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Russell Westbrook Of The Lakers Surpasses Gary Payton For The Tenth-Most Career Assists In The NBA

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During Monday night's 121-104 loss to the Brooklyn Nets, Los Angeles Lakers guard Russell Westbrook moved into the top 10 in NBA history for most assists.

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ESPN's Dave McMenamin said that Westbrook beat Hall of Fame guard Gary Payton, who was a longtime star for the Seattle SuperSonics and also played for the Los Angeles Lakers.

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With 17 points and eight rebounds, as well as 10 assists, Westbrook moved past Payton's record of 8,966 assists for his career.

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When asked about his amazing accomplishment after the game, Westbrook said:"If you had told me 15 or 20 years ago that you would be in the top 10 in assists, I would have thought you were crazy. 

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I never thought I'd be in this spot in the NBA or be playing next to some of the best players. I'm just grateful and thankful for the chance to keep playing at the highest level, and I don't take any of that for granted."

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Westbrook was the best distributor in the NBA for a long time. From 2015 to 2019, he finished each season with at least 10 assists per game. From 2015 to 2021, he did this in five out of six seasons.

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He led the NBA in assists per game three times, twice with the Oklahoma City Thunder and once with the Washington Wizards, when he gave out 11.7 assists per game, which was his career high.

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Westbrook hasn't done as well in L.A. as he did in his career, where he averaged 22.5 points, 8.4 assists, and 7.3 boards per game.

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Last season, Westbrook averaged 18.5 points, 7.4 rebounds, and 7.1 assists per game. So far this season, he is averaging 15.8 points, 7.5 assists, and 6.3 rebounds per game.

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The Lakers have had a rough season as a whole, with a 23-28 record, but even though they lost on Monday, things may finally be looking up. LeBron James and Anthony Davis both missed Monday's game because of foot injuries, but both are expected to play Tuesday.

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Davis has been hurt for most of the season, but if he can stay healthy for the rest of the season and play with LeBron, Westbrook, and the rest of the Lakers, the Western Conference could see some changes.

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Westbrook has the third most assists of any NBA player right now, behind only Chris Paul of the Phoenix Suns and his teammate LeBron James, who plays for the Lakers.

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He also has a good chance of moving up one more spot on the all-time list soon, as he is only 89 assists behind the legendary Isiah Thomas of the Detroit Pistons, who is in ninth place.

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After that, though, the jump is big because Oscar Robertson is in eighth place and is 915 assists ahead of Westbrook.

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Westbrook will start to go after Thomas when the Lakers play the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden on Tuesday night.