By the numbers: Russell Westbrook breaks Oscar Robertson triple-double record

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Through the first four seasons of his NBA career, Russell Westbrook accumulated eight triple-doubles. He scored, rebounded and created assists, but there was no overt sign he would develop into the triple-double king.

That slowly began to change in 2014-15 when he recorded 11 triple-doubles, then 18 the following season. By 2016-17, he was a triple-double machine, setting a single-season record with 42 in 2016-17, the first season he averaged a triple-double, earning him an MVP award.

He continues to ring up triple-doubles, and on Monday night, he broke Oscar Robertson’s all-time record of 181 career triple-doubles.

“I don’t think about it,” Westbrook said of triple-double records. “I just go out and have fun and hoop. At the end of the day, when my journey is done and I’m done playing basketball, I can think of some of the crazy stat lines – the good, the bad, the ugly – and be thankful. I’m thankful for it all."

Westbrook is one of the most scrutinized and under-appreciated All-Stars. In the NBA’s Age of Efficiency, Westbrook’s game – sometimes filled with bad shots and turnovers – doesn’t fit neatly into a model.

He plays hard, produces, and, throughout his career, he wins way more often than he loses. A look at his mastery of the triple-double in his NBA career:

Players with the most triple-doubles in NBA history

Westbrook already held the NBA record for most consecutive games with a triple-double, which he broke in 2019 with an 11-game run from Jan. 22 to Feb. 14.

After an uneven season with just eight triple-doubles with Houston in 2019-20, the Wizards star rejuvenated his high-energy impact — 36 triple-doubles this season — under Coach Scott Brooks who coached Westbrook in Oklahoma City and may be his staunchest supporter in a sea of unsatisfied critics.

Westbrook's career of triple-doubles

Maybe not surprisingly Westbrook toppled so many milestones in the past five years while he's averaged a triple-double in four of the last five seasons.

Seasons where Westbrook averaged a triple-double

Most triple-doubles in a season

“He’s amazing,” Brooks said after a recent 21-rebound, 24-assist triple-double. “Everybody’s described him in so many different ways. I’ve been fortunate enough to see him (as his coach) for eight years and do a lot of things that are pretty much superhuman at times. Point guards don’t do what he does. They’re not built that way. … There’s nobody in the history of the game that can do what he does throughout the stat sheet.”

Consider some of Westbrook's single-game, triple-double accomplishments:

♦ With 20-plus assists: Five

♦ With 20-plus rebounds: Three

♦ With 30-plus points: 47, including a 57-point, 13-rebound, 11-assist performance on March 29, 2017.

Only three times in NBA history has a player had both 20 assists and 20 rebounds in a triple-double. Westbrook has done it twice.

Triple-doubles with 20 rebounds, 20 assists

All these points, assists and rebounds have not just been good for Westbrook's career stat lines; they've helped power 136 wins for the Thunder, Rockets and Wizards combined.

Records of Westbrook's teams when he records a triple-double

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Russell Westbrook by the numbers: In a class with giants of the NBA

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