Westbrook becomes first player to average a triple-double twice.
Russell Westbrook entered last night's game against the Memphis Grizzlies needing 16 rebounds in order to average a triple-double for the season for the second consecutive year. And he hit the glass like a man possessed.
By the end of the first half, the reigning NBA MVP had secured 11 boards, in addition to 12 assists and... one point. It took him only 22 minutes to reach the goal of 16 rebounds and he finished with a grand total of 20, to go along with 19 assists an six points.
As a result, Westbrook finished the regular season with averages of 25.4 points, 10.1 rebounds and 10.3 assists, making him the first player in NBA history to average a triple-double twice. Oscar Robertson achieved the feat once during the 1961-62 season, in which he record 30.8 points, 12.5 rebounds, 11.4 assists.
"I'm very, very thankful and blessed to go out and compete," Westbrook said, according to ESPN. "Like I've said many, many times, I don't take this game for granted, I don't take going on the floor competing for granted, and God got something planned for me, man, nobody can stop it, and I always continue to follow his faith and stay faithful and stay strong and continue to do what I'm doing."
Prior to last night's game, Westbrook spoke about "stat-padding" and the criticism he has received for "stealing rebounds" from teammates, as if constantly going after the loose ball is a bad thing.
"Since everybody wants to be talking, I'm tired of hearing the same old rebound this, stealing rebounds, all this s---. I take pride in what I do. I come out and play, and I get the ball faster than someone else gets to it. That's what it is. If you don't want it, I'm gonna get it. Simple as that."
The Thunder, 48-34, finished the regular season in the fourth seed and will host the Utah Jazz in the first round of the NBA Playoffs. Game 1 of that series is scheduled for Sunday night at 6:30pm. Check out the NBA Playoffs first round tv schedule here.