Thanks largely to Russell Westbrook's 30 and James Harden's 15, the NBA season already has set a record for total triple-doubles. It happened Saturday when San Antonio beat Minnesota in overtime and the Timberwolves' Ricky Rubio had 11 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists. It was the 79 th triple-double this season and Rubio was the 21st player with at least one. The previous mark of 78 was set in 1988-89. Magic Johnson led the NBA with 17 that season and Michael Jordan had 15. The way Westbrook is going, we could see 100 triple-doubles. If you were wondering, there were 75 of them last season. Hall of Famer Oscar Robertson, the only player to average a triple-double for the season, has said he hopes Westbrook joins him in that club and breaks his single-season record of 41 triple-doubles in 1961-62.
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Trail Blazers at Thunder ( -6, 222)
NBA TV game. Portland was in Minnesota on Monday. Oklahoma City lost its third straight game Sunday, 104-89 in Dallas. Westbrook scored 29 points after scoring more than 40 in each of the previous four games. He added six rebounds and five assists. Victor Oladipo missed his sixth straight game with back spasms.It's the fourth and final meeting between Portland and OKC. The Blazers lead 2-1 but have lost their past four at the Thunder. Damian Lillard has averaged 31.0 points in two games against Oklahoma City this year. Westbrook is averaging 35.7 points, 6.0 assists and 6.0 rebounds.
Key trends: The Blazers are 1-5 against the spread in their past six vs. teams with a winning record. The "over/under" is 8-2 in the Thunder's past 10. The home team is 7-1 ATS in the past eight meetings.
Early lean: Thunder and over.
Lakers at Mavericks (-8.5, 206.5)
Over the weekend, Dallas star Dirk Nowitzki, probably the greatest foreign-born player in league history (an argument can be made for Hakeem Olajuwon), said he was planning to return for a 20th season in 2017-18 unless "something drastic changes." Nowitzki is nowhere near what he used to be but still a good player. He'll also make around $25 million next season so, yeah, I'd keep playing too. Dallas won its second in a row Sunday, 104-89 over Oklahoma City. Nowitzki had 18 points and 12 rebounds. He tied his season high for rebounds and is 20 points away from becoming the sixth player to score 30,000.Wesley Matthews was back in the starting lineup after missing two games with a hip injury. The Lakers lost their seven straight Sunday, 105-97 over New Orleans. Nick Young led the Lakers with 19 points. They have yet to win since Magic Johnson was put in charge. Dallas is 3-0 vs. the Lakers this season and has won 13 straight regular-season meetings against them. It's their longest active win streak against any team and their longest ever win streak against the Lakers. Prior to this, the Mavs had never won more than three in a row in the series.
Key trends: The Lakers are 1-6 ATS in the past seven meetings. The under is 5-1 in the previous six.
Early lean: Mavericks and under.
Wizards at Suns (TBA)
Washington beat Orlando 115-114 on Sunday. Newly-acquired Bojan Bogdanovic scored 15 of his 27 points and made five of his career-high eight 3-pointers during the fourth quarter. Bradley Beal led Washington with 32 points. This starts a five-game trip through the Western Conference. Phoenix won its third in a row Sunday, 109-106 over Boston. Tyler Ulis made a 3-pointer at the buzzer for the upset. Ulis had 20 points, a career high for a second game in a row. This all-time series is tied at 61. Washington won the first meeting this season 106-101 on Nov. 21. Beal scored a career-high 42 points to lead the Wizards while John Wall added 18 points, 15 assists and four steals. Devin Booker had 30 for the Suns and Eric Bledsoe 29. Bledsoe and Wall played together at Kentucky.
Key trends: The Wizards are 0-6 ATS in their past six road games vs. teams with a losing home record. The Suns are 4-0 ATS in their past four at home. The over is 5-2 in Phoenix's past seven.
Early lean: I think this is TBA because Beal hurt his ankle on Sunday but did return. Those ankle sprains can swell up once you take off your shoe. So wait on him. I think Suns win straight up if he's out.
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Read more articles by Alan Matthews
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