Russell Westbrook is a triple-double machine, but his performance against the Washington Wizards set a new standard.
Meanwhile, with Kyrie Irving’s return, James Harden started his free-scoring streak for the Brooklyn Nets.
Westbrook’s Fantastic Day
Westbrook finished with 35 points, 21 assists (a career-high), and 14 rebounds, becoming the first player in history to have a triple-double with 35 points and 20 assists.
Only two other players had ever had a triple-double of 30 points, 20 assists, and 10 rebounds: Oscar Robertson and Magic Johnson.
Westbrook recorded his 16th triple-double of the season in a 132-124 home win over the Indiana Pacers, becoming the Wizards’ franchise leader in the state in only his 38th game with the team.
The Wizards’ coach, Scott Brooks, praised the 32-year-old former MVP, saying, “He does things I’ve never seen in history.” I’ve been playing in this league for 30 years… I’m not sure, man. It’s incredible.”
However, he revealed that Westbrook is still working on improving his game, specifically by reducing turnovers:
“It eats away at him. I’m surprised he doesn’t have an ulcer sometimes because it eats away at him so much.”
Westbrook was radiant.
“As a leader, I take pride in making my teammates better. “The guys tonight helped me make shots and keep the game moving,” Westbrook said.
“The mindset was to go out and be aggressive and make sure I set the table for my teammates like I’ve done all year long and make sure they have confidence going into the fourth,” Westbrook explained.
“When the fourth strikes, it’s time to take command.”
Despite Westbrook’s consistent brilliance this season, the Wizards have won 17 games and lost 28, putting them out of playoff contention.
As Kyrie returns, the Nets charge
Kyrie Irving returned to the Brooklyn Nets lineup after missing three games, scoring 27 points and grabbing two rebounds in a close victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves.
He collaborated well with James Harden, who had another triple-double in the 112-107 victory. Harden had 38 points, 11 rebounds, and 13 assists in the win.
The Timberwolves were led by Karl-Anthony Towns, who had 31 points, 12 rebounds, and three blocks.
With 32 wins and 15 losses, the Nets are second in the Eastern Conference, trailing only the 76ers.
A new agreement has been reached. Blake Griffin was unable to build on his outstanding debut for the Nets, scoring only five points and grabbing six rebounds against the Detroit Pistons on Saturday.
Wins for the Jazz and Clippers
Rudy Gobert scored 18 points and grabbed 17 rebounds to lead the Utah Jazz to a 114-75 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers, extending their NBA-best record to 35-11.
Donovan Mitchell’s 19 points and Mike Conley’s 18 points extended the Jazz’s five-game winning streak.
The Los Angeles Clippers won 129-105 over the Milwaukee Bucks, extending their winning streak to six games. So they improved to 32-16 and are now four games behind the Utah Jazz in the Western League.
The Clippers got 25 points from Marcus Morris and 23 from Kawhi Leonard, while the Bucks got 32 points from Giannis Antetokounmpo, a Greek celebrity big man.
Miami defeated New York 98-88 thanks to 27 points from Jimmy Butler and 20 points and 18 rebounds from Bam Adebayo. Julius Randle led the Knicks with 22 points.
Following the Celtics’ 115-109 loss to the visiting New Orleans Pelicans, the Heat improved to 23-24, tying them for seventh place in the East.
Zion Williamson led the way for New Orleans with 28 points, eight rebounds, three assists, and four steals. Brandon Ingram led the team with 25 points and nine assists.
For Boston, Jayson Tatum had 34 points and 9 assists. Despite a late 20-8 surge, the Celtics were unable to overcome the Pelicans.
Evan Fournier, who was acquired from Orlando at the NBA trade deadline, went 0-for-10 from the field in his Celtics debut.
The Memphis Grizzlies defeated the Houston Rockets 120-110 thanks to 30 points and 15 rebounds from Lithuanian center Jonas Valanciunas.
Richaun Holmes added 23 points and 12 rebounds to De’Aaron Fox’s 24 points. Seven Sacramento players scored in double figures in the Kings’ 132-115 victory over San Antonio.
Stephen Curry scored 32 points in his return from injury. Which leads the Golden State Warriors to a 116-102 home victory over the Chicago Bulls.