What is A Triple-Double in Basketball?

If you are a basketball fan, we bet you heard about the triple-double. And your favorite NBA player probably has triple-double scores on many matches. But what is a triple-double in basketball, exactly? 

Although you hear about it frequently in a match, it’s not something that is very easily achievable. Professional all-rounders work for many years to increase their numbers of triple-doubles.

If you are still not getting it, check out this article to know what a triple-double is and how you can achieve it. We have also incorporated some of the interesting facts about it, to give you a slice of excitement and motivation. Read on. 

What Is a Triple-Double in Basketball?

According to the National Basketball Academy (NBA), there are mainly five statistical categories: points, assists, rebounds, steals, and blocked shots. A player’s skill is measured by keeping a sharp eye on all of the categories mentioned above.

So what’s a triple-double, you say? It is a player’s single performance where he/she has scored a double-digit number in any of the three statistical categories mentioned above.

Until now, most of the triple-double scores are achieved mainly by three common skills: points, rebounds, and assists.

Scoring a triple-double by stealing the ball or blocking someone’s shot is quite rare, but still, it has been achieved by many legends in basketball history.

How Triple-Double Is Calculated in Basketball?

The minimum score that is acceptable in each category is ten. So, the word “triple” is linked to it. A player has to score a minimum total of thirty (ten in each category) to account for a triple-double record in his/her pocket.

The list of all the players with at least a hundred triple-double records was indeed one of a kind. They were strong, had the ability to adapt to any pressure during the game.

Is It Very Hard to Achieve a Triple-Double in Basketball?

Well, I will be honest with you! Scoring a triple-double is not a piece of cake. But great minds never give up.

 As we know, practice makes a man perfect. If you are dedicated to basketball, then one day, you can master a triple-double too. To prey a triple-double, you have to be familiar with the following characteristics:

Center of Attention

Always try to narrow all the attention towards you on the court when you are determined to score a triple-double that day. This will make your task to fill the statistical sheets very easy.


Always keep one thing in mind, a minimum of thirty points, which will be difficult. If you deliberately let your reflexes to act slowly, you might as well give up already.


Let’s look it up statistically! To grab more points, you have to do some rough tackling against your opponents.

You have to keep a keen observation of your teammate’s position so that you can make a complete smooth pass to add some quantity in the assist category.

In the case of rebounds, you have to know how or when to box out. A good defense is the only key.


You need to know when to act as a forward and when to act as a defender. As the coaches say all the time, “you have to be the ball rather than be with the ball!”


It is the most crucial thing of them all. You have to learn to store your strength to last until the final whistle. If you are planning on playing only in the first or second half, I’d suggest using all your strength and going for that triple-double score.

Triple-Double in Basketball Facts

Many basketball players start from level one and rise to the top. They all came up with their accomplishments, not to mention many outstanding triple-double records also!

The following list will give you some facts about the triple-double records achieved by the much famous basketball GOAT (Greatest Of All Time). 

First triple-double in basketball ever

Andy Phillip scored the first triple-double of history on December 14, 1950, versus Fort Wayne Pistons with 17 points, ten rebounds, and ten assists. 

Harvesting most triple-doubles in one season

The legend is none other than Russell Westbrook, with a record of 42 triple-doubles. 

The average rate of Triple-doubles in a single season

Oscar Robertson and Russell Westbrook are the only two bad boys with this record. Robertson scored 30.8 points, 12.5 rebounds, and 11.4 assists.

On the other hand, Westbrook scored 31.6 points, 10.7 rebounds, and 10.4 assists in the 2016-17 seasons.

Westbrook is the only player in NBA history to achieve this figure multiple times.

Triple-double at the end of the career

Dwayne Wade, Ben Uzoh, and Wilbur Holland are the only players who were successful to their names in this list.

Dwayne Wade with 25 points, 11 rebounds, and ten assists on April 10, 2019, for the Miami Heat against the Brooklyn Nets.

Ben Uzoh with 12 points, 11 rebounds, and 12 assists on April 26, 2012, for the Toronto Raptors against the New Jersey Nets.

Wilbur Holland with 18 points, 11 rebounds, and 11 assists on April 8, 1979, for the Chicago Bulls against the Detroit Pistons.

Fastest triple-double scoring in the history

In recent times (February 15, 2018), Nikola Zokic of the team Denver Nuggets holds this record. The match was against the Milwaukee Bucks, and he logged it in within 14 minutes and 33 seconds.

Up until then, Jim Tucker of Syracuse Nationals was this record holder. He logged 12 points, ten rebounds, and 12 assists in a matter of just 17 minutes. 

Wrap Up

All the things that you need to know about triple-doubles have been provided to you. So, now that you know what a triple-double in basketball is, go ahead and follow our tips to score more triple-doubles or even the first triple-double of your life. To motivate you, we also added some facts regarding triple-doubles. Keep one thing in mind: dedication is the key to your success.

So what are you waiting for? Grab a basketball and get on with your training!