Russell Westbrook falls 4 assists shy of 8th straight triple-double

ByRoyce Young ESPN logo
Monday, December 12, 2016

OKLAHOMA CITY -- It lasted 16 days and spanned seven games, but Russell Westbrook's triple-double streak finally came to an end in the Oklahoma City Thunder's 99-96 win over the Boston Celtics on Sunday.

Westbrook fell short by four assists, finishing with 37 points, 12 rebounds and six assists.

"Honestly, I'm just happy we won tonight, man, that's the most important thing," Westbrook said when reflecting on the streak. "Me as a player, I always try to look forward. Maybe at the end of the season I can talk about it, but as of right now my job is to move forward and get ready for Portland and try to win that game."

Westbrook was at the front of another Thunder comeback, this one from 13 down, and completed it with the go-ahead bucket with 30.6 seconds left on a driving lefty layup. On the following possession, Westbrook forced a tie-up with Avery Bradley and then won the ensuing jump ball to help seal the win for OKC.

"I'll say this about the triple-doubles, because I always find this interesting, on a night like tonight with all the things he did, is it any less special than if he would have had a couple more assists?" Thunder coach Billy Donovan said. "To me, sometimes we get wrapped up if he had 37 points, 20 rebounds and eight assists, is it disappointing? I get all the stuff of people wanting to talk about it, but at the same point, part of the reason he didn't get a triple-double was we didn't shoot the ball particularly well.

"I think Russell understands and sees that certainly getting those seven straight games is remarkable," Donovan said, "but I don't think tonight is any less remarkable of what he did."

The Thunder struggled shooting, hitting only 3 of 21 shots from 3-point range. Westbrook didn't record an assist on a made basket farther than 8 feet.

Westbrook's run of triple-doubles tied him with Michael Jordan for the longest since 1989 and put him within two of Wilt Chamberlain (1968) for the longest ever. Westbrook's previous career long was four, set during the 2014-15 season.

During the streak, the Thunder went 6-1, the lone loss coming Friday against the Houston Rockets, 102-99. He has 12 triple-doubles on the season; the Thunder are 9-3 in those games.

"I always take the same mindset every night. It doesn't change anything I do," Westbrook said. "I always come out and compete at a high level every night, streak or no streak. A winning streak is more important to me, and tonight we got a win."

Westbrook is still averaging a triple-double 24 games into the season, the furthest anyone has taken those averages since Oscar Robertson in 1963-64.

Related Video