February 10, 2019
Russell Westbrook matched an NBA record Saturday night, recording a triple-double in his ninth consecutive game.
Russell Westbrook ties NBA record for consecutive triple-doubles; James Harden scores 42
That ties the longest streak in league history, set by the legendary Wilt Chamberlain in 1968. It was the 126th career triple-double for Westbrook, who trails only Magic Johnson and Oscar Robertson on the all-time list.
The Oklahoma City Thunder star's recent run gives him a chance at averaging a triple-double for the third consecutive year. Westbrook entered Saturday night averaging 21.2 points, 11.1 rebounds and a league-high 11.2 assists per game. He has 22 triple-doubles on the season.
Westbrook pulled down his 10th rebound of the night with a little more than 6 minutes to go. He finished with a 21-12-11 line and scored the go-ahead layup in the final minute of the Thunder's 117-112 win against the Houston Rockets.
“It’s really incredible,” Thunder coach Billy Donovan said of Westbrook's triple-double streak. “It took whatever it was, 60 years, until somebody did it just to show you how hard it is to do and how unique of a player he is to be able to do it.”
James Harden extended his own historic run, dropping 42 points against the Thunder, the 29th consecutive game in which he has scored at least 30.
Harden went 11-for-28 from the field, including 6-for-16 from 3-point range. He went 14-for-15 from the free-throw line. Harden missed the potential game-winner in the final 10 seconds, however.
The Thunder's Paul George hit four free throws, giving him a game-high 45 points, to provide the final margin.
Russell Westbrook ties NBA record for consecutive triple-doubles; James Harden scores 42
For Harden, it was the 21st time this season that he has scored at least 40 points. Seventeen of those 40-plus-point games have come during Harden's 30-point streak.
Harden entered Saturday night averaging 36.5 points per game, the most any NBA player has averaged since Michael Jordan scored 37.1 in 1986-87.
“I look forward to playing against the best,” said George, who often drew defensive responsibilities on Harden. “That’s how I was taught the game – just enjoy matchups and have fun with it.”
The Thunder certainly had fun Saturday as they erased a season-high 26-point deficit for the win.
“We knew to get back into the game, we had to defend at a high level,” Westbrook said. “We got stops and won a big game on the road.”
What went wrong for the Rockets? “We have to be consistent for four quarters,” Harden said. “It’s pretty simple.”
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