A week after recording the first "perfect" triple-double, Russell Westbrook put another mark in the NBA history books Wednesday with the most points in a triple-double.
Westbrook scored 57 points and added 13 rebounds and 11 assists in the Oklahoma City Thunder's 114-106 overtime win over the Orlando Magic, topping James Harden and Wilt Chamberlain, who each scored 53 points in a triple-double.
"That is definitely a blessing," Westbrook told reporters of his historic night in Orlando, Florida. "I definitely don't take this game for granted, and I try to come out each night and try to compete at a high level. That is definitely something that is a blessing and definitely something that I can be proud of."
It is Westbrook's second 50-point triple-double this season. Before this season, a 50-point triple-double hadn't been done since Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in 1975.
On March 22, Westbrook became the first player to record a triple-double while going perfect from the floor (6-for-6) and the free throw line (6-for-6), finishing with 18 points, 11 rebounds and 14 assists in a Thunder win over the Philadelphia 76ers.
Against the Magic, Westbrook had 36 points, 9 rebounds and 7 assists after halftime, including 19 points in the fourth quarter. The Thunder overcame a 21-point third-quarter deficit for their largest comeback since the franchise moved to Oklahoma City, with Westbrook forcing overtime with a wild, fading 31-foot 3 with seven seconds left.
"I didn't know [it was going in]," Westbrook said. "I couldn't see right away because two people jumped."
In the extra frame, Westbrook scored or assisted on all 12 of the Thunder's points.
"There's nothing else you can do," Magic center Nikola Vucevic said. "He had like 50, 15 and 15. He's a hell of a player, and he's been doing it for 70 games now, carrying that team every night. I think the numbers he's putting up are amazing. You just tip your hat when he does stuff like that, and even in overtime, he made a lot of big shots, and before, in the fourth quarter, he made a couple of big 3s. He's a big-time player."
Westbrook started the game sluggishly, turning the ball over seven times in the first eight minutes. He didn't record another turnover the rest of the game.
"Just got to take care of the ball," Westbrook said. "I was being too reckless and loose. Coach got on me at halftime for being reckless and loose with the basketball, and I was definitely more attentive to that."
Two nights ago in Dallas, Westbrook led a furious 14-0 run in the final 3:30 against the Mavericks, scoring 12 himself, including the game-winning jumper with five seconds left. He has built a stable full of clutch moments this season, leading the league in most clutch-time (last five minutes of a game and within five points) stats.
"Words can't really describe it," teammate Victor Oladipo told reporters of watching Westbrook. "It's just an honor to play alongside him as he kinda etches his name in history."
Westbrook needed overtime for his historic stat line but played only 42 minutes. Thunder coach Billy Donovan has remained committed all season to managing Westbrook's workload, keeping him under 40 minutes for every non-overtime game this season. Westbrook has played 40-plus minutes only five times this season, and Wednesday was the first time it had happened since Nov. 30. For comparison, Harden has played 15 games with 40 or more minutes, and LeBron James has played 20.
"For me, every night I don't ever think about ever getting tired," Westbrook said. "I just go out and keep going ... keep going. I am very, very thankful and blessed to have that energy and constantly keep moving and playing. I don't take it for granted."
It's Westbrook's 38th triple-double of the season, putting him three away from tying Oscar Robertson for the most in a single season. The Thunder have eight games remaining. According to ESPN's Kevin Pelton, Westbrook has a 99.9 percent chance to finish the season averaging a triple-double and would be the first player to do so since Robertson in 1962.