Only six players have ever recorded four straight triple-doubles: Westbrook, Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Wilt Chamberlain, Oscar Robertson and Maurice Stokes.
It was Westbrook’s sixth triple-double of the season and 14th of his career. But even more impressive was how he put his team on his back in the victory over Philadelphia.
Only two other starting players in the last 45 years have scored 40+ points in a game while putting up more than four times as many points as the rest of their team’s starting lineup combined. Utah’s Karl Malone outscored his four starting teammates 61-14 on Jan. 27, 1990 against Milwaukee. And Stephen Curry out-pointed the other four Warriors’ starters 54-13 on Feb. 27, 2013 at New York.
“It’s amazing watching him play,” 76ers guard Jason Richardson said. “You’ve got to take your hats off to this guy. He takes no plays off. He plays hard on both ends of the court.”
Offensively, Westbrook is used in 37.1 percent of the Thunder’s possessions this season, but that has swelled to 46.5 percent over the four triple-double games. And he is hitting a higher percentage of baskets when a defender is within two feet (48 percent vs. 44.6 percent) while having to take more closely guarded attempts (6.3 per game vs. five per game for the season).
Defensively, his rebounding game has taken a huge step forward. During the triple-double streak he is grabbing 3.5 rebounds per game when he starts 10 feet or more away — that’s nearly double his season average (1.9). Defensively, Westbrook is just grabbing everything in sight.
“He’s playing incredible,” Nick Collison said. “We don’t want to take it for granted, but we expect him to play well and we know what he is capable of. He’s just so engaged, and he’s so into the game when he’s competing in every phase. The numbers come with that.”