Triple-double in Basketball: What is a triple-double in NBA and why is it so difficult to achieve

Amulya Shekhar
|Published August 24, 2020

A triple-double in basketball is the achievement of double figures in at least 3 of the 5 major stat categories.

There are 5 major stat categories in basketball which are listed by every sports website – points, rebounds, assists, blocks and steals. Points are a measure of the number of baskets scored by a player/team. Rebounds are the number of times a missed shot has been taken by a player/team.

Assists are a measure of the number of baskets directly set up by a player with a pass. Blocks are a measure of the number of shots altered by a defender by physically deflecting the ball. Steals are a measure of the number of times the ball has been taken away from possession of the opposition.

What is a triple-double in basketball?

To achieve a triple-double in basketball, one needs to notch up at least 10 of points, rebounds, assists, steals or blocks through the course of a game. Traditionally, the easiest kind of triple-double to achieve is the points-rebounds-assists triple double. A few centers have been able to achieve triple-doubles with blocks in place of assists too.

Also Read: Team Foul Basketball: What are ‘team fouls’ and ‘bonus’ in NBA, complete basketball foul concept explained

Luka Doncic, in today’s LA Clippers vs Dallas Mavericks first round game, was able to achieve the great statline of 43 points, 17 rebounds and 13 assists on the way to a triple-double.

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The most triple-doubles by a single player in NBA regular season history are by Oscar Robertson. Russell Westbrook, currently an active player for the Houston Rockets, is in second place, while Magic Johnson is in third place.

The most triple-doubles by a single player in NBA playoff history are by Magic Johnson, who has 30. LeBron James is in second place with 23. Jason Kidd is in third place with 11, while the trio of Larry Bird, Rajon Rondo and Russell Westbrook are tied at 4th with 10 each.

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About the author

Amulya Shekhar

Amulya Shekhar

Amulya Shekhar is a sports junkie who thrives on the thrills and frills of live sports action across basketball, football (the American variant works too), parkour, adventure sports. He believes sports connect us to our best selves, and he hopes to help people experience sports more holistically.

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