WASHINGTON — Russell Westbrook got his first triple-double since passing Oscar Robertson and becoming the NBA’s career leader earlier in the week, lifting Washington past the Cleveland Cavaliers 120-105 on Friday night and helping the Wizards clinch a spot in the play-in tournament.
Westbrook had 21 points, 17 assists and 12 rebounds for his 183rd career triple-double and league-leading 37th this season.
Washington clinched a spot in the NBA’s new play-in tournament for the playoffs involving the Nos. 7-10 seeds in each conference. On Friday night, the league announced that both Eastern Conference play-in games will be played next Tuesday with the No. 7 seed hosting No. 8 in Game 1 and the No. 9 seed hosting No. 10 in Game 2. The loser of the first game will host the winner of the second game on May 20.
Washington improved to 33-38 after snapping a two-game losing streak and is within a half-game of Indiana and Charlotte, both at 33-37. Washington can still finish anywhere between seeds 8 and 10. Boston has clinched the No. 7 seed.
Washington took a 58-56 advantage into halftime in a back-and-forth affair that featured eight ties and 12 lead changes. The second half was all Wizards as they never trailed and led by as many as 19.
Bradley Beal missed his third straight game with a left hamstring strain. Beal, the NBA’s second-leading scorer averaging 31.4, did participate in some pregame warmups. Coach Scott Brooks said Beal is getting better every day, but did not know if he would be available Sunday.