Russell Westbrook dedicates NBA's second ever 20-20-20 night to late rapper Nipsey Hussle

Russell Westbrook’s ability to fill up the box score has become one of the most underappreciated talents in the NBA.

The Oklahoma City Thunder point guard is closing in on a third consecutive season averaging a triple-double, an achievement accomplished only one other time in the NBA when Oscar Robertson did so in 1962.

But nights like Tuesday remind everyone of his greatness.

Russ joins Wilt

Westbrook tallied 20 points, 21 assists and 20 rebounds in a 119-103 win over the Los Angeles Lakers, recording the second 20-20-20 night in NBA history.

Wilt Chamberlain was the only other player to do so, recording 22 points, 25 rebounds and 21 assists in 1968.

Westbrook dedicates game to Nipsey Hussle

Westbrook dedicated his performance to late rapper Nipsey Hussle, who died Sunday at 33 after being gunned down in Los Angeles.

“That wasn’t for me,” Westbrook told TNT after the game. “That was for my bro. That’s for Nipsey — 20 plus 20 plus 20.”

Westbrook’s dedication echoed his in-game sentiment for Nipsey when he secured his 20th rebound in the game’s final minute.

Westbrook, like Nipsey, grew up in Los Angeles and knew the late rapper.

“Somebody I looked up to, somebody that paved the way for a guy like myself growing up in the inner city,” Westbrook told TNT. “To have those conversations with him. I’m just truly saddened by the situation, just continue to pray for his family.”

Westbrook’s big game arrived during a key moment for the Thunder, who have struggled of late as they jockey for playoff positioning. Oklahoma City had gone 3-7 in its previous 10 games entering Tuesday and had fallen to the bottom of the tightly packed Western Conference playoff race.

