WASHINGTON (WDVM) – With a 120-105 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers Friday night, the Washington Wizards have clinched a berth in the NBA play-in tournament.
After starting the season 0-5, 3-12 and facing a COVID outbreak, the Wizards won 16 of 22 games down the stretch to solidify their spot in the postseason.
“It’s a great feeling for everybody involved, our entire organization,” Wizards head coach Scott Brooks said. “We chipped away, we were down, we took a bunch of punches, but we just kept standing back up and fighting for one another and it put us in this position.”
Russell Westbrook led the team in the win with Bradley Beal still out due to injury. Westbrook, now the all-time triple-double leader in NBA history, posted yet another triple double, with 21 points, 17 assists and 12 rebounds.
Now, the attention shifts toward the final game of the regular season against Charlotte Sunday afternoon. If the Wizards defeat the Hornets on Sunday and the Pacers fall to the Lakers, who are trying to avoid having to play in the play-in, Saturday, the Wizards will finish eighth in the Eastern Conference standings and take on the Celtics Tuesday in the play in for a chance to be the seventh seed in the playoffs.
If the Pacers win Saturday, the Wizards will be playing for the ninth or tenth seed against the Hornets, the winner would host the second play in a game. The team that wins the nine vs. ten play-in game, will advance to face the loser of the seven vs. eight game, with the eighth seed in the NBA playoffs on the line, the team that loses the nine vs. ten game and the team that loses a second play-in game, will be eliminated.