Published: Sun, April 09, 2017
Science | By Boyd Webster

Westbrook secures triple-double average, falls short of 42nd

Westbrook secures triple-double average, falls short of 42nd

For comparison, Karl Malone in 1989-90 was the last player in the National Basketball Association to average 30-plus points and 10-plus rebounds in a season, while Tiny Archibald in 1972-73 as the last to average 30-plus points and 10-plus assists for a season.

The Thunder travel to Phoenix tonight and the Suns are presenting Westbrook with yet another opportunity to make history.

Phoenix put up 39 points in the second quarter and pushed their lead to 71-43 Phoenix on a Warren jumper with 1:03 left to set a season high for points in the first half.

The Phoenix Suns did all they can to make sure the Oklahoma City Thunder star didn't walk away with another milestone and a win. While Booker was icing the game for the Suns on one end - scoring 37 points on the night - the team held Westbrook to only 8 assists.

Westbrook had three turnovers in the first three minutes and didn't hit his first basket until 50.4 seconds remained in the first half.

But it would be fair to say that few anticipated his transcendence into the most well-rounded player since Oscar Robertson.

Oscar Robertson (30.8 points, 12.5 rebounds and 11.4 assists) had been the only player in league history to reach those numbers. He finished 6-for-25 from the field with eight turnovers, but even in a subpar game (by his standards) he still managed to get enough assists to clinch a triple-double average for the season, becoming only the second National Basketball Association player to ever accomplish the feat.

With 21 fourth-quarter points, Booker now leads ALL NBA players with SIX 20-point quarters this season, putting him one ahead of Russell Westbrook and Stephen Curry. "It's a blessing. I'm just very thankful and happy to be able to do it". Still with only four games left in this regular season.

"I think it is important", he said after the game of the significance of winning a tight game against a quality team at this late stage of the season.

In fact, Robertson himself deemed Westbrook the 'triple-double king'.

It remains to be seen whether or not the Nuggets or T-Wolves will take a page from the Suns' book and do their best to deny Westbrook history. Suns won for the first time since they shut down a healthy Eric Bledsoe for the season. The most consistent question has come about his rebounding, since occasionally it appears that the Thunder big men are boxing out to allow Westbrook to swoop in and gather the rebound rather than taking it themselves. Both of them are spotted at different directions, the Thunder had 45 wins in total.

Booker took over in the fourth as the Suns lead never dipped below 16.

Julius Randle scored 25 points and Brandon Ingram added 11 points as the Lakers shot 44.2 from the field (38-for-86).

Marquese Chriss' 73rd start is the third-most in a season by a Suns rookie.

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