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Russell Westbrook ties Oscar Robertson’s all-time triple-double record at 181

When Russell Westbrook first went on his triple-double tear during his MVP season in 2017, the idea of someone reaching Oscar Robertson’s record of 181 of them seemed an impossible dream.

Westbrook has lived that dream — he tied Robertson with his 181st triple-double Saturday with an assist to Bradley Beal in the third quarter.

Westbrook finished the night with 33 points, 19 rebounds, and 15 assists, helping the Wizards to a key win over the Pacers in the playoff chase.

Westbrook has 35 triple-doubles this season in 61 games this season. That’s the second-most he’s had in a season, Westbrook had 42 triple-doubles his MVP year.

Westbrook has his critics, who see his accomplishment as so many empty calories because he hasn’t won a championship. Robertson heard that same criticism during his playing days — at least up until he was teamed with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in Milwaukee to win a title — and the Hall of Famer had Westbrook’s back.

“I hope he gets it. I think he’s one of the elite guards in basketball, and I think it’s ridiculous that some sportswriters criticize him because he has not won a championship. Players don’t win championships by themselves.”

Westbrook will have a chance to break the record Monday night in Atlanta.