September 19, 2017

Russell Westbrook’s NBA career highs in points, triple doubles, assists and more

2017/05/24 11:38 am 11:38 am11:38 am0 0 comments

Westbrook celebrates win in Denver

It may seem like it was a decade ago now, but it was just 2015-16 when Oklahoma City had both Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook.

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The dynamic duo led the Thunder to the NBA Finals in 2012 and the Western Conference Finals four times. But as we know, the pairing ended in a nasty divorce when Durant left for the Golden State Warriors in the summer of 2016.

Westbrook as Primary and Secondary Option

Without Durant, many thought that the Thunder would struggle mightily. Though OKC didn’t improve on their win total from 2015-16 (55 wins), Westbrook showed that he was a force of nature that, by force of will, could lead a team to nearly 50 wins through a tough Western Conference and into the playoffs.

Throughout that regular season, Westbrook somehow upped his level of attack dragging his Thunder teammates along on for the ride with him. As you’re well aware by now, Westbrook’s first season without Durant was one for the history books. Not only did he set several personal best numbers, he broke a few of the NBA’s most sacred records when it came to triple doubles; recording the most triple doubles in one season, averaging a triple double for the season annd scoring the most points with a triple double. More on those in a bit.

Oklahoma City’s Thunder and Lightning

Drafted fourth overall in 2008 by the then Seattle Supersonics, Westbrook was the raging Thunder that complemented the quiet storm in Kevin Durant. The two played well enough together (along with a young James Harden) to put the young Thunder as one of the NBA’s top teams.

Tragedy struck during the 2015 season when Durant broke his foot and would miss the start of the season. Westbrook took charge and people started to take notice of his superstar potential. It was also during that period when he began to display his triple double abilities. Durant and Westbrook returned stronger in 2016 and the Thunder would reach the Western Conference Finals. OKC took a commanding 3-1 lead over the defending champion Warriors only to collapse and lose 4-3.

Then Durant left and the Russell Westbrook era began. As the primary player, Westbrook showed what he was capable without Durant; setting a number of personal career highs as the lone superstar on the Thunder.

Russell Westbrook’s Career Highs: Points, Rebounds, Assists

Russell Westbrook's NBA Career Highs
Category Career High Date Opponent
Points 58 03/07/17 Blazers
Rebounds 19 02/03/16 Magic
Assists 22  12/17/16 Suns
Steals 8  02/06/10 Warriors
Blocks 4 04/25/12 Nuggets
Offensive Rebounds 8 02/11/09 Blazers
Defensive Rebounds 17 12/27/16 Heat
Triple Doubles 42 2016-17
Field Goals Made 21 3 times last 03/29/17 Magic
Field Goals Attempts 44 10/28/16 Suns
3 Pointers Made 8 2 times last 04/05/17 Grizzlies
3 Point Attempts 16 03/07/17 Blazers
Free Throws Made 20 02/01/09 Kings
Free Throw Attempts 22 2 times last 03/18/15 Celtics
Turnovers 11 2 times last 02/11/17 Warriors
FIC 42.88 04/09/17 Nuggets

As of this post, nine of fifteen of Westbrook’s career highs were set during the 2016-17 season. No Durant. No Harden. No problem.

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Westbrook Sets Career Mark of 58 Points vs. Blazers

On March 3rd, 2017 in Oklahoma City, Westbrook scored a career high 58 points on 21-39 shooting against the Portland Trailblazers. Russ evenly spread out his scoring; pumping in 28 points in the first half and 30 points after halftime. The problem? The Thunder needed more points for the win; losing the game to Portland by five points — 126-121. The Blazers had seven players i double figures scoring, while only OKC had three players with 10 or more points (Westbrook, Enes Kanter and Victor Oladipo).

During his record-setting 2016-17 season, Westbrook would hit the half-century mark in scoring 4 times.

Triple Double Records: Russell as the Modern Big ‘O’

On April 9, 2017, Westbrook set his career high in FIC (Floor Impact Counter). The stat is similar to Efficiency ratings although this one gives emphasis to assists, shot creation and offensive rebounding. His impact in the game was unquestionable.

And as if we needed anymore proof, Westbrook nailed the game winning three pointer from way downtown to give the Thunder a 106-104 victory over the Denver Nuggets toward the end of the regular season.

Not only did Westbrook also score 50 points on that same night, he also broke one of basketball’s most hallowed records. Oscar Robertson‘s 41 triple doubles set in 1961-62 was thought to be unbreakable. But Westbrook’s triple double against the Nuggets that night was his 42nd of the season broke that NBA record; putting him one triple double ahead of Robertson in the record books.

Robertson will always be the Big ‘O’ but on that April night, Westbrook became the Big ‘0’ ( as in zero, his jersey number) with a performance for the ages.

Highest Scoring Triple Double

Russell Westbrook set his career high in FGs made on 3/29/17 against the Orlando Magic. That wasn’t the only feat he achieved during that game. Westbrook’s final stat line was 57 points, 13 rebounds and 11 assists. 57 points fell one short of his career high in points. But it gave Russ the highest scoring triple double in NBA history. James Harden had tied Wilt Chamberlain‘s record of 53 on December 31, 2016 but Westbrook erased both records and put his name in the history books one more time.

Less than a month later, Westbrook set yet another NBA record. This time around, he recorded the highest scoring triple double in NBA Playoffs history in Game 2 of their First Round series against the Houston Rockets. Westbrook’s final statline was 51 points, 13 assists and 10 rebounds. It was also the first ever 50 point triple double in the history of the NBA postseason.

Padding The Numbers?

Photo: NewsOK

Triple Double was the theme of Russell Westbrook’s break-out season. But even his best year had its share of detractors. Critics said Westbrook was padding his numbers, especially his rebound stats, because his teammates helped him get rebounds. But as ESPN’s Royce Young pointed out in a podcast in 2016, the case of Russ’ rebounds may be by design because the Thunder purposely wanted the ball in his hands to turn defensive rebounds to fast break offense. Good point.

Call it what you want but it worked for the Thunder and it gave Westbrook a banner season. Looking back, 2017 was a magical run for Russell Westbrook. The scary thing is, that was just the beginning.

Russ’ Resume of Achievements and Awards

First Coast News

Even when Durant was still there beside him, Westbrook already showed the signs that he was a star among stars. After winning his first All-Star Game MVP in 2015, Westbrook repeated in 2016 and barely missed the All-Star game record for most points. Westbrook’s 41 fell one point off Wilt Chamberlain’s long standing mark ( It was later broken by Anthony Davis in 2017 ) of 42 points. Despite missing that mark, Russ proved that he belonged with the best.

Here is Russ’ resume of awards and achievements in basketball:

  • 6× NBA All-Star (2011–2013, 2015–2017)
  • 2× NBA All-Star Game MVP (2015, 2016)
  • 2× All-NBA First Team (2016, 2017)
  • 4× All-NBA Second Team (2011–2013, 2015)
  • 2× NBA scoring champion (2015, 2017)
  • NBA All-Rookie First Team (2009)
  • Third-team All-Pac-10 (2008)
  • Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Year (2008)

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