OKLAHOMA CITY -- As he continues his march toward NBA history, Russell Westbrook reached a milestone Sunday in the Thunder's 113-101 loss to the Charlotte Hornets, passing the 15,000-point scoring mark.
"No, it doesn't," Westbrook said of whether passing the milestone registers with him. "But it's definitely something that I won't take for granted. To be able to play this game for long enough to do that is a blessing in itself."
Westbrook won the scoring title in 2014-15, and is headed for a second one this season, leading the league with 31.9 points per game. In Sunday's game he posted 40 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists, recording his 40th triple-double of the season, pulling him within one of Oscar Robertson's all-time single season record with six games to go. Asked his thoughts about potentially breaking the record this week, Westbrook wasn't interested in discussing it after a disappointing loss.
"We gotta win," he said. "That's my thoughts."
It was Westbrook's seventh 40-point triple-double this season, tying him with fellow MVP candidate James Harden for the most in the NBA this season. Westbrook had a 50-point triple-double last week against the Magic, his second of the season, also tied with Harden.
Entering Sunday, the Hornets were one of only two teams (along with the Bulls) against whom Westbrook hadn't recorded a triple-double. It was Westbrook's sixth consecutive triple-double, and fifth straight with at least 30 points; he became the first player in NBA history to accomplish that. Earlier this season Westbrook had a streak of seven straight, and he is the first NBA player with multiple streaks of at least six games.
Westbrook and Harden also share another piece of NBA history: They are the only two NBA players with 400 or more turnovers in a single season (Harden has 440; Westbrook has 414). Westbrook added eight more against the Hornets, and he has turned it over 29 times in his last four games. The Thunder turned it over 24 times against Charlotte, leading to 32 points.
"Just making bad mistakes and bad decisions on that part, starting with myself," Westbrook said. "Just got to take better care of the ball."
Westbrook is only 11 rebounds and 29 assists away from clinching averaging a triple-double this season. Through 76 games he's averaging 31.9 points, 10.6 rebounds and 10.4 assists per game.