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Russell Westbrook becomes first player to average triple-double in multiple seasons

This was a forgone conclusion.

Once Russell Westbrook let it be known he was not pleased with critics accusing him of stat-stuffing, his teammate Carmelo Anthony among them, there was no way the Oklahoma City Thunder guard was not going to get 16 rebounds on Wednesday night.

That’s the tally he needed to secure his second straight season with an average of a triple double, something that’s never been done in the NBA. It doesn’t take more than a glance at his halftime box score to see how singularly focused he was. Westbrook tallied 11 rebounds, 12 assists and one point on two field goal attempts.

He secured his 16th rebound at the 9:18 mark of the third quarter. Entering the game, he was averaging 25.6 points, 10.1 assists and 9.9 rebounds.

The moment drew a standing ovation from the home crown in Oklahoma City.

Lest he be shunned for putting his personal goal ahead of playoff positioning for the Thunder, OKC led the Memphis Grizzlies, 77-57 at halftime with Westbrook leading the team with a +20 in the plus/minus column.

Westbrook’s triple-double feat this season has drawn considerably less fanfare than his MVP performance last year. But for many of us, it marks only the second time in our lifetimes that we’ve seen the accomplishment which was last achieved by Oscar Robertson in 1961-62 before last season.

And Robertson never did it in multiple seasons.

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Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook shouts to the crowd in the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Denver Nuggets in Oklahoma City, Friday, March 30, 2018. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)