Russell Westbrook broke Oscar Robertson’s 47-year-old NBA record for triple-doubles and missed a potential game-winning three-pointer as the Washington Wizards lost 125-124 to the Atlanta Hawks on Monday night.
Westbrook completed his 182nd career triple-double when he pulled down a rebound with 8:29 remaining, completing his season-long march toward a record that had stood since 1974 and was long considered untouchable. The nine-time All-Star and 2016-17 MVP finished with 28 points, 13 rebounds and 21 assists as he carried the load for a Wizards team missing Bradley Beal, the league’s No 2 scorer.
“Honestly it never really bothered me one way or another,” Westbrook said. “I’m very confident in the things I do for this game. I take a lot of pride in going out and preparing myself to be one of the most consistent guys in this league. It’s a tough thing to be able to do, and I want to give that comfort to my coaches, to my organization, so that when they call my number they know what they’re going to get.”
With the Hawks leasing 125-122, Westbrook got a clean look at a three-pointer with two seconds left. His shot bounced off the rim, and Westbrook pounded the ball hard against the floor when the game ended.
“We talk about Oscar Robertson and a lot of us are not old enough to know how the Big O played, but you’re seeing that in Westbrook,” interim Hawks coach Nate McMillan said. “His ability to really just dominate a game, score, assist and rebound from that guard position, this is what the Big O was doing a long time ago. To see it at this day and time is incredible.”
Washington center Robin Lopez said he felt blessed to play alongside Westbrook on the record-breaking night. “He’s been relentless,” Lopez said. “He’s been locked in and that’s something that anyone on the roster will tell you. It’s trickled down to everybody. It’s certainly a boon to have him on the floor with us.”
Westbrook paid tribute to the man whose record he broke. “I take a lot of pride in doing everything I can to impact winning,” Westbrook said. “To be in a conversation with Oscar, I just want to thank him because he set the stage. The things he was able to do back in the day has allowed me to do the things that I do today. So I’m appreciative of that, and I’m appreciative of his support as well.
Elsewhere, Stephen Curry made a go-ahead three-pointer with 14 seconds left, moments after missing from deep, and scored 36 points to lead Golden State past Western Conference-leading Utah. The Warriors kept hold of the eighth seed in the West.
Curry, coming off a 49-point performance with 11 three-pointers in 29 minutes in Saturday’s 136-97 thumping of the Thunder, wasn’t nearly as sharp but his supporting cast did plenty to take the pressure off.
Jordan Poole finished with 20 points off the bench and Kent Bazemore scored 19. Jordan Clarkson scored 41 points and Bojan Bogdanovic added 27 for a Utah team still missing injured All-Star guards Donovan Mitchell and Mike Conley.