Westbrook torches Jazz for 32nd triple double

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Russell Westbrook
AFP PHOTO

WASHINGTON: Oklahoma City’s Russell Westbrook moved past Wilt Chamberlain for the second-most triple doubles in an NBA season on Saturday (Sunday in Manila) in the Thunder’s 112-104 win over visiting Utah.

Westbrook collected his 32nd triple double of the 2016-17 campaign with 33 points, 11 rebounds and 14 assists — his third triple double against the Jazz this season.

That’s the most NBA games with double-digit totals in three or more statistical categories in more than half a century.

To match the NBA record, Westbrook has 16 games remaining this season to manage nine more triple-doubles and equal the all-time mark of 41 set by Oscar Robertson in the 1961-62 campaign.

That season by Robertson, known as “The Big O” in his heyday, was also the only campaign when an NBA player averaged a triple double over an entire season.

Robertson averaged 30.8 points, 12.5 rebounds and 11.4 assists a game over 79 contests in the 1961-62 season. He narrowly missed the feat the season before as a rookie, managing 9.7 assists a game, and again in the 1963-64 campaign with 9.9 rebounds foiling his bid.

Westbrook leads the NBA with 31.9 points a game this season, ranks 12th with an average of 10.5 rebounds and ranks third in assists with 10.1 a game over 66 appearances for the Thunder (37-29).

Westbrook reached his triple double Saturday in the first few minutes of the third quarter before he was taken out with Oklahoma City leading by 20 points.

Spurs forward Aldridge sidelined after heart issue
San Antonio Spurs forward LaMarcus Aldridge has been benched indefinitely after suffering a minor heart arrhythmia, the NBA team announced on Saturday (Sunday in Manila).

Aldridge has averaged 17.3 points, 7.4 rebounds and 2.0 assists a game for the Spurs, who at 50-14 own the second-best record in the NBA this season, trailing only the Golden State Warriors at 52-13.

“All parties have concluded that at the current time it is best for Aldridge to refrain from play until further tests and examinations are completed,” the Spurs said in a statement, without giving details of Aldridge’s irregular heartbeat episode.

In April of 2007, at the end of his rookie season with the Portland Trail Blazers, Aldridge missed the final nine games of the season after being diagnosed with Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome, an abnormality that can cause a rapid heartbeat.

Aldridge, 31, underwent a procedure to fix the problem and in 2011 underwent the same procedure and missed time at the start of the 2011-12 campaign when the condition recurred.

Aldridge, a five-time NBA All-Star, is in his second season with the Spurs after nine seasons with the Trail Blazers.

Also ruled out for Saturday’s much-diminished showdown with Golden State were point guards Tony Parker, the Frenchman suffering from a stiff back, and Dejounte Murray, with tightness in the groin. The Spurs had already ruled out forward Kawhi Leonard due to a concussion.

Warriors coach Steve Kerr said he would rest starters Stephen Curry, Draymond Green and Klay Thompson plus top reserve Andre Iguodala for the game in San Antonio.

AFP

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