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The best photos and moments from March Madness 2019
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The best photos and moments from March Madness 2019
Buffalo's Jeremy Harris chases after a loose ball during the second half of a first round men's college basketball game against Arizona State in the NCAA Tournament Friday, March 22, 2019, in Tulsa, Okla. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
Wisconsin guard D'Mitrik Trice, bottom, holds onto the ball under Oregon guard Ehab Amin during the first half of a first-round game in the NCAA men’s college basketball tournament, Friday, March 22, 2019, in San Jose, Calif. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)
Buffalo's Dontay Caruthers celebrates a teammates basket during the first half of a first round men's college basketball game against Arizona State in the NCAA Tournament Friday, March 22, 2019, in Tulsa, Okla. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
DES MOINES, IOWA - MARCH 21: Head coach Tom Izzo of the Michigan State Spartans glares at Aaron Henry #11 after a play during their game in the First Round of the NCAA Basketball Tournament against the Bradley Braves at Wells Fargo Arena on March 21, 2019 in Des Moines, Iowa. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH - MARCH 21: Jared Harper #1 of the Auburn Tigers falls after driving to the basket during the first half against the New Mexico State Aggies in the first round of the 2019 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Vivint Smart Home Arena on March 21, 2019 in Salt Lake City, Utah. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Kansas State guard Shaun Neal-Williams (1) loses the ball between UC Irvine guard Spencer Rivers, left, and guard Evan Leonard during the first half of a first round men's college basketball game in the NCAA Tournament Friday, March 22, 2019, in San Jose, Calif. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)
Michigan State forward Xavier Tillman (23) grabs a rebound over Bradley guard Ja'Shon Henry (22) during a first round men's college basketball game in the NCAA Tournament, Thursday, March 21, 2019, in Des Moines, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
Belmont 's Dylan Windler, center, goes to the basket between Maryland 's Bruno Fernando, left, and Darryl Morsell (11) during the second half of the first round men's college basketball game in the NCAA Tournament in Jacksonville, Fla. Thursday, March 21, 2019. (AP Photo/Stephen B. Morton)
Wisconsin guard Khalil Iverson, left, shoots against Oregon forward Paul White during the first half of a first round men's college basketball game in the NCAA Tournament, Friday, March 22, 2019, in San Jose, Calif. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)
Houston's DeJon Jarreau dunks the ball during the first half of a first round men's college basketball game against Georgia State in the NCAA Tournament Friday, March 22, 2019, in Tulsa, Okla. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)
Mississippi State guard Lamar Peters watches during the second half of the team's game against Liberty in the first round of the NCAA men's college basketball tournament Friday, March 22, 2019, in San Jose, Calif. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
LSU players celebrate after defeating Maryland 69-67 in a second-round game in the NCAA men’s college basketball tournament in Jacksonville, Fla., Saturday, March 23, 2019. (AP Photo/John Raoux)
Gonzaga's Josh Perkins (13) reaches for Corey Kispert (24) after Kispert's 3-pointer against Baylor during the second half of a second-round game in the NCAA men's college basketball tournament Saturday, March 23, 2019, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)
Gonzaga forward Corey Kispert, left, looks to pass as Baylor guard Mario Kegler defends during the second half of a second-round game in the NCAA men's college basketball tournament Saturday, March 23, 2019, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Jeff Swinger)
Texas Tech's Jarrett Culver (23) shoots past Buffalo's Nick Perkins (33) during the second half of a second round men's college basketball game in the NCAA Tournament Sunday, March 24, 2019, in Tulsa, Okla. Texas Tech won 78-58. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
Oregon forward Louis King celebrates after scoring against UC Irvine during the second half of a second-round game in the NCAA men's college basketball tournament Sunday, March 24, 2019, in San Jose, Calif. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
Florida State guard Trent Forrest, left, blocks a shot by Gonzaga guard Zach Norvell Jr. during the second half an NCAA men's college basketball tournament West Region semifinal Thursday, March 28, 2019, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
LOUISVILLE, KENTUCKY - MARCH 28: Matt Haarms #32 of the Purdue Boilermakers reacts against the Tennessee Volunteers during the second half of the 2019 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament South Regional at the KFC YUM! Center on March 28, 2019 in Louisville, Kentucky. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Texas guard Matt Coleman III (2) screams after taking a charge by a Colorado player during an NCAA college basketball game in the quarterfinals of the NIT on Wednesday, March 27, 2019, in Austin, Texas. (Nick Wagner/Austin American-Statesman via AP)
Michigan guard Charles Matthews, left, and guard Jordan Poole leave the court after the team's loss to Texas Tech during an NCAA men's college basketball tournament West Region semifinal Thursday, March 28, 2019, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
ANAHEIM, CALIFORNIA - MARCH 30: Brandon Clarke #15 and Rui Hachimura #21 of the Gonzaga Bulldogs compete for the ball against Norense Odiase #32 of the Texas Tech Red Raiders during the first half of the 2019 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament West Regional at Honda Center on March 30, 2019 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
Texas Tech forward Tariq Owens celebrates after scoring against Michigan during the second half an NCAA men's college basketball tournament West Region semifinal Thursday, March 28, 2019, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
Auburn's Chuma Okeke (5) grabs his leg as he loses control of the ball on his way to the basket as North Carolina's Cameron Johnson (13) and North Carolina's Brandon Robinson, left, defend during the second half of a men's NCAA tournament college basketball Midwest Regional semifinal game Friday, March 29, 2019, in Kansas City, Mo. Okeke was injured on the play. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
Michigan State forward Xavier Tillman (23) beats out LSU forward Darius Days (22) for the loose ball during the first half of an East Regional semifinal in the NCAA men's college basketball tournament Friday, March 29, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
North Carolina's Seventh Woods, left, and Kenny Williams pause near the end of a men's NCAA tournament college basketball Midwest Regional semifinal game against Auburn Friday, March 29, 2019, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 29: Ahmed Hill #13 of the Virginia Tech Hokies reacts after missing a layup against the Duke Blue Devils late in the second half in the East Regional game of the 2019 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Capital One Arena on March 29, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Duke guard Tre Jones (3) reacts after scoring against Virginia Tech during the second half of an NCAA men's college basketball tournament East Region semifinal in Washington, Friday, March 29, 2019. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
Gonzaga forward Rui Hachimura scores against Texas Tech during the first half of a men's NCAA Tournament college basketball West Regional final game Saturday, March 30, 2019, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
Virginia's De'Andre Hunter dribbles past Purdue's Grady Eifert (24) during the first half of the men's NCAA Tournament college basketball South Regional final game, Saturday, March 30, 2019, in Louisville, Ky. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)
Purdue's Trevion Williams (50) puts up a shot against Virginia's Jack Salt (33) during the second half of the men's NCAA Tournament college basketball South Regional final game, Saturday, March 30, 2019, in Louisville, Ky. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)
Virginia's Mamadi Diakite, center, reacts with teammates Kyle Guy and Jack Salt (33) after hitting a shot to send the game into overtime in the men's NCAA Tournament college basketball South Regional final game against Purdue, Saturday, March 30, 2019, in Louisville, Ky. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)
Auburn's Anfernee McLemore (24) and Kentucky's Reid Travis (22) reach for a rebound during the first half of the Midwest Regional final game in the NCAA men's college basketball tournament Sunday, March 31, 2019, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
Auburn's Jared Harper, left, drives to the basket past Kentucky's Reid Travis during the first half of the Midwest Regional final game in the NCAA men's college basketball tournament Sunday, March 31, 2019, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 31: Tre Jones #3 of the Duke Blue Devils reacts after his teams 68-67 loss to the Michigan State Spartans in the East Regional game of the 2019 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Capital One Arena on March 31, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Michigan State guard Cassius Winston, right, celebrates with teammates Matt McQuaid (20), Nick Ward (44) and Gabe Brown (13) after defeating Duke in an NCAA men's East Regional final college basketball game in Washington, Sunday, March 31, 2019. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 31: Zion Williamson #1 of the Duke Blue Devils reacts in the locker room after his teams 68-67 loss to the Michigan State Spartans in the East Regional game of the 2019 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Capital One Arena on March 31, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
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Every win matters in playoff race

With the win, the Thunder improved to 45-33 to pick up a half game on the 44-33 San Antonio Spurs, who sit in 8th place in the West. They remain two games behind the Los Angeles Clippers.

Moving out of the bottom two playoff spots would likely mean avoiding the Golden State Warriors in the first round of the playoffs, a goal that is surely on the minds of the teams at the bottom of the playoff standings.

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