The Washington Wizards returned to winning ways tonight with a 154-141 win against the Indiana Pacers, and Russell Westbrook spearheaded it all. The 2017 NBA MVP recorded 14 points, 24 assists and 21 rebounds in an emphatic all-round display.
This was Russell Westbrook's eighth triple-double in the last 10 games for the Washington Wizards. He became the first player in NBA history to record multiple games with 20 points and 20 rebounds. Tonight's performance also ensured that Westbrook will average a triple-double in a season for the fourth time in his career.
Russell Westbrook makes bold claim after leading Washington Wizards to victory
Russell Westbrook spoke to the media after the high-octane offensive fiesta between the Washington Wizards and Indiana Pacers.
"Me personally, I feel like I'm the best playmaker in this league," Westbrook said.
While there have been several better passers of the ball in NBA history, Russell Westbrook has the credentials to back up his claims as far as this season is concerned. He's averaging a league and career-best 11.2 assists per game this year.
Westbrook wasn't playing at this level at the start of the season, though. He was suffering from a quad injury at the time and as that healed, Mr. Triple Double was able to elevate his production. Westbrook delved into new details of the aforementioned quad injury. He said:
"At the end of last season, there were a lot of conversations about if I can play or not, but my quad was torn. And then unfortunately, at the start of this season, I tore my other one."
Westbrook also took the time to thank Washington Wizards head coach Scott Brooks, who had earlier noted that the former could finish as the second-best point guard in NBA history.
The Washington Wizards improved to 30-35 with tonight's win. They're still placed 10th but they enjoy a comfortable lead over the rest of the chasing pack. The Wizards are also just half a game behind the Pacers and 1.5 games behind the Charlotte Hornets. It wouldn't be surprising if they finish as high as the eighth seed in the East by the end of the regular season.