When Westbrook got his sixth assist last night against the Phoenix Suns to become only the second player in National Basketball Association history to average a triple-double, he pretty much sealed the deal and closed the conversation on who should win the MVP this season.
That didn't make him feel much better about his or his team's bad Friday night, when Westbrook failed for the second game in a row to break Robertson's 55-year-old, single-season record for most triple-doubles.
Russell Westbrook will become the first National Basketball Association player to average a triple-double for a season in 55 years and the second in league history. Watch this game live on TV: FOX Sports OKLAHOMA HD, NBATV for the Oklahoma City people and FOX Sports AZ, NBATV for the Phoenix people.
Westbrook will take the court Friday night averaging 31.8 points, 10.7 rebounds and 10.4 assists. "If I wanted to get 10 assists I could get 10 assists". Westbrook finished with 45 points, 10 assists, and 9 rebounds in a game that seemed out of hand in the third quarter (when the Grizzlies were trailing by 10, their largest defecit of the night) but ended up coming down to the wire.
"It's incredible, and he's played his heart out, so I think he deserves it", said Cox, who bought his tickets for this game two months ago. Booker said. "Russ is chasing history and we didn't want it to happen here".
If Westbrook can't reach the milestone at Phoenix, he could also get there on the road at Denver and Minnesota, or when the Thunder close the regular season at home against the Nuggets.
The Hawks didn't use any of their five starters against LeBron James's Cavaliers who had their four game win streak snapped. "He was still in the game down 20, 25, and you could see he was being real passive, so we just stayed home; and if he was going to do a drop-off, we were going to foul and make them earn it".
Westbrook finally came out of the game for good at the 2:34 marker in the final period.
Booker took over in the fourth as the Suns lead never dipped below 16.
In fact, Robertson himself deemed Westbrook the 'triple-double king'. It's the highest scoring mark of Westbrook's career, to go with career marks in rebounding (10.7) and assists (10.4).
Westbrook has three more chances for his 42nd triple-double.
"It kind of gave us motivation, especially Devin, " head coach Earl Watson said, referring to the crowd cheering for Oklahoma City. The Cavs now lead the East by one game over Boston and own the tiebreaker between the two clubs with three games to play for each team.
Warren had 11 of his 15 first-half points in the first quarter and the Suns had 24 of their 32 points in the paint to build a 13-point lead. D'Antoni said before the game that he'd limit him to 20 minutes in his first game back, but played him for just 13 minutes, where were all in the first half.