By Michael Kinney
OKLAHOMA CITY — At the end of Monday night’s victory over the New York Knicks, Russell Westbrook was visibly exhausted.
He was so tired, he took a seat on the bench to do his postgame interview before lumbering back to the locker room.
The reason for the lack of energy was that he had just compiled another triple-double to his growing resume. With 27 points, 18 rebounds and 14 assists, he led the Thunder in all three categories.
“His rebounding, his loose ball plays, when he does that it sends an unbelievable message to our team the way he fights and competes,” Thunder coach Billy Donovan said. “It’s historic what he’s doing, but there’s also another side of it too, that he’s a pretty complete point guard all the way around.”
The numbers Westbrook are putting up on his triple-double binge are getting into the obscenely great. He is averaging double figures in points (30.9), assists (11.3) and rebounds (10.3). The only other player to average double-figure numbers in all three categories this late into the season was Oscar Robertson.
Heading into Wednesday’s game with the Washington Wizards, Westbrook has eight triple-doubles on the season and 45 for his career. If Westbrook gets another triple-double Wednesday, that will be three in a row.
Yet, there is only one stat category that Westbrook will talk about when he’s asked about his run on triple-doubles. That is wins and losses.
After going through a recent losing streak, the Thunder (11-8) won their last three games.
“Winning is sustainable,” Westbrook said told ESPN.com. “My job is to go out and find the best way to win games. Right now, we won three straight, and that is the most important to me.”
Like Westbrook, Washington’s John Wall is also coming into the game after posting a triple-double — albeit a different one — Monday night. In a 101-95 overtime victory over the Sacramento Kings, Wall tallied 19 points, 11 assists, 11 turnovers and eight rebounds.
While Wall’s hands will be full trying to slow down Westbrook, the focus of the Oklahoma City fans will be on Wall’s coach, Scott Brooks.
Brooks makes his first return to Oklahoma City since being fired at the end of the 2014-15 season.
Yet, that hasn’t taken away the excitement Brooks said he has for seeing members of the Thunder organization.
“We had a great run. Unfortunately it ended for me but that’s the business we’re in. I have a lot of respect for the organization,” Brooks told The Washington Post. “I have a tremendous amount of respect for the players that I coached. I still communicate with all of them. Even now that I’m back in the NBA I’m thankful for the job that I have now but it also brings back a lot of memories.”
However, his first season with the Wizards, it is not going as he had hoped. Washington is 6-10 and in third place in the Southeast Division