued his historic campaign on Wednesday night by setting a new postseason triple-double record. His 51 points -- to go with 10 rebounds and 13 assists -- is the most anyone has ever scored in a playoff game while registering a triple-double.
Here's how Westbrook's performance compares to all the 40-point triple-doubles in NBA postseason history (per basketball-reference.com).
Of course, the dichotomy of Good Russ vs. Bad Russ is ever present, even in Westbrook's best performances. He may have set a ridiculously cool statistical record last night, but he also joined some historic clubs that one wouldn't want to be part of.
His full shooting split for the night was 17-for-43 (39.5%) from the field, 2-for-11 (18.2%) from three-point range, and 15-for-18 (83.3%) from the free throw line. His effective field goal percentage (weighted twos and threes) of 41.9% was the lowest of any 50-point performance in postseason history (per statmuse.com).
His 43 shot attempts were the second-most taken in a playoff game since 1983-84 (when field goal attempts became an official stat), trailing only Michael Jordan's 45 taken on May 1st, 1988 against the Cleveland Cavaliers and tying MJ's 43 from a triple-overtime game against the Phoenix Suns on June 13th, 1993.
Westbrook's sky-high 54.8% usage rate was also the second-highest ever registered in a postseason game, trailing only Jordan's 55.1% set in his final game in a Chicago Bulls uniform on June 14th, 1998, when he famously won his sixth title with a clutch shot over Bryon Russell to sink the Utah Jazz.
Russell Westbrook, in his typical fashion, had a night for the ages for all the right and all the wrong reasons. He broke a postseason record for scoring in a triple-double, but also had the least efficient 50-point playoff game in NBA history.
You can call this Good Russ or you can call it Bad Russ, just don't ask him for his opinion on the matter -- he just cares about winning. With Game 3 on the horizon against the Houston Rockets, Westbrook and the Thunder are now staring at a 2-0 deficit that they must try to climb out of.