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Westbrook aims for triple-double record as Thunder face Suns

The Associated Press - April 7, 2017 8:55 am

Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook will take a second crack at NBA history Friday night when he seeks a record-breaking 42nd triple-double against a team that has offered him little resistance this season, the Phoenix Suns.

Four days after their city hosted the NCAA Tournament championship game, basketball fans in Phoenix could get an opportunity to witness Westbrook break the record set by Oscar Robertson in 1961-62.

Riding a seven-game streak of triple-doubles, Westbrook came within one rebound of breaking the record Wednesday night in Memphis in a 103-100 win to which he contributed 45 points and 10 assists.

The UCLA product missed a triple-double by one assist the last time he faced the Suns. He had 48 points and 17 rebounds in the game — a 118-111 loss at Phoenix.

Westbrook did more than just record triple-doubles when the Thunder swept a pair of home games from the Suns earlier this season.

He had 51 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists in a 113-110 overtime win on Oct. 28, becoming the first player since Kareem Abdul-Jabbar to record a triple-double that included a 50-point game.

Westbrook duplicated the feat, except with 57 points, at Orlando last week.

His second triple-double against the Suns this season — in a 114-101 win in December — featured a career-high 22 assists.

Westbrook will take the court Friday night averaging 31.8 points, 10.7 rebounds and 10.4 assists. With just four games remaining, he is virtually assured of becoming the first player since Robertson, also in 1961-62, to average a triple-double.

There is more at stake for the Thunder (45-33) against the Suns than just individual glory. They need one more win to assure themselves of no lower than the No. 6 seed in the Western Conference playoffs, which would assure they wouldn’t have to face the San Antonio Spurs in the first round.

 

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