Mr. Triple-Double is back. This time, Russell Westbrook even made history for the Los Angeles Lakers with a feat not seen since Magic Johnson’s final year with the team.
On Friday against the Philadelphia 76ers, Westbrook recorded 12 points, 11 rebounds and 11 dimes through 36 minutes of play. He was pivotal in sending the game to overtime, although it was quite unfortunate that the Lakers ended up losing 133-122.
In the process, Westbrook became the first Laker since Johnson in 1996 to record a triple-double off the bench. Magic did it on February 14, 1996 against the Atlanta Hawks, tallying 15 points, 10 rebounds and 13 dimes.
It’s only the latest proof how effective Russell Westbrook has been for the Lakers since his move to a bench role. He has been largely criticized for his poor play at the start of the season, which was a horrific time for LA after they started the campaign with five straight losses.
However, ever since he fully embraced coming off the bench for LA, the team has also started to string wins together. Of course a large part of it is because of Anthony Davis’ MVP-caliber performance for the Purple and Gold, but Westbrook has certainly been equally impactful.
While the Lakers lost their third straight game now, at least fans can get some positive takeaways from Westbrook’s performance. If he continues to play like that for the team, it won’t be long until they fully turn things around for the better and compete for a playoffs spot.