Throwback Thursday: Andrei Kirilenko and the Unusual Triple Double

Throwback Thursday: Andrei Kirilenko and the Unusual Triple Double

by Nico Fiscella

This past Monday, we saw Rudy Gobert shine with a career-high nine blocks in a win over the Chicago Bulls. Gobert finished the night with 21 points, 10 rebounds, and was one block away from recording the unusual triple-double. It is not common for a player to have a triple-double with blocks. Although he came close, Jazz fans could see the resemblance in Gobert’s performance from Andrei Kirilenko fifteen years prior.

On March 25, 2006, Kirilenko recorded one of his three career triple-doubles; the only one that included blocks.

Kirilenko and the 32-36 Utah Jazz battled against Mike Bibby and Sacramento Kings. Unfortunately, Utah ultimately fell to Sacramento 91-89. However, Kirilenko made history in Utah.

Kirilenko is one of 33 players to record the unusual triple-double and one of 18 to do so in a loss.

Kirilenko finished the evening with 15 points, 14 rebounds, and 10 blocks. His triple-double is one of twenty-four in Jazz history.

To take a closer look at the unusual relationship between triple-doubles and the Utah Jazz, Utah is currently in one of the longest triple-double droughts in the NBA.

The Utah Jazz have a combined twenty-four triple-doubles in their history. These twenty-four performances are shared solely by nine players. To put this into perspective, twenty-one players have more personal triple-doubles than the Utah Jazz have as a franchise.

The only teams with fewer triple-doubles than Utah is the Memphis Grizzlies with 21. Although Memphis is behind Utah, the Jazz still hold the record for the longest drought without a triple-double.

Kirilenko added his third and final triple-double in 2007, and that is the second most recent triple-double for the Jazz.

Carlos Boozer recorded the most recent triple-double for Utah. On February 13, 2008, Boozer led the Jazz over a struggling Supersonics team. He had 22 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists. Little did Utah know, they would not see a performance like this for a substantial amount of time.

While Rudy Gobert came close to ending the triple-double drought in Utah, Gobert could have been the fourth Jazz player to have a triple-double with blocks. Outside of Kirilenko, Mark Eaton and Joe Meriweather are the only Jazz players to record this feat.

Eaton recorded this stat line six different times, while Meriweather and Kirilenko only produced this performance once. What makes Eaton’s six-game spread even crazier is that he is tied with Shawn Bradley for the most games with at least 10 points, 10 rebounds, and 10 blocks. The only players above Eaton include Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (7), David Robinson (9), Hakeem Olajuwon (10), and Dikembe Mutombo (10).

While the Jazz are still searching for their first triple-double in thirteen years, Kirilenko’s performance 15 years ago today is one of the rarest performances in Utah Jazz history.

Photo by Kent Horner/NBAE via Getty Images

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