He Did What?: Taking a Look at Russell Westbrook’s Historic Run
The All-Star point guard continued to set the stat sheet ablaze last night, as he notched his fourth straight triple-double and his sixth of the season. Westbrook returned to the Thunder lineup wearing a mask to protect his surgically repaired right cheekbone that forced him out of the team’s previous contest.
He didn’t seem to notice. Instead, he decided to put on a performance for the ages.
Westbrook’s stat line was absurd; he posted a career-high 49 points, 16 rebounds (also a career high), and 10 assists. The only other player to score that many points en route to a triple-double is Larry Bird, who also put up 49 in 1992.
His fourth consecutive triple-double makes him the first player to accomplish that feat since Michael Jordan did it in 1989. He becomes only the fifth player to post at least 45 points, 15 rebounds, and 10 assists since 1968.
It’s also important to remember that Oklahoma City is fighting for its postseason life and this remarkable performance helped secure a much-needed victory. Westbrook had a hand in all 13 of the team’s overtime points, including the final 10 points down the stretch.
Oh, and he also did this.
If you didn't watch any Russell Westbrook tonight, at least treat yourself to these 6 seconds http://t.co/wPElx7ChGy— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) March 5, 2015
But back to that triple-double. Westbrook’s output yields very few comparisons: Vince Carter (46 points, 16 rebounds, 10 assists) and Hakeem Olajuwon (46 points, 19 rebounds, 8 assists) are the only players to have come close in the last 30 years.
Also, don’t forget he did this mere days after having surgery to remove a freaking dent in his face.
What Westbrook is doing right now is unreal, and his production in Kevin Durant’s absence is jettisoning him squarely into the MVP conversation. Without his Thunder Buddy beside him, Westbrook has more freedom than ever, and he’s taking advantage, averaging a triple-double during that span, per ESPN.
In last 8 games played without Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook AVERAGES a triple-double: 34 PPG, 10.7 RPG, 11.1 APG. pic.twitter.com/LTDBuTRnxW— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) March 5, 2015
This personal onslaught of all mortals who stand in his way has swelled Westbrook’s season averages to 27 points, 7 rebounds, and 8.2 assist per game. He now leads the league in points per game (27.0), steals per game (2.1), and assist percentage (48.0).
Any way you look at it, the young guard has been dominating the league of late, and he shows no signs of letting up. Westbrook's performance last night will certainly go down as one of the greatest statistical feats in the modern era and may be a sign of things to come as we watch this 25-year-old superstar continue to blossom.