WASHINGTON – Russell Westbrook became the only player in NBA history with multiple games with at least 20 assists and 20 rebounds, helping the Washington Wizards get closer to the direct Playoffs qualification zone by beating with a scoreboard. 154-141 to the Indiana Pacers.
Wilt Chamberlain is the only other player with a game of 20 assists and 20 rebounds in league annals.
Westbrook, who registered 14 points and his 21 rebounds are a career high and his 24 assists tied for his career high, also raised his triple-doubles quota to 32, which is the highest total in the current season. He has 178 triple-doubles and is three behind Oscar Robertson’s record with seven games to play in the regular season.
His performance against the Pacers ensures that Westbrook averages a triple-double in a season for the fourth time in his career. Robertson is the only other player to do so, and he did it once in the 1961-62 campaign.
“Guards don’t do what (Russell) does. It’s not normal, they’re not built that way, ”said Scott Brooks, the Wizards coach. “Maybe there is someone who shoots better. Maybe there is someone who probably does certain things better, but there is no one in the history of the sport who can do what Russell does on the stat sheet.
“I used to say (Russell) is probably going to finish as the third best guard in history, but I think he’s already passed one. It’s probably going to finish second best. The first is obviously the Magic. (Russell) is underrated. What it does, there are no guards to do it. Nobody, ”he added.
Westbrook did not comment on his place in history, but he is confident about what he does for Washington, which has won 13 of its last 16 games.
“Personally, I feel like I’m the best player in this league,” said Westbrook, who leads the NBA with 11 assists per game.
The Wizards won the tiebreaker over the Pacers by winning the first two meetings between the two, who will meet again this season this coming Saturday in Indiana.
ESPN Stats & Information and AP contributed to this report.