ATLANTA (AP) — Oscar Robertson’s NBA record of 181 triple-doubles had stood since 1974 and was once thought to be untouchable — until Russell Westbrook surpassing it became inevitable.
Westbrook got it done Monday night, hardly a surprise given that he’s averaging a triple-double this season and this was his 36th, including seven in his last eight games.
The 32-year-old Westbrook, in his 13th season overall and his first with the Washington Wizards, completed his 182nd triple-double when he grabbed his 10th rebound with 8:29 remaining in the game against the Atlanta Hawks. He finished with 28 points, 13 rebounds and 21 assists and missed a potential game-winning 3-pointer as the Wizards lost 125-124.
Although triple-doubles happen more frequently than in Robertson’s era thanks to the pace of the contemporary NBA game, Westbrook has no peer for how routinely he fills the stat sheet. Magic Johnson is third all-time with 138 triple-doubles. Jason Kidd finished his career with 107, and LeBron James is the closest among active players with 99.
SUNRISE, Fla. (AP) — Daniel Walcott was already excited to be in his first NHL game. He got even more excited when he got to see how his debut would happen.
The Tampa Bay Lightning started three Black forwards in their regular-season finale against the Florida Panthers on Monday night, a rarity in NHL history — if not an absolute first. Walcott, Mathieu Joseph and Gemel Smith were out together for the opening face-off and didn’t know they would be starting together until just minutes before game time.
Florida won the game, 4-0. The teams will meet in the first round of the NHL playoffs that start this weekend.
Roughly 3% of NHL players are Black, even though hockey and its teams have increased efforts in recent years to add to diversity within the sport through various feeder programs, some of them funded by the league.
The starting lineup was even applauded by the Panthers. Florida forward Anthony Duclair, who is Black, said he noticed it in the Panthers’ locker room pregame and was moved.
BOSTON (AP) — Taylor Hall scored his second goal of the game 2:53 into overtime and the Boston Bruins beat the New York Islanders in their home finale to clinch third place in the East Division.
Brad Marchand also scored and Tuukka Rask had 16 saves for Boston, which will face second-place Washington and former teammate Zdeno Chara in the first round of the playoffs.
Mathew Barzal and Oliver Wahlstrom scored for the Islanders. Semyon Varlamov made 25 saves before he was replaced to start the third period by Ilya Sorokin, who stopped 10 shots.
New York finished fourth and will face East champion Pittsburgh in the first round.
TORONTO (AP) — Life is starting to shift back to normal in the National Hockey League — just not for players in Canada.
The NHL eased some of its COVID-19 health and safety protocols over the weekend for clubs that have been fully vaccinated. But because of the decidedly slower rollout to get shots in arms north of the border, Canadian franchises won’t be enjoying the same freedoms as some of their U.S.-based counterparts anytime soon.
Edmonton Oilers defenseman Tyson Barrie said the league’s move is a good sign, even though teams in Canada are still bound by the same directives they’ve been adhering to since training camp — daily testing, physical distancing and limited contact with teammates outside the rink — that were beefed up further amid a rash of coronavirus outbreaks in February.
The relaxing of NHL protocols announced Saturday takes effect once 85% or more of a team’s traveling party has been fully vaccinated. The changes include loosened restrictions on indoor and outdoor dining, testing frequency, mask wearing and quarantine requirements.
All members of the Toronto Maple Leafs were eligible to be vaccinated starting Sunday because the team’s practice facility is located in one of Ontario’s designated COVID-19 hot spots. The Montreal Canadiens, meanwhile, are expected to begin getting their shots Thursday after Quebec lowered age restrictions.
NEW YORK (AP) — Jacob deGrom will be placed on the injured list by the New York Mets with tightness in his right side, a move that will keep the ace from taking the mound until May 20 at the earliest.
The Mets said an MRI on Sunday night was “clean of any issues.” The team said it will place deGrom on the injured list before Tuesday’s series opener against Baltimore, a move that will be retroactive to Monday.
A 32-year-old right-hander, deGrom is 3-2 with a a major league-best 0.68 ERA and 65 strikeouts, two behind Trevor Bauer of the Los Angeles Dodgers for the NL lead. DeGrom has seven walks in 40 innings over six starts.
He pulled himself from Sunday’s outing against Arizona, his first appearance after skipping a start due to discomfort in his right latissimus dorsi, a back muscle that connects the upper arm to the spine and the hip.
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — Tim Tebow and Urban Meyer are apparently getting back together, this time in the NFL.
The former Florida star and 2007 Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback is expected to team up with his college coach by signing a one-year contract to play for the Jacksonville Jaguars, the NFL Network reported Monday.
The league-owned network said the deal “could be official in the next week or so.”
The 33-year-old Tebow would be returning to the NFL after four years (2016-19) in the New York Mets’ organization and he’d be playing for Meyer for the first time since his senior year in 2009.
This reunion would come with a twist, though, as Tebow would be joining the Jaguars as a tight end. He switched positions after retiring from baseball in February. He worked out for Jacksonville a week later.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit is headed to Baltimore for the Preakness Stakes while trainer Bob Baffert said he won’t attend the race to avoid being a distraction in the wake of scrutiny following the colt’s failed postrace drug test.
Medina Spirit’s Derby win by half a length over Mandaloun on May 1 gave Baffert his record seventh victory in the sport’s premier race. That milestone win is now in jeopardy following Baffert’s announcement on Sunday that test results revealed the horse had an excessive amount of the steroid betamethasone.
Baffert is appealing the positive test and part of the original sample will be re-tested. If the violation is upheld, Medina Spirit could be disqualified and runner-up Mandaloun elevated to winner.
The trainer has denied all wrongdoing and promised full transparency with Kentucky racing officials. Churchill Downs nonetheless suspended Baffert from entering horses at the track. The Maryland Jockey Club and Pimlico officials say they will decide on Medina Spirit’s status in the Triple Crown’s middle jewel after reviewing the facts.