The magic and spectacular nature of point guard Russell Westbrook was once again present in the Washington Wizards game by starring the third game in NBA history with more than 20 assists and rebounds that allowed him to surpass the legendary Wilt chamberlain, the only player who had achieved it in history … together with himself.
Westbrook’s contribution, which ended with a triple-double of 14 points, 24 assists and 21 rebounds, allowed the Wizards to beat the Indiana Pacers 154-141 and get closer to their rival in the fight for the ninth place in the Eastern Conference.
While Westbrook’s triple-double was the thirty-second so far this season, the maximum of his career, and he finds just three more (178) to tie the all-time mark of 181 that is held from the legendary Oscar Robertson when there are still seven games to go before the regular season ends.
The Japanese power forward Rui Hachimura scored 27 points who left him as the leader of the sweeping attack of the Wizards and the escort Bradley Beal was 26 when Washington (30-35) posted a season-high scoring record and moved Indiana (30-34) midgame for ninth place in the East.
Teams finishing between seventh and tenth place will enter the league’s new play-in tournament that will define the last two qualifiers for the main playoff draw.
The Wizards won the tiebreaker over the Pacers by winning the first two games. The teams meet once again this season in Indiana on Saturday this week.
Lithuanian power forward Domantas Sabonis ended up with a double-double of 32 points and 20 rebounds and the escort Caris LeVert scored 33 points As the Pacers’ top scorers, they had eight players with double-digit numbers, but couldn’t avoid a third loss in the last four games.
Washington ended the first half on a 20-8 streak over the final 4:15 to take an 82-66 lead at halftime. Westbrook had three of his 11 assists in the second quarter during that span. It was the first half of the season with Washington’s highest score.
Westbrook had 14 assists and 12 rebounds at half while making just three shots to the basket.
Westbrook’s layup with 10:23 left in the third secured his triple-double. His 32 is the fourth-best mark in any NBA season; holds the record with 42.
A game after scoring a franchise-record 152 points, the Pacers allowed the highest scoring in points as Washington finished with 61 percent shooting from the field.
The Wizards had 16 assists on 17 field goals in the second quarter while scoring 63% of field goals (17 of 27) with 46 points.
The Ukrainian pivot Alex Len, averaging 7.4 points, scored nine in the first quarter and finished the game with 12 to be among the nine Wizards players who had double-digit numbers and Washington had 96 points in the paint.