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The Lede: Russ Makes More History

Westbrook with the ball
By Erik Drost (Wikimedia Commons)

Don’t have time to read through 1,000 words, but need some informed betting tips? Here’s a quick rundown on today’s biggest sports story, and how it impacts the way you should bet. Miss yesterday’s? See it here.

Russell Westbrook Records First Ever “Perfect Triple-Double”

In a 122-97 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers, Russell Westbrook recorded his 35th triple-double of the season. The MVP candidate finished with 18 points, 14 assists, and 11 rebounds. But this one stood out more than the others. Westbrook put his name in the history books, yet again, by becoming the first player to ever record a triple-double while going perfect from the field (6/6) and the charity stripe (6/6).

Assuming the Thunder guard plays in OKC’s final 11 games, he only needs 76 more rebounds and 85 assists to become the second player to average a triple-double for an entire season. With all the incredible individual feats Westbrook is ticking off, it seems like he would be a shoo-in for MVP, right? Wrong.

Westbrook will likely watch James Harden take the award, thanks to the Rockets’ surprising turnaround, which has them sitting third in the West. The NBA has set a precedent that team success is almost more valuable than individual success when it comes to MVP. Generally, the best player on one of the league’s best teams receives the honor. Westbrook does have the chance to soften that narrative. His Thunder are just 1.5 games back of the fifth-seeded Clippers, and 2.5 back of the Jazz for fourth.

Westbrook and Harden are set to square off this Sunday (March 26), and you can bet the MVP race will be heavily discussed. Though it doesn’t seem right, I still see Harden winning it regardless of whether Westbrook averages a triple-double for the season, and even if OKC jumps the Clippers and Jazz in the standings. It’ll just be the next middle-finger pointed in Westbrook’s direction.

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