The 2020-21 season has raised the ceiling for triple-doubles in the NBA. History was created on March 13 this year, when five different players recorded triple-double outings on the same day.
Coincidentally, four players from this quintet - namely Westbrook, Antetokounmpo, Sabonis and Harden - are also among the five players leading the league with the most triple-doubles this campaign.
Five players with the most triple-doubles in the 2020-21 NBA:
This season, reigning league MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo became the only player in Milwaukee Bucks' history to produce triple-doubles in three straight games. In the process, he surged past all-time great center Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.
But even Antetokounmpo does not come close to the awe-inspiring exploits of Washington Wizards' superstar guard Russell Westbrook. Brodie has put on a show for the ages, averaging stellar triple-double numbers this season.
The 9x All-Star is closing in on all-time great Oscar Robertson in the career triple-doubles list. To put things into perspective, Russ has tallied more triple-doubles than the combined tally of the next two players in the list (Nikola Jokic and James Harden).
On that note, let's have a look at the five players with the most triple-doubles this season.
#T5 Giannis Antetokounmpo - 7
'Greek Freak' Giannis Antetokounmpo has seven triple-doubles this season, which places him joint-fifth in the list of most triple-doubles this campaign.
Antetokounmpo boasts 25 triple-doubles in his career. However, the Bucks superstar is yet to make his mark with a triple-double outing in the playoffs. The eighth-year forward also recorded his seventh career 30-point triple-double this year, once again surpassing Abdul-Jabbar for the most in Bucks' history.
The highlight of his multiple triple-double performances came against the Washington Wizards in March. The legendary duel between him and another player on this list, Russell Westbrook, was only the sixth time two players from opposing teams recorded 30-point triple-doubles in the same game.
Giannis Antetokounmoo is also tied with Clyde 'The Glide' Drexler at 20th in the NBA's all-time career leaderboard for triple-doubles.
This season, the All-NBA player has appeared in 54 games for the Milwaukee Bucks, averaging 28.4 points and 5.9 assists on a 56.8% shooting from the field. Apart from his offensive prowess, the reigning DPOY has also added 11.1 rebounds, 1.3 blocks and 1.2 steals per contest.
#T5 Domantas Sabonis - 7
Domantas Sabonis, the 2021 All-Star, has taken his game to the next level this campaign, filling up the stat sheet with incredible numbers on a nightly basis. Nowhere is that more evident than his tally of seven triple-doubles.
The highlight of Sabonis' multiple triple-double outings came against the Minnesota Timberwolves in February. The game witnessed Sabonis drop an impressive 36 points to go with 17 rebounds and ten assists on 13-of-21 shooting from the field.
Like Giannis Antetokounmpo, Sabonis has not registered a triple-double in the postseason, recording all of 11 career triple-doubles in the regular season.
Sabonis is recording 20 points per game for the first time in his five-year NBA career.
The Pacers big man has also added 11.9 rebounds, 6.2 assists and 1.2 steals per contest this NBA campaign. The Lithuanian star is shooting a super-efficient 52% from the field and 31% from beyond the arc.
Thanks to his all-around prowess, the future is bright for the 25-year-old Pacers star.
#4 Luka Doncic - 10
Slovenian sensation Luka Doncic has the fourth-most triple-doubles (ten) this season. Last campaign, Doncic became the youngest player in league history to lead the competition in triple-doubles for an entire campaign as he blew past LA Lakers legend Magic Johnson's record.
Doncic is a special talent, the likes of whom seem to come around once in a generation. The third-year jumbo guard recently joined Hall of Famer Oscar Robertson as the second-fastest player to record 35 career triple-doubles.
The 22-year-old took only 190 NBA games to reach this landmark. Moreover, Doncic also became just the fourth player to register 30+ points, 10+ rebounds and 20+ assists in a single game, joining Oscar Robertson, Magic Johnson and Russell Westbrook.
In 58 NBA games for the Dallas Mavericks this campaign, Doncic is averaging a near triple-double, with 28.6 points, 8.9 assists and eight rebounds in 35.2 minutes per game.
