Oklahoma City Thunder point guard Westbrook made history on Sunday with his 42nd triple-double of the season, breaking Oscar Robertson's record of 41.
In any other season, he would be a triple-double marvel, recording his 21st of the season with 35 points, 11 rebounds and 15 assists in a 135-128 win over the Kings on Sunday night.
And the last of those points came at the death as the Thunder snatched a 106-105 victory - eliminating Denver from play-off contention in the process.
Westbrook, who finished with 16 rebounds and 10 assists, cut the deficit to five points after hitting three straight free throws assessed after flagrant and technical fouls by Nikola Jokic.
"If he stays healthy, there's no reason he couldn't eventually break my career record of 181 triple-double games". Denver squandered a 10-point lead in the game's final frame.
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Westbrook almost had his 10th assist with two minutes left in the third quarter but Enes Kanter lost the handle going up for the basket and Westbrook took a seat until the fourth quarter.
Kyrie Irving scored 45 points for Cleveland, and LeBron James had a triple-double with 32 points, 16 rebounds and 10 assists before fouling out in overtime.
Westbrook stayed after that game to practise shooting. Then, Portland will play the defending Western Conference champion Golden State Warriors in the opening round.
This year's MVP race has dominated the headlines in the National Basketball Association since the trade deadline as the competition between the four contenders for the award - Russell Westbrook, James Harden, Kawhi Leonard and LeBron James - have each produced incredible seasons in their own way. Harden is averaging 29.3 points, 11.3 assists and 8.1 rebounds per game.
And while, traditionally, an MVP candidate's team is among the league's elite, Westbrook's 80-game run has been anything but typical.
The former teammates have turned this MVP race into one of the most exciting in recent memory. "I'm very thankful and blessed to be able to go out and compete at the highest level", said Westbrook during the post-game interview, as per The Guardian. The Hall of Famer said Westbrook's triple-double numbers show his overall impact on the game beyond his team's record.
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