NBA

Westbrook thanks Robertson for 'setting the stage' after tying triple-doubles record

By Sports Desk May 09, 2021

Russell Westbrook thanked Oscar Robertson for setting the stage after he tied the NBA legend's record for career triple-doubles on Saturday.

Westbrook recorded his 181st triple-double to help the Wizards to a 133-132 win over the Indiana Pacers, tallying 33 points, 19 rebounds and 15 assists.

He hit two clutch free throws to give the Wizards the lead with a second left in overtime and then clinched the win with a stunning block of Caris LeVert's last-ditch three-point attempt.

In his first season with the Wizards, Westbrook has racked up 35 triple-doubles, 14 of which came last month. The record holder for most in a season with 42 in 2016-17, Westbrook (22 pts, 11.6 rebounds and 11.5 assists) will average a triple-double in a season for the fourth time in his career.

Westbrook will look to claim the outright record for triple-doubles, which Robertson has owned since 1961-62 when he became the first to average a triple-double across a single campaign, as the Wizards visit the Atlanta Hawks on Monday.

"I'm so grateful, thankful and blessed," Westbrook said. "I take a lot of pride in doing everything to impact winning as much as I can and leave it on the floor.

"To be in the conversation with Oscar, for one, I want to thank him because he set the stage and sacrificed a lot of things for us to be able to go out and play.

"The times he played in and the things he was able to do back in the day has allowed me to be able to do the things I want to do today.

"I am just grateful for him, his words and appreciative of his support as well."

"You got to want it more than the other player," Westbrook added of the approach he takes to rebounding. "You can kind of go through the motions and kind of let the game take control of you or you can take control of the game.

"I always try to find ways to impact and help us and do anything I can to help us win.

"I want to make sure I leave everything I have on the floor. And when I am all said and done, I can look back and nobody can ever say that I didn't compete at the highest level or cheated the game. I can go out and compete every night and that is all I can do each and every day."

Team-mate Bradley Beal scored 50 points for the Wizards before leaving the game with a hamstring issue.

"We were part of Russ' historical night tonight," Beal said. "That kind of takes the cake on everything. From the history of the game to the evolution of the game to where we are now, Russ is one of the best players to ever pick up a basketball.

"To do that on a nightly basis, it is very tough to do. I think people kind of [give him] side-eye... or whatever the case may be. But you try going out there doing it every single night... And this is Russ' fourth time [averaging a triple-double]? That just speaks volumes."

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