In the chase to pass Oscar Robertson’s triple-double legacy, Russell Westbrook left a record-breaking footprint along the way on Wednesday night at Orlando.
Oklahoma City’s MVP candidate staked yet another claim to the league’s highest individual honor with the highest-scoring triple-double of all time, finishing with 57 points, 13 rebounds and 11 assists in the Thunder’s 114-106 victory over the Magic.
Westbrook, who is closing in on joining Robertson as the only players in league history to average a triple-double for an entire season, is now tied with James Harden and Hall-of-Famers Wilt Chamberlain and Elgin Baylor for most 50-point triple-doubles in a career (two apiece).
His scoring output in this particular effort sets him atop the all-time list, surpassing James Harden and Wilt Chamberlain’s respective 53-point triple-doubles. Harden’s occurred on Dec. 31, 2016, while Chamberlain’s original record-holding performance took place on March 18, 1968.
The highlight of Westbrook’s night occurred in the closing seconds of regulation, when the 6-3 guard stopped on a dime and, rising about two defenders, canned a 31-foot three-pointer that tied the game and put him at the 50-point plateau.
Westbrook accounted for 16 points, seven rebounds and three assists during the fourth quarter and overtime. He now has 38 triple-doubles on the season, just three shy of Robertson’s all-time single season record of 41. The Thunder (43-31) have eight regular season games remaining.