(Reuters) - Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook became the second player in the NBA, and the first in 55 years, to average a triple-double over an entire season on Friday.
Westbrook joined Hall of Famer Oscar “The Big O” Robertson, an extraordinary guard in the days of dominant centers Bill Russell and Wilt Chamberlain, who averaged a triple-double in 1961-62.
Westbrook was averaging 31.8 points (first in the NBA), 10.7 rebounds (10th) and 10.4 assists (third) entering Friday’s game against the Phoenix Suns, leaving him six assists shy with four games left to secure the feat. He had collected them by the early part of the third quarter.
Robertson averaged 30.8 points, 12.5 rebounds and 11.4 assists in 1961-62, and was seven rebounds short of doing it again two seasons later.
After high-scoring team mate Kevin Durant left to join Golden State during the offseason, Westbrook was determined to pick up the slack, and the lightning quick, high-leaping guard has done just that in leading the Thunder to 45 wins.
Westbrook, the fourth overall pick in the 2008 NBA Draft out of UCLA, is poised to eclipse Robertson’s single-season record of 41 triple-doubles after matching the mark on April 4. He has three games left in the regular season.
Westbrook finished with 23 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists in the Thunder’s 120-99 loss to the Suns on Friday.
Reporting by Larry Fine in New York; Editing by Peter Rutherford