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By the numbers: Westbrook's 182 triple-doubles
On Monday, Russell Westbrook’s 28-point, 13-rebound and 21-assist performance against the Hawks marked the 182nd triple-double of his career, surpassing Oscar Robertson for the most in the NBA history. That record alone is enough to cement Westbrook’s statistical resume as one of the best all-time, but that’s just the headliner to a long list of some of most staggering stats in league history. Below, we take a look at Westbrook’s run to the triple-double crown by the numbers.
THE JOURNEY TO 182
Westbrook’s first career triple-double came in the closing weeks of his rookie season. He totaled 17 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists in a win over Dallas on March 2, 2009, beginning the 13-year journey to the top of the all-time triple-double list. But Westbrook didn’t start making significant progress up the leaderboard until the last five seasons. He’s recorded 145 of his 182 triple-doubles since the start of the 2016-17 season.
Russell Westbrook after Monday night:— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) May 11, 2021
- most triple-doubles in NBA history
- 1 of 4 players in NBA history with 20K pts & 8K ast
- 41 times in his career, he led all players on BOTH teams in pts, rebs and ast outright. The most such games in NBA history (h/t @EliasSports) pic.twitter.com/Kgbh1Zs10X
With three games still to play in the 2020-21 regular season, Westbrook has totaled 36 triple-doubles in his first year with the Wizards. That marks the second-most he’s recorded in a single season in his career and the third-most in a single season in league history, trailing only Robertson’s 1961-62 season (41) and Westbrook’s own 2016-17 season (42). Westbrook will not be able to reach those totals by the end of the year, but coming close in a regular season 10 games shorter than usual is a feat of its own. Westbrook now has seasons of 42, 36 and 34 triple-doubles, good for three of the four most prolific seasons in NBA history. Westbrook is also set to average a triple-double for the fourth time in his career, a feat only accomplished once in NBA history prior to Westbrook’s run.
WESTBROOK’S RECENT RUN
Westbrook reached the record-breaking triple-double with an unprecedented five-game stretch. Since May 3, he’s averaged 23.4 points, 16.4 rebounds and 18.8 assists per game, becoming the first player in NBA history to reach those marks over a five-game span, according to NBA Stats.
Westbrook has recorded 21 triple-doubles in his last 25 games, the most in a 25-game stretch in NBA history. He’s now recorded triple-doubles in five consecutive games twice this season, including a six-game streak in April.
WHY STOP AT 10?
While Westbrook’s first career triple-double, the 17-10-10 performance against the Mavericks in 2009, barely qualified for the statistical feat, many of the former MVP’s triple-double performances have blown by the 10-10-10 threshold. Monday night’s performance against the Hawks (28-13-21) marked the sixth time in Westbrook’s career that he recorded a triple-double with at least 20 assists, including three times this season, the most such games in league history. Three times in his career, Westbrook has recorded a triple-double with 20-plus rebounds, two of which have come in the last three weeks. In the scoring category, Westbrook has recorded a triple-double while scoring 20-plus points 122 times, 30-plus points 47 times, 40-plus points 13 times and 50-plus points three times.
RUNNING AWAY WITH THE RECORD
Westbrook’s five-year run of triple-doubles has given him a massive share of the league’s all-time triple-double pie. With 182 triple-doubles, Westbrook accounts for 6.4% of the 2,830 triple-doubles recorded in NBA history, 15.3% of the 1,193 triple-doubles recorded since the 2000-01 season and 20.1% of the 904 triple-doubles recorded since he entered the league prior to the 2008-09 season, according to Elias Sports Bureau.
In just one season with the Wizards – still with games left to be played – Westbrook has more than doubled the franchise record for all-time triple-doubles. His 36 triple-doubles are 21 more than the Wizards’ previous all-time record held by Darrell Walker, who accumulated his 15 triple-doubles over the course of three seasons. Westbrook passed Walker’s franchise record for total triple-doubles in his 38th game of the season and now account for 36 of the franchise’s 104 all-time triple-doubles.
IN A TIER OF HIS OWN
Westbrook has recorded a triple-double in 182 of his 940 career games – or 19.3% of the time he takes the court. That rate tops Robertson’s 17.4% rate, Magic Johnson’s 15.2% rate and every other player in the top 15 of the NBA’s all-time triple-double list. Even the most prolific triple-double compilers of the last decade can’t keep up with his pace. LeBron James is recording triple-doubles in 7.6% of his games, James Harden in 6.6%, Nikola Jokic in 12.5% and Luka Doncic, who many have dubbed as the most likely candidate to surpass Westbrook’s record by the end of his career, in just 17.9% of his games. Even more impressively, if you only count Westbrook’s games since the start of the 2016-17 season, he’s recording triple-doubles in 41.0% of his games.
TRIPLE-DOUBLES BY OPPONENT
No team in the NBA has been spared of Westbrook’s 13-year triple-double tear. In fact, he’s recorded at least two triple-doubles against every team in the league, at least five triple-doubles against 23 teams and at least eight against 10 teams. The Pacers, who Westbrook is averaging 27.3 points, 18.0 rebounds and 20.0 assists against this season, have been subject to 10 of his 182 triple-doubles, the most for any single franchise.
At the end of the day, no stat matters more to Westbrook than wins – and over the course of his career, his triple-doubles have a decided impact on his team in the win-loss column. Westbrook’s teams are 136-46, a winning percentage of 74.7%, in his 182 career triple-double performances and 21-15 (58.3%) in his 36 triple-doubles with the Wizards.
Stats and research: Wizards Communications, NBA Stats, Elias Sports Bureau, ESPN Stats & Information and Basketball Reference