Sun block takes sting out of Westbrook's record quest

Semaj Christon drives past Milwaukee's Spencer Hawes for a basket Tuesday night

With his sixth assist on Friday night in Phoenix, the Oklahoma City Thunder guard reached 820 assists on the season, meaning he has assured himself of being the first player since Oscar Robertson, who accomplished the feat in the 1961-1962 season, and just the second player in National Basketball Association history to average a triple-double over the course of an entire National Basketball Association season.

Westbrook is silencing any doubters with his late-season push to eclipse Oscar Robertson's record of 41 triple-doubles in a season set back in 1961-62.

Westbrook, meanwhile, finished with 23 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists plus eight turnovers in 36 minutes. Prior to facing the scrappy Pheonix Suns on Friday night, Westbrook only needed six assists to guarantee his triple double average for the season and he got those by the third quarter. They remained ninth in the Eastern Conference with three games to play (see full recap).

And as for not getting 10 assists? It's the first triple double against the Celtics in 230 games.

"It's incredible, and he's played his heart out, so I think he deserves it", said Cox, who bought his tickets for this game two months ago.

Oklahoma City Thunder fans have reason to celebrate because not only is Russell Westbrook taking the entire league by storm but he also signed a contract extension guaranteeing he will be around to lead this franchise at least for a few more years.

Westbrook's chance to make history was hampered by a miserable first half. He missed it by two, much the disappointment of the 18,055 in attendance, many of whom headed for the exits when Westbrook exited at the 2:34 mark with the Thunder trailing by 20, 115-95.

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Even though the Suns have lost their last 13 games and have no incentive to win, they sure didn't look like a team headed for the lottery on Friday night.

After he drilled the two foul shots, Westbrook intentionally fouled and checked himself out of the game. I just said, you know what, he gets hot around the 3-point line, we make a couple of shots. Victor Oladipo added 15 points with five assists while Doug McDermott and Enes Kanter chipped in with 10 points each as the Thunder shot 43 percent from the field and 14 of 31 from the three-point line.

Booker tied his own franchise record for consecutive points he set on January 14 against the San Antonio Spurs in Mexico City.

"I hope he gets it, just not here, not versus us". Nobody played defense back in the 60s, and the Royals finished seventh (out of nine) in points per game allowed (121.3) and eighth in defensive efficiency (96.9 points per 100).

The Pistons used a 12-1 spurt, capped by four points from Marjanovic, to cut the lead to 94-93 midway through the fourth quarter. But that didn't have the historical impact Westbrook's 42nd triple-double would have.

Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook is pressured by Phoenix Suns guard Tyler Ulis (8) during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Friday, April 7, 2017, in Phoenix.

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