With his sixth assist of the game against the Phoenix Suns on Friday night, Westbrook clinched a triple-double average. The assist came on a long pass to Victor Oladipo for an and-1 layup in transition with 10 minutes, 36 seconds left in the third quarter.
Westbrook went to the bench with 2:33 left in the game and finished with 23 points, 12 rebounds and 8 assists -- two assists shy of what would have been his record-breaking 42nd triple-double of the season. The Suns won the game 120-99.
Westbrook's season averages sit at 31.7 points, 10.7 rebounds and 10.4 assists. He leads the league in scoring and is on track for his second career scoring title.
Hall of Famer Oscar Robertson had previously been the only player to average a triple-double, putting up 30.8 points, 12.5 rebounds and 11.4 assists per game in the 1961-62 season.
"I could never say in a million years that I would ever think that was even possible," Westbrook said. "For me to do it, it's extremely a blessing. It's something that I'm honored to be able to do, especially in this game today, at the highest level. It's a blessing. I'm just very thankful and happy to be able to do it."
Westbrook missed his first 11 shots and finished 6-of-25 from the field Friday. He was so frustrated after the loss that he spent almost an hour after the game working on his shot on Phoenix's practice court.
"Get your mind right," he said. "You understand how important a game is, and you want to make sure I'm playing the best that I need to play for my teammates. Tonight I felt like I let them down."
Westbrook said his goals for the Thunder take priority over his individual statistics.
"My main goal since I got here, especially this season, is to win a championship," he said. "That's what my goal is. As a leader of this team, I've got to make sure this team is moving in the right direction and I'm playing the way I need to play to make sure we're playing the best basketball we need to play."
Westbrook stayed in the game long after the outcome seemed certain. Thunder coach Billy Donovan said he hadn't given up on being able to win the game.
"No, I wasn't trying for the triple-double," Donovan said. "I've seen enough miraculous things this year -- at Dallas and Orlando -- and I thought about taking him out at the stoppage of play, around 3:40, 3:45. I just said, you know what, he gets hot around the 3-point line, we make a couple of shots. ... I just wanted to give our team every opportunity."
Westbrook accomplished the hallowed averages playing nearly 10 fewer minutes and around 25 fewer possessions per game than Robertson.
He began averaging a triple-double on Nov. 29 against the New York Knicks. He has maintained the averages since then, never dropping below 10 in any category.
Westbrook's season has been full of history, with him running up two streaks of seven consecutive triple-doubles, second only to Wilt Chamberlain's streak of nine. He sits fourth all time in career triple-doubles at 78, tied with Chamberlain. He has had seven 40-point triple-doubles and two 50-point triple-doubles.
Westbrook has three more chances for his 42nd triple-double.
Information from ESPN's Royce Young and Tim MacMahon and The Associated Press was used in this report.