Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook stands on the floor. File photo by Brian Kersey/UPI | License Photo
OKLAHOMA CITY -- Shortly after Russell Westbrook recorded his 10th assist Tuesday night, the game was stopped. The Oklahoma City Thunder point guard walked over to his bench to get some water.
Westbrook just earned his 41st triple-double to tie Hall of Famer Oscar Robertson's record for the most triple-doubles in a season. The fans at Chesapeake Energy Arena began to shout "MVP" during the stoppage.
Even the stoic Westbrook couldn't help but describe what the moment meant to him after Oklahoma City's 110-79 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks.
"I was in shock, honestly. Kind of just sitting there and embracing the moment," Westbrook said. "I didn't realize they were stopping it for me until the ref was throwing the ball. But I was just sitting there thanking God for the opportunity to play. The opportunity to play is something I'll never take for granted."
Westbrook tied the record set by Robertson in the 1961-62 season by totaling 12 points, 13 rebounds and 13 assists. He can break the record Wednesday night in Memphis after playing just 27 minutes against Milwaukee.
Westbrook's latest triple-double came on a night of achievements for him. He tied a career high with his seventh straight triple-double and needs two more to tie the mark for consecutive triple-doubles set by Hall of Famer Wilt Chamberlain in March 1968.
"It's unbelievable," Westbrook said. "It's an honor, (a) blessing, especially to be able to reach that here at home. We have the best fans in the world. Amazing people, teammates, coaching staff. I give thanks to the man above. I want to compete at a high level and I'm thankful to be able to do that."
The Thunder All-Star also tied Chamberlain for fourth all-time with his 78th triple-double. He is 29 behind Bucks coach Jason Kidd for third place.
"With Russ's ability to tie the record or to break the record, whatever he's done, it's at a very high level with the triple doubles," Kidd said. "And you can feel that in the building and you could see that his teammates were not going to let him down tonight."
Westbrook recorded his triple-double with 9:17 remaining left in the third quarter when he handed out his 10th assist on a basket by Taj Gibson.
"It was one of those nights, a special night," Westbrook said. "Something I'll definitely never forget. I am truly honored to do it here in Oklahoma City."
Oklahoma City (44-33) led by 30 after three quarters, and Westbrook didn't play in the fourth.
Westbrook needs only 16 assists in the next five games to clinch averaging a triple-double on the season, a mark only Robertson accomplished over a full season.
Oklahoma City improved to 32-9 this season when Westbrook gets a triple-double.
Reserve center Enes Kanter led the Thunder with 17 points. Gibson and Alex Abrines added 12 points apiece as the Thunder snapped a two-game losing streak.
Michael Beasley led Milwaukee with 14 points. Giannis Antetokounmpo posted 11 points and 10 rebounds as the Bucks (40-38) shot 35.8 percent and lost their second straight.
"We didn't play well," Antetokounmpo said. "We need to get back to our flow, before these last two games How were we were playing defensively. I believe our effort was really high before these two games."
Antetokounmpo came out of the gates like he was the one chasing history. The athletic guard attacked the rim at will and went after every rebound he could. He totaled eight points and six rebounds in the first quarter alone.
Antetokounmpo only scored three more points the rest of the night as Thunder guard Andre Roberson intensified his defense.
Oklahoma City's bench made its presence felt from the first minute they started to come into the game. Kanter and Abrines had an effective inside-out game going and the Bucks were unable to find an answer for them.
Along with Semaj Christon, Kanter and Abrines sparked a Thunder run that saw them take a 24-point lead into halftime.
The only drama in the second half was waiting for Westbrook to reach the record, which is something he never expected.
"It's something I could never have dreams of growing up," Westbrook said. "To be able to be on this stage with this group of guys, it's unbelievable and a blessing."
NOTES: Oklahoma City G Russell Westbrook's has more triple doubles this season than 10 NBA teams have amassed in their entire franchise history. ... Milwaukee rookie G Malcolm Brogdon missed the game due to back soreness. ... Four Thunder reserves scored in double figures during the blowout win.