This Day In Sports: At least 10 of these, and those, and those

April 9, 2017: Oklahoma City’s Russell Westbrook eclipses an NBA record that many thought was unbreakable, recording his 42nd triple-double of the season in a 106-105 victory at Denver. In Westbrook’s case, we’re talking points, rebounds and assists as the ingredients. He surpassed the 41 triple-doubles posted by the great Oscar Robertson of the Cincinnati Royals 55 years earlier. Westbrook did it in spectacular fashion that night, scoring 50 points. He scored the Thunder’s final 15 points and nailed a deep three-pointer at the buzzer for the win.

It was the first season Westbrook had played without Kevin Durant in OKC, opening up those triple-double stat categories for him. In 2019, Westbrook set another NBA record with 11 consecutive triple-doubles. (According to ESPN, he owns three of the four longest such streaks in NBA history.)

Westbrook would break Robertson’s career record for triple-doubles with his 182nd in May of 2021. It was the first time a significant NBA career record had been broken in 10 years—since Ray Allen passed Reggie Miller on the all-time list for three-pointers. Magic Johnson is a distant third on the list with 138 (Westbrook, who’s now an L.A. Clipper, is up to 198). Two other active players round out the top 5: Nikola Jokic at 130 and LeBron James with 111. Westbrook has had a triple-double against all 30 NBA teams not just once, but multiple times.

Triple-doubles are hard to come by in college basketball. Sure, NBA games are 48 minutes in regulation, and college games are only 40. But that stat is clearly an NBA thing. In fact, there wasn’t a known triple-double in Boise State hoops history until Chandler Hutchison recorded one in a 77-54 win over Portland in December of 2017. And there hasn’t been one since. (At that point it was only the fifth one ever in the Mountain West). The Boise State women’s program has had three—Abby Muse had the last one a month ago against Utah State in the MW Tournament.

(Tom Scott hosts the Scott Slant segment during the football season on KTVB’s Sunday Sports Extra. He also anchors four sports segments each weekday on 95.3 FM KTIK and one on News/Talk KBOI. His Scott Slant column runs every Wednesday.)

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