Giannis Antetokounmpo Calls Russell Westbrook ‘Tough’ Post Their Wizards-Bucks NBA Battle

Published 03/15/2021, 10:30 AM EDT
Jan 26, 2021; Houston, Texas, USA; Washington Wizards guard Russell Westbrook (4) reacts after a foul during the first quarter against the Houston Rockets at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Carmen Mandato/Pool Photo-USA TODAY Sports


It is always great to see the mutual admiration that exists between future hall-of-fame players. While Giannis Antetokounmpo and Russell Westbrook went hard at each other on the court last night, there was nothing but respect when it was all done and dusted.

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After the Milwaukee Bucks defeated the Wizards 125-119, Westbrook and Giannis shared a warm embrace on the court, and Giannis’ adulation of his compatriot carried over to the post-game press conference as well.

“He’s tough. You just try to make him take tough, contested shots, make it as tough as possible whenever you face him. I think we did a pretty good job,” he replied to a question on Westbrook.

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Giannis Antetokounmpo and Westbrook become the 6th pair of opponents to record 30-point triple-doubles in the same game

The two former MVPs collided and produced a memorable performance. They stuffed the stat-sheet with massive triple-doubles. While Giannis finished with 33 points, 11 rebounds, and 11 assists, Westbrook’s 42 points, 10 rebounds, and 12 assists went in vain as the Wizards lost the game.

Both of them made NBA history with their respective individual performances. This was just the sixth time in the history of this league that two opposing players recorded a 30-point triple-double in the same game.

Mar 13, 2021; Washington, District of Columbia, USA; Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo (34) looses the ball as Washington Wizards guard Russell Westbrook (4) defends during the first half at Capital One Arena. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Although this used to be a very rare feat, it has become more prominent in the last few years. This was the fourth such occurrence in the last four seasons. In 2018, Giannis achieved this feat alongside Nikola Jokic. In 2019, LeBron James and Luka Doncic repeated it, while in 2020, guards James Harden and Trae Young dueled it out.

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Russell Westbrook is a known triple-double machine. He now ranks second all-time in career triple-doubles with 157. Only former Bucks star Oscar Robertson leads with 181 to his name. On the other hand, the Greek-freak is no slouch either with 24 triple-double himself.

Mar 13, 2021; Washington, District of Columbia, USA; Washington Wizards center Robin Lopez (15) defends Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo (34) shoot attempt during the first half at Capital One Arena. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

It was nice to see the two former MVPs battle it out. They will play again later tonight in the second leg of this double-header fixture. Let’s see who comes out on top this time.

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Bharat Aggarwal

697 articles

Bharat Aggarwal is a sports analyst for EssentiallySports, covering Formula 1 and NBA. A Delhi University graduate, Bharat has multi-year experience in sports writing, having closely worked with the content strategy aspect as well. Bharat Aggarwal supports Manchester United, Lewis Hamilton, Cristiano Ronaldo, Rafael Nadal, Dirk Nowitzki, Sachin Tendulkar, Ayrton Senna, Kristaps Porzingis, and Dallas Mavericks.

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