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Recap: Westbrook ties triple-double record, Beal scores 50 in Wizards' OT win vs. Pacers
FINAL: Wizards 133 | Pacers 132
Wizards: Bradley Beal (50), Russell Westbrook (33), Rui Hachimura (13)
Pacers: Caris LeVert (35), Domantas Sabonis (30), Edmond Sumner (13)
Behind Russell Westbrook’s record-tying triple-double and 50 points from Bradley Beal, the Wizards won 133-132 in overtime against the Pacers on Saturday night in Indiana. Westbrook finished with 33 points, 19 rebounds and 15 assists, the 181st triple-double of his career, tying Oscar Robertson for the most in NBA history. With the win, Washington is now 12-3 in their last 15 games, sweeps the season series with Indiana and moves into sole possession of ninth place in the Eastern Conference standings.
“I’m always so grateful and thankful and blessed,” Westbrook said postgame. “I give all my thanks to the man above for blessing me with talent to be able to go out and compete. Each year, each season along this journey, I try to find ways to be a better player and competitor overall. I take a lot of pride in doing everything that impacts winning and, as much as I can, leave it on the floor.”
After a 154-141 shootout in the teams’ matchup earlier this week, the offenses dominated again early on Saturday night, combining to shoot 29-52 (.557) from the field in the first quarter. Beal and Westbrook totaled 17 points to lead the way for the Wizards, giving Washington a one-point lead after a first quarter that featured four ties and nine lead changes. A Justin Holiday 3-pointer put the Wizards behind by six early in the second quarter before a 12-4 run gave Washington a 52-50 lead with four minutes left in the first half. Beal accounted for all 12 points and 14 straight overall, part of a 26-point first half. The Wizards and Pacers traded leads over the final minutes of the second quarter. A Sabonis and-one layup put the Pacers up by two with 13 seconds left, but Westbrook beat the halftime buzzer on the other end with a 3-pointer to put the Wizards up by one at the break.
After Beal briefly exited with an ankle injury early in the third quarter, Washington’s one-point advantage turned into a nine-point deficit. The Wizards fought back, pulling within one, but another Pacers run, this time 9-0, put Indiana up by double-digits. Just over three minutes into the fourth quarter, Kelan Martin hit a three to put the Pacers up by 12, giving them their largest lead of the game. Beal, shortly after returning to action, countered with a 3-pointer of his own. The shot sparked an 18-5 Wizards run that Beal finished off with a difficult driving layup with 1:28 left for his 50th point of the night. With the game tied at 122, Rui Hachimura grabbed a rebound off a Pacers miss and found Westbrook for a transition layup to put the Wizards up two with 21 seconds remaining. Caris LeVert, who led the way for Indiana with 35 points, converted a difficult driving layup to tie the game at 124 and force overtime.
The Wizards played the entire overtime period without Beal, who exited the game in the final seconds of regulation with a hamstring injury. Sabonis and Westbrook each hit buckets early to start the overtime scoring. Daniel Gafford who played just 17 total minutes after getting in first quarter foul trouble, came up with a pair of huge rebounds late in overtime. After Westbrook missed what would have been a go-ahead layup with the Wizards down 132-131, Gafford grabbed a pivotal offensive rebound, setting up another opportunity for Washington. Westbrook isolated, pulled up and was fouled with one second left on the clock. He knocked down both free throws, putting the Wizards up one. Indiana called a timeout to advance the ball. On the ensuing inbounds play Westbrook made a game-saving block on a 3-point attempt by LeVert at the buzzer, securing the Wizards’ win.
THREE THINGS TO KNOW
Westbrook ties triple-double record with game-winning performance
On an assist to Beal late in the third quarter, Westbrook secured the 181st triple-double of his career, tying Robertson for the most in NBA history. With 33 points, 19 rebounds and 15 assists, he now has a triple-double in 21 of his last 25 games and 35 total on the season, the third-highest single-season total in league history.
The former MVP did a little bit of everything early on, totaling four points, three rebounds and three assists in the first six minutes of the game, but subbed out in the first quarter following a knee-to-knee collision. Westbrook returned to the game minutes later and immediately put to rest any concern for his well-being with a game-tying 3-pointer. Westbrook totaled 15 points, seven rebounds and seven assists in the first half, capped by a buzzer-beating 3-pointer that put Washington up one at the break. He amassed 12 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists in quarters three and four, but saved plenty of juice for overtime. With Beal out, Westbrook scored six of the Wizards’ nine overtime points, including the game-winning free throws and the game-saving block.
For Westbrook, it was his 10th career triple-double against the Pacers, the most he’s recorded against any opponent. Just six days ago, he put up a 14-21-24 line against Indiana. Westbrook finishes the three-game season series with the Pacers averaging 27.3 points, 18.0 rebounds and 20.0 assists per game.
Tying the triple-double record wasn’t the only statistical milestone Westbrook his on Saturday night. With his fifth assist of the night, which set up a Robin Lopez layup with just under 10 minutes left in the first half, Westbrook passed Rod Strickland for 12th on the NBA’s all-time assists leaderboard and now has 7,998 assists in his career.
Beal scores 50, exits early
Beal’s 50-point night came in one of his most memorable performances of the season. He finished the night 19-31 (.612) from the field, 3-7 (.428) from three and 9-11 (.818) from the free throw line. After a 26-point performance in the Wizards’ shootout with the Pacers earlier this week, Beal matched that total in the first half alone on Saturday night. For Beal, it was the seventh time this season he’s scored 25-plus points in a half and just the second time he’s accomplished the feat in the first half. Beal rolled his ankle on a layup attempt in the opening minute of the third quarter, limped off the court and missed the next three minutes of the game – but returned in full force. He scored nine points in nine minutes in the third quarter and piled on another 15 in the fourth, leading the Wizards’ comeback, before exiting late in regulation with a hamstring injury. The team announced postgame that Beal had been diagnosed with a left hamstring strain and would be evaluated further on Sunday.
Wizards jump Pacers in East standings
Washington’s win over Indiana had a significant impact on the landscape of the Eastern Conference postseason race. The Wizards, who entered the matchup a half game behind the Pacers for ninth place in the conference, jumped Indiana to take sole possession of ninth with just over a week left in the regular season. In the NBA Play-In Tournament, which was implemented this season to allow seeds 7-10 a chance to play for the final two playoff spots in each conference, the nine-seed hosts the 10-seed in a single-elimination game in the first round of the Play-In. Washington won’t want to stop at nine, however. With the win, the Wizards are now just a game and a half behind the Hornets for the eight seed, another crucial benchmark in the new format.
NEXT UP: Wizards at Hawks / Monday, May 10 / 7:30 P.M. / State Farm Arena
HIGHLIGHT OF THE NIGHT