After breaking a 55-year-old National Basketball Association record, Oscar Robertson believes Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook can go on and make more history.
Westbrook still has Robertson (181), Magic Johnson (138), and Jason Kidd (107) in his sights. And while the insatiable guard etched his name among the game's greats with 4:17 remaining, his improbable 36-foot buzzer beater capped a spellbinding performance.
Robertson recorded 41 triple-doubles in 1961-62, where he averaged 30.8 points, 12.5 rebounds and 11.4 assists per game.
It also eliminated Denver from playoff contention - the eighth and final spot in the West goes to Portland Trailblazers.
Westbrook had 23 points, a dozen boards and half a dozen assists by the time the Thunder went to the locker room trailing 53-52 at halftime at the Pepsi Center. @russwest44 records his 42nd triple-double, drops 50 PTS & hits the game-winner at the buzzer! This season, with 29.3 points and 27.3 points off assists, Harden is creating 56.6 points per game, just shy of the record.
The record-setting assist came during the fourth quarter on a kick out to Semaj Christon, and Westbrook got a standing ovation despite being on the visiting team.More news: Dossier part of Federal Bureau of Investigation evidence for secret court order
"My motto was 'Why not?'" said Westbrook, whose 79th career triple-double moved him past Wilt Chamberlain for fourth place on the all-time list. Since 1983, a player scoring at least 50 while posting a triple-double has only happened five times, Westbrook is responsible for three of those games, with James Harden achieving the feat twice.
And while, traditionally, an MVP candidate's team is among the league's elite, Westbrook's 80-game run has been anything but typical.
JAMES Harden sounded off on where he stands in a heated debate for the NBA MVP award between him and Russell Westbrook, saying one stat that matters most in choosing the top player of the season - wins. The Thunder secured the No. 6 seed in the Western Conference playoffs.
The former teammates have turned this MVP race into one of the most exciting in recent memory. While Westbrook's triple-doubles may take a forefront because they're so easy to visualize - 10, 10, 10 - there are plenty of records that Harden holds or could break, too.
"I've got to give all the thanks from the man above", Westbrook said, according to ESPN.