Expect Russell Westbrook to Make Triple-Double History at Suns

russell westbrook suns

Matthew Jordan

Thursday, April 6, 2017 5:51 PM GMT

In the NBA’s grand scheme of things, Friday night’s Oklahoma City at Phoenix matchup means very little. However, it could be an historic individual night for Thunder superstar Russell Westbrook – and I believe it will be.

About To Pass ‘The Big O’

In 1961-62 for the Cincinnati Royals, future Hall of Famer Oscar Robertson set the NBA single-season record with 41 triple-doubles and became the only player in league history to average one. “The Big O” put up 30.8 points, 12.5 rebounds and 11.4 assists per game. Robertson wasn’t even named NBA MVP – that honor went to Boston’s Bill Russell, a fair player himself.

Oklahoma City point guard Russell Westbrook, a likely future Hall of Famer, enters Friday night’s game at Phoenix tied with Robertson on 41 triple-doubles. Westbrook almost broke the record in Wednesday’s 103-100 win in Memphis as he had 45 points, 10 assists and nine rebounds, ending his streak of seven straight triple-doubles. One rebound shy!

With 1.2 seconds to go, the Grizzlies’ Vince Carter stole a rebound from Westbrook, tipping it to Andrew Harrison for a 3 that pulled Memphis to within a point. Then Memphis fouled Westbrook. He made the first free throw but purposefully tried to miss the second so the Grizzlies wouldn’t have time to get off a final shot. Westbrook darted into the lane trying for the rebound or to simply tip the ball away, but the shot accidentally went in.

Westbrook is averaging 31.8 points (he will win the scoring title), 10.4 assists and 10.7 rebounds. He needs just six assists in Phoenix to lock in the full-season triple-double. Yet, he might not win the MVP, either, as Westbrook and Houston’s Harden are neck-and-neck on NBA odds for that.

This season against the Suns, Westbrook is averaging 41.7 points, 13.7 rebounds and 13.7 assists. He has had triple-doubles in two of the three games and missed a third by just a rebound in the last meeting on March 3. He had 48 points, 17 rebounds and nine assists that night in a 118-111 loss.

 

Suns Want To Lose

This game in reality means more to Phoenix than Oklahoma City, which opened at -7 in NBA betting with a total of 225.5 (Suns play no defense).

The Thunder (45-33) are all but locked into the No. 6 seed in the Western Conference, meaning we will get a Westbrook vs. Harden matchup in the first round of the playoffs. OKC hasn’t been mathematically eliminated from catching the Clippers for the No. 5 seed, but that’s not happening. Might Coach Billy Donovan give Westbrook a game or two off should he get the triple-double record on Friday? Westbrook has played every game thus far.

Phoenix (22-57) absolutely wants to lose and enters on 13-game losing streak, tying the longest single-season skid in franchise history, so that’s likely to be broken. The Suns started tanking weeks ago when they ruled out point guard Eric Bledsoe for the season, and they haven’t won since. Phoenix is starting all kids these days.

The Suns lead the Lakers (23-55) by two in the loss column for the second-worst record in the NBA and that better chance of landing both the No. 1 overall pick and staying in the Top 3 in the draft lottery. With the Warriors beating the Suns on Wednesday and the Lakers surprisingly winning in San Antonio, the Lakers now hold the NBA's third-worst record. Remember, the Lakers will lose their 2017 first-round draft pick to the Philadelphia 76ers if it falls outside the first three spots.

Should Phoenix lose this game and L.A. beat visiting Sacramento on Friday, a definite possibility, then the Suns would clinch at worst a tie for the second-worst record.  Phoenix has lost eight straight on NBA picks at home, tying the longest home losing streak in franchise history.

Free NBA Picks: ‘Over’ 225.5 & Westbrook Triple-DoubleBest Line Offered: BetOnline

[/]{"component":"oddswidget", "eventId":3068109, "sportsbooksIds":[1096,999991,238,93,169], "LineTypeId":3, "PeriodTypeId":1 }[/]