Russell Westbrook can’t stop. He’s running on nitrous traveling 135 mph down the highway about to drive past every reasonable expectation for a human NBA player during a single individual season. He didn’t record a triple-double on Wednesday — which would have been his 42nd this season and broke an NBA record for triple-doubles in a season — because he was saving something for the Thunder’s final four games. That’s the only reason I can come up with for it, at least.
Instead of breaking an NBA record that’s more than 60 years old and who some considered to be unbreakable before this season, Westbrook instead recorded this simply unacceptable stat line: 45 points, nine rebounds, 10 assists and five steals in a 103-100 win against Memphis.
In the fourth quarter, Oklahoma City scored 24 points and Westbrook scored or assisted on 19 of those. He dropped in 11 of the last 14 points by himself. It was yet another vicious, brutal Westbrook takeovers, following a long season of Westbrook fourth quarter dominance that has left fourth quarters themselves shellshocked by the sheer explosive power he keeps exerting.
You might remember in a previous matchup against Memphis, Westbrook went on an individual 15-0 run in the final 2:35 to beat the Grizzlies.
In a three-point win, Oklahoma City needed every point Westbrook gave them. He was good enough that he had Grizzlies head coach David Fizdale holding onto the only thing he could — that they didn’t give up the record-breaking triple-double.
David Fizdale Pure Sarcasm Mode: “We held him from getting a triple-double. Take that Russell Westbrook.”
— Erik Horne (@ErikHorneOK) April 6, 2017
And when his team needed the dagger, well …
Here are Westbrook’s last eight games.
March 22 vs. Philadelphia: 18 points, 11 rebounds, 14 assists
March 26 vs. Houston: 39 points, 11 rebounds, 13 assists
March 27 vs. Dallas: 37 points, 13 rebounds, 10 assists (scored 16 of final 18)
March 29 vs. Orlando: 57 points, 13 rebounds, 11 assists
March 31 vs. San Antonio: 32 points, 15 rebounds, 12 assists
April 2 vs. Charlotte: 40 points, 13 rebounds, 10 assists
April 4 vs. Milwaukee: 12 points, 13 rebounds, 13 assists
April 5 vs. Memphis: 45 points, 9 rebounds, 10 assists
Westbrook’s still hurtling around at extreme. Don’t try to stop him — you’ll only end up hurting yourself.