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Wizards’ Russell Westbrook averages triple-double for fourth time in five seasons

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Russell Westbrook continues to make NBA history with each passing season. Though he clinched it several days ago, Sunday’s Washington Wizards regular-season finale ended with Westbrook averaging a triple-double for the fourth time in five seasons. Prior to Westbrook’s run, Oscar Robertson was the only player in league history to accomplish that feat over a full season. He did so only once. Westbrook now has 80 percent of seasons in NBA history in which a player averaged a triple-double. 

But he accomplished yet another impressive feat this season. In averaging 11.7 assists and 11.5 rebounds per game, he became the first player since Robertson to average over 11 of each over a full season. Robertson averaged 12.5 rebounds and 11.4 assists per game during his triple-double season, but it should be noted that the league played at a considerably faster pace at that point in history. 

This season, the average NBA team uses 99.2 possessions per game. Pace of play was not tracked during Robertson’s career, but the six fastest seasons in NBA history took place in the 1970s, and the game largely replicated that style in the 1960s. In that sense, what Westbrook has done is even more impressive.

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Westbrook broke Robertson’s decades-old record of 181 career triple-doubles on Monday. Considering his age, he is likely to add significantly to it. Only two other players in league history have even 100 triple-doubles (Magic Johnson and Jason Kidd), so in all likelihood, by the time Westbrook retires, he will have set virtually every triple-double record with so much breathing room that they will never be broken. 

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