Russell Westbrook joins elite list with 2nd triple-double in 3 games

ByRoyce Young ESPN logo
Monday, October 31, 2016

OKLAHOMA CITY -- Russell Westbrook continued his torrid triple-double pace to begin the season with 33 points, 12 rebounds and 16 assists in the Oklahoma City Thunder's 113-96 win over the Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday.

Westbrook is the first player since Magic Johnson in the 1982-83 season to begin a season with a triple-double in two of the first three games.

Westbrook is the fourth player to have two triple-doubles in the first three games, joining Johnson (twice), Jerry Lucas and Oscar Robertson (twice). Through three games, Westbrook is averaging a triple-double with 38.6 points, 12.3 rebounds and 11.6 assists. Robertson is the last player to average a triple-double, in 1961-62.

"I just like to win," Westbrook said. "That's my main thing. My job is to come out and do whatever it takes to win, and that's what I try to do every night."

According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Westbrook is the first player with at least 100 points, 30 rebounds and 30 assists in the first three games of a season.

"It's a blessing, not surreal, it's just blessing [to be mentioned with those names]," Westbrook said. "Me personally, I never take anything for granted when I step on the floor. Not once."

Westbrook opened the season with 32 points, 12 rebounds and nine assists against the Philadelphia 76ers, and then followed that up with 51 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists against the Phoenix Suns. The Thunder are 3-0.

'What really amazes me is, because of his ability to impact the game in so many different ways, he's going to always have numbers," Thunder coach Billy Donovan said. "But with that being said, what amazes me is the heart and the passion and the competitiveness and the fire he plays with every single night. I think it's extremely rare. It's incredible. That's what really amazes me."

Westbrook attempted a career-high 44 shots in Friday's win over the Suns, but dialed back to 21 attempts on Sunday. After the game Friday, he said he regretted not trusting teammates more, and made that a focus against the Lakers, recording five assists in the first six minutes of the game.

"Better, for sure," Westbrook said. "Making it easy for those guys and distributing the basketball around."

Last season Westbrook posted 18 triple-doubles, which tied Johnson (in 1981-82) for the most in a single season in the last 40 years, according to ESPN Stats & Information.

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