Prior to the tip-off facing Cleveland, the Washington franchise saw fit to present Russ a special jersey symbolizing his historic accolade of 182 triple-doubles. A ceremony that was truly touching to Washington and Westbrook fans across the world.
CLE @ WSH
With a barrage of injuries, the Cleveland Cavaliers put up a competitive contest against the Washington Wizards but ultimately fail, 120-105. A win last night stamped Washington’s golden ticket into the Play-In Tournament and play past the regular season-ender on Sunday.
Ironically, if the Charlotte Hornets lose tonight and the Wizards pick up the win at home against them on Sunday, then the Wizards will obtain the 8th seed.
This team started their first twenty games 5-15 now in their last twenty games, Washington has recorded 14 wins and 6 losses. In the last five wins, Washington is averaging 132 points per game, shooting 49% from the field and forcing around 16 turnovers per game.
“I’ve been in the league a long time and when you’re 15 games under .500 you’re thinking, ‘Where are we going on vacation?'” coach Scott Brooks said.
While this team has been playing competitively their 3 point shooting has not been the best. In the last 5 games, Washington has been shooting 36.6% from behind the arc but have been making up the points with free throw attempts.
Not necessarily a style that can get them far in the playoffs if made.
Bradley Beal missed his third consecutive contest but still participated in warm-ups prior similar to Wednesday night’s matchup against the Hawks. This is a good sign for possibly seeing Beal on Sunday afternoon against Charlotte.
In 11 games Beal has missed this season, Washington has only secured two wins. Long story short, Panda is missed.
Russell Westbrook/Bench Mob
Westbrook obtained his first triple-double since breaking the historic record held by Oscar Robertson on Monday night. Russell finished last night’s contest with 21 points, 12 rebounds, 17 assists, and 3 steals. Arguably his most fantastic stat of the night was just committing one turnover with 17 assists.
Russell-Mania has 34 triple-doubles on the season which is unbelievably 57% of this season’s games and his 10th assist with 9 minutes left in the 4th marked his 35th consecutive double-double.
With Russ able to lead the team in Beal’s absence, he received a lot of support from the bench. Washington’s bench outscored Cleveland 58-16.
Robin “Hook Shot” Lopez provided 14 points and 5 rebounds while shooting 7/11 from the field in 15 minutes. Lopez at a point was absolutely abusing Jarrett Allen in the post with the right shoulder left hook shot.
Daniel Gafford has been a success since putting on a Washington uniform and we are all wondering why he is not starting. His presence around the basket is a dominant force with impressive leaping ability.
Gafford currently has 7 games with 3 or more blocks and 13 games with 10 or more points.
Anthony Gill got a fresh cut and decided to ball out. Gill received 21 minutes off the bench and made all use of it. Gill finished with 12 points, 5 rebounds and made 8 of 8 from the free-throw line.
Garrison Mathews was included in the starting lineup but taken out for Hutchinson. Garrison’s mental is very strong because something like that can rattle a player rather than make them play better. In 16 minutes off the bench, Garrison scored 9 points, converted on a 4 point play, and went to the line twice for 3 point attempts.
Washington vs Charlotte
Charlotte will play the NY Knicks at 1 pm. If Charlotte wins then they will keep the 8th seed but if they lose then Washington can capitalize in their matchup on Sunday to steal the 8th seed.
We are all keeping a close eye on the game today. Washington did not have the prettiest win last night but will and determination led the way.
Washington will face Charlotte tomorrow at 1 pm. The team in the 8th seed only needs to win one game to make the Playoffs and lower seeds will need to win two play-in games.
Great win, Washington!