Tonight’s NBA showdown puts Russell Westbrook and the Oklahoma City Thunder against the James Harden led Houston Rockets.
The Thunder are coming off two disappointing road losses to Eastern Conference foes while the Rockets are riding a five game winning streak. Not only is this a big game for the Western Conference standings — Oklahoma City is currently in the sixth seed and Houston is the third seed. — but it is an exciting matchup between the league’s top two candidates for Most Valuable Player.
36 games into the NBA season, where do we find ourselves in the MVP race? Here is a quick rundown of the seasons these two megastars are having:
- Currently averaging a triple-double — (league high) 30.9 points, 10.5 rebounds and 10.5 assists per game.
- The deepest into the season that a player has averaged a triple-double since Oscar Robertson in the 1961-62 season.
- Westbrook leads the league in clutch time points scored — fourth quarter or overtime with less than five minutes to go and neither team is ahead by more than five points — Westbrook has scored 134 points, Isaiah Thomas is second with 98 points.
- According to NBAMiner.com, Westbrook is fourth in the league in “And-1” plays with 32 and seventh in the league in completed “And-1” plays with 23 made free throws.
- Westbrook’s assists have accounted for 41.5 percent of the Thunder’s made three-point shots.
- Per 36 minutes, Westbrook leads the league with 32.2 points per game.
- Westbrook leads the league with 10.7 free throw attempts per game, shooting 82 percent.
- Westbrook has five games this season with over 40 points scored, including a season high 51 points. Of those five games, Westbrook achieved three triple-doubles. The 51 point effort included 13 rebounds and 10 assists.
- Westbrook has a seven game triple-double streak, second longest in NBA history.
- Out of 36 games, Westbrook has been held under 20 points only three times. He has not been held to single digits.
- Season high 51 points, season low 14 points.
- Westbrook has the season high for assists in a single game with 22 against Phoenix on December 17, 2016.
- Westbrook has eclipsed the 15 assist mark seven times this season.
- Westbrook has eclipsed the 15 rebound mark five times this season — three games with 17 rebounds (season highs).
- Westbrook is 11th in the league in rebounding. The only point guard in the top 40. Rajon Rondo is second among point guards with 6.5 rebounds. If you stretch it out to point guards and shooting guards, Westbrook still leads — Harden is second with 8.2 rebounds.
- Westbrook has 16 triple-doubles on the season, second most has nine. Oklahoma City is 13-3 when Westbrook gets a triple-double.
- Points, rebounds and assists thus far are the highest for Westbrook’s career.
- Currently averaging 28.4 points, (league high) 11.9 assists and 8.2 rebounds per game.
- Harden’s league high 11.9 assists is by far the most by a shooting guard. Nicolas Batum is second with 5.9 assists
- According to NBAMiner.com, Harden leads the league in assists leading to made three-point baskets with 5.2 three-point baskets per game.
- Harden is second to Westbrook in free throw attempts per game with 10.3 but leads Westbrook in free throw percentage at 85 percent.
- Harden boasts the highest scoring triple-double of the season when he earned 53 points, 16 rebounds and 17 assists against the New York Knicks on December 31, 2016.
- Harden is second in the NBA in triple-doubles. The Rockets are 8-1 in games where Harden earns a triple-double.
- Harden is currently on a three game triple-double streak.
- Harden has three triple-doubles against the top two teams in the West — two against San Antonio and one against Golden State — Houston went 2-1 in those games.
- Harden leads the league in 15+ assist games with nine.
- Out of 36 games, Harden has been held under 20 points only four times. He has not been held to single digits.
- Season high 53 points, season low 13 points.
- Harden’s season average totals in assists and rebounds are the highest for his career.
- Harden has two 40+ scoring games, including the 53 point game.
- Harden has eight games where he was perfect from the charity stripe — including and 18-for-18 performance against Boston on December 5, 2016.
- Harden has made at least five three-pointers in a single game six times, including a nine made three-pointers performance.