The Matador is shooting at a rate of 48.6% from the field and 35.3% from distance. It is safe to say that Luka Doncic could appear in multiple iterations of this list in the future.
#3 James Harden - 12
The phenom, James Harden, is third in the league this season for most triple-doubles (12) this season.
The 'Beard' has enjoyed a celebrated career in the NBA and is arguably one of the top five players in the game today. Harden is now tied with Jason Kidd for the Brooklyn Nets' record in a single season, with twelve triple-doubles.
A hamstring injury has kept Chef Harden on the sidelines for a while now. One can only speculate where his triple-double tally would be if he got to play more games.
In his career, Harden has accumulated a whopping 61 triple-doubles, 58 of them happening in the NBA regular season. The 2017-18 MVP is eighth in the NBA's all-time triple-doubles leaderboard, one spot behind the Boston Celtics legend Larry Bird.
The 3x scoring champion has garnered a reputation as one of the best passers of all time. Moreover, Harden is the only player in NBA history to produce a 60-point triple-double outing.
Harden has played only 42 NBA games for his new East-Coast-based club, averaging 25.2 points on 46.3% shooting from the floor. The 12th-year guard has been his illustrious self in the assists department, dishing out 10.9 dimes per game.
At the defensive end, James has added eight rebounds to go with 1.3 steals per contest.
#2 Nikola Jokic - 15
Nikola Jokic is one of two centers to feature in this list; he has tallied an impressive 15 triple-doubles this NBA season.
Contributing at both ends of the hardwood, the 'Joker' has also made strides in the MVP race. In registering his 50th triple-double (doing so against the Milwaukee Bucks) this campaign, the Serbian phenomenon became the first center after Wilt Chamberlain to reach landmark for a frontline player.
"It's nice, of course," said Jokic after achieving the feat. "It is something that (for) my legacy to put behind me. It's cool just to be in that group of guys, especially with one of the best players to ever play the game. Just a nice accomplishment."
The 3x All-Star is right behind James Harden in the NBA's all-time triple-doubles leader; he is in ninth place with 56 career triple-doubles to his name.
The sixth-year big-man has recorded 40+ point outings on five occasions this NBA campaign, including a career-high 50 point outing against the Sacramento Kings on February 6th, 2021.
The Cookie Monster is averaging a career-best 26.3 points and 8.5 assists per game on 56.4% shooting from the field and a decent 40.9% shooting from downtown.
At the defensive end, Jokic has added 10.9 rebounds and 1.4 steals in 35 minutes per game. Beyond the stats, Jokic has also been super-durable for coach Michael Malone, making 65 appearances in the 2020-21 NBA.
#1 Russell Westbrook - 32
It has been a pleasure and a privilege to see Russell Westbrook shatter records in a historic campaign. The former league MVP has not only silenced his critics but has also added his name to several eye-popping records that probably won't be broken for a few decades.
The Washington Wizards superstar has put the league on notice with a whopping 32 triple-doubles while also becoming the first player in NBA history to record triple-doubles against every team in the association.
Westbrook is a triple-double machine who simply can't be stopped no matter what defensive strategies are deployed against him. Brodie is trailing only 'The Big O' Oscar Robertson as the NBA's all-time leader in triple-doubles.
He is primed to reach the number one spot, as he's only three away from achieving that stellar landmark in NBA history.
In the Wizards' 30th victory of the season on Monday, a wild 154-141 decision in their favor, Russell Westbrook dazzled with a one-of-a-kind 14 points, 21 rebounds and 24 assists in a triple-double outing. In the process, Russell added a new chapter in NBA history, becoming the first player to achieve multiple games of 20+ rebounds and 20+ assists.
The 9x All-Star has also averaged a triple-double this season. In 58 games for the Washington Wizards, the 6' 3" guard is tallying 21.8 points, 11.3 rebounds and 11.2 assists in 35.9 minutes per game this NBA campaign.