PHOENIX (AP) — Russell Westbrook became the second player in NBA history to average a triple-double for a season, but failed for the second game in a row to break Oscar Robertson’s single-season record for most triple-doubles.
Westbrook fell two assists shy of what would have been his 42nd triple-double in the Oklahoma City Thunder’s one-sided 120-99 loss to the Phoenix Suns on Friday night.
On a rough night all around, Westbrook had 23 points (on 6-of-25 shooting, 2 of 12 on 3-pointers), 12 rebounds and eight assists, along with eight turnovers before coach Billy Donovan pulled him with 2:34 to play.
Devin Booker scored 21 of his 37 points in the fourth quarter for the Suns, who snapped a 13-game losing streak.
Westbrook did get the six assists he needed to assure that he’d join Robertson as the only players to average a triple-double for a season. Robertson averaged 30.8 points, 12.5 rebounds and 11.4 assists for the Cincinnati Royals in the 1961-62 season.
Enes Kanter added 17 points for the Thunder, who shot just 37 percent. T.J. Warren scored 23 for Phoenix.
Westbrook had probably his worst shooting half of the season and his teammates didn’t show much interest in the contest as the Suns opened a 28-point lead.
He missed his first 11 shots before sinking a 17-footer with 50.4 seconds left in the half. He followed that quickly with a three-point play on an acrobatic drive to the basket.
But his halftime stats were ugly: 2-for-13 shooting, 0 for 4 on 3s, 7 rebounds, 3 assists, 6 turnovers.
Phoenix, meanwhile, shot 61 percent in the first half, led by Warren’s 15 points on 7-of-10 shooting, to Oklahoma City’s 39 percent and led 71-48 at the half.
Westbrook earned assists on Oklahoma City’s first three baskets in the opening minute of the second half but he got only two more the rest of the night.
Thunder: Oklahoma City is three games behind the Los Angeles Clippers for the No. 5 spot in the West. … The season series finished tied 2-2.
Suns: The 13 straight losses had tied a franchise record set last season. … Suns won for the first time since they shut down a healthy Eric Bledsoe for the season. … Phoenix’s 71 points was its highest-scoring first half of the season.
THREE MORE CHANCES
Westbrook has three more chances for that 42nd triple-double, two of them against Denver.
Oklahoma City plays at Denver on Sunday and at Minnesota on Tuesday. The Thunder wrap up their regular season at home against the Nuggets next Wednesday.
He had seven straight triple-doubles before failing to get there the last two times.