RUSSELL Westbrook already had one record in the bag. The Phoenix Suns did all they can to make sure the Oklahoma City Thunder star didn’t walk away with another milestone and a win.
Westbrook clinched a triple-double average for the season, a feat Oscar Robertson set in 1961-62, but was two assists short in setting the new mark of 42 total single-season triple-doubles after Devin Booker led a Suns rampage to defeat the Thunder, 120-99, and end a 13-game losing slump on Friday (Saturday, Manila time).
The Suns started out with a 14-2 blast and kept the Thunder at bay throughout the game. An 11-0 romp near the end of the second quarter gave Phoenix a 23-point lead in the first half, 71-48.
Westbrook led an OKC fightback in the third and clinched the triple-double average for the season with his sixth assist on a long pass to Victor Oladipo for a three-point play early in the quarter. When the Thunder got within 12, the Suns closed the period with a 13-2 blitz to extend the gap to 22 into the fourth.
Booker took over in the fourth as the Suns lead never dipped below 16. Phoenix also played spoiler in fouling Westbrook late to prevent the OKC star from completing another triple-double, and forced the electric guard to exit the game at the 2:34 mark with 23 points, 12 rebounds and two assists.
For the season, Westbrook leads the league in scoring with 31.8 points, while posting career-highs in rebounds (10.7) and assists (10.4). In the 1961-62 season, Robertson made history as the first player to average a triple-double with 30.8 points, 12.5 rebounds, and 11.4 assists.
Booker sank five triples to finish with a game-high 37 points for the Suns (23-57). TJ Warren had a double-double of 23 markers and 16 rebounds, while Tyler Ulis added 12.
Enes Kanter scored 17 points off the bench for the Thunder (45-34), while Steven Adams and Taj Gibson had 12 markers apiece.