Washington Wizards

Russell Westbrook honoured in pregame ceremony as Washington Wizards clinch spot in Play-In Tournament

The Washington Wizards played a game of basketball, which as of late has also meant that Russell Westbrook almost certainly recorded a triple-double.

The Duracell battery of the NBA was at it again against the Cleveland Cavaliers, finishing with 21 points, 12 rebounds and 17 assists in the 120-105 win.

The triple-double was the 183rd of his career and came after a pregame ceremony was held to honour the achievement of passing Oscar Robertson for the most in NBA history.

Presented with a framed Wizards jersey with the number 182 on the back, Westbrook was well received by the home crowd who have quickly adopted him as a fan favourite.

As if he hasn't broken enough records this season, the 17 assists against Cleveland made it seven straight games with 15+ assists. According to ESPN Stats and Info, only John Stockton has had a longer streak in NBA history.

Westbrook now has now recorded 37 triple-doubles in 64 appearances this season, including 13 in his last 16 games.

From a team perspective, the win was also significant as it clinched the Wizards' spot in the Play-In Tournament, giving the franchise the opportunity to return to the postseason for the first time since 2018.

Holding a 33-38 record, the Wizards are 0.5 games back of the Indiana Pacers and Charlotte Hornets, giving them a slim chance of climbing as high as the No. 8 seed pending results across the final two days of the regular season.

After starting the season 6-17, it's been an impressive turnaround from a team that was ravaged by the health and safety protocols in the early portion of the season. The Wizards have rattled off a 27-21 mark since that slow start with superstars Westbrook and Bradley Beal central to the form reversal.

Beal remains sidelined with a hamstring injury, with the team hopeful he can return for a potential win-or-go-home Play-In Tournament game. A potentially pivotal matchup with the Hornets will wrap up the regular season for Washington on Monday.

Bulls eliminated

The Washington win was the final nail in the coffin for the Chicago Bulls, with the team officially eliminated from Play-In contention.

It's been a disappointing season for Chicago, who made a splash at the trade deadline by trading for All-Star big man, Nikola Vucevic. Giving up their 2021 first-round pick in the trade, the Bulls certainly wouldn't have planned on being in the draft lottery.

It's the fourth straight season the Bulls have missed the postseason.

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