Westbrook set an NBA record with his 10th straight triple-double, Paul George scored 47 points, and the Oklahoma City Thunder beat the Portland Trail Blazers 120-111 on Monday night, The Associated Press reported.
Westbrook broke a tie with Wilt Chamberlain, who had nine straight triple-doubles in 1968, by finishing with 21 points, 14 rebounds and 11 assists. Westbrook was already the only person to average a triple-double in consecutive seasons, and he set the single-season record for triple-doubles with 42 in 2016-17.
“I just go play the game the right way,” he said. “It’s what I do. Go out and compete every night and leave it on the floor, and whatever happens, happens. I’m very, very blessed to be able to go out and play, and I don’t take it for granted.”
Westbrook clinched the record on an assist to George for a three-pointer with 3:52 remaining in the fourth quarter. “I thought he had it already,” George joked. “Usually, Russ has that by the first quarter. I didn’t know it was that close.”
It was Westbrook’s 23rd triple-double of the season and the 127th of his career. Most important to the Thunder, the team has a 9-1 record during his triple-double run. “I do know the most important thing for him is to win,” Thunder coach Billy Donovan said. “That’s what he’s about. He wants to win. I think a lot of the things he does that he gets attention for in terms of the triple-doubles are things that impact winning for our team.”
Westbrook made a three-pointer in the final minute that gave George his own triple-double. Westbrook told George that he was one assist away. “Yeah, we talked about it right before that play,” George said. “We talked about it. I was clueless at that moment. But he told me the situation. So, it’s cool to be on the other end of the triple-double.”
Westbrook figured he might as well get a different kind of assist. “It’s amazing to go out and compete,” he said, “to see your teammate, your brother, do amazing things, and you can be right on the side of him doing something special as well.”