The Washington Wizards have now won seven straight games, thanks in large part to a huge performance from Russell Westbrook, who put up 37 points, 11 rebounds, and 11 assists in a rout of the Oklahoma City Thunder on Friday night. Westbrook played well because he was confident in his jump shot, often taking Thunder players off the dribble and nailing jumpers left and right, as is often the case. That opened up the rest of Westbrook’s game, including his vicious rim attacks in transition, as the old Russ began to creep out of the shadows for 48 minutes on Friday.
In addition to Westbrook’s throwback results, Bradley Beal had a strong game, scoring 33 points on 50 percent shooting. Even with Luguentz Dort, the Thunder’s young backcourt was no match for Washington’s shrewd star pair.
The Wizards are now 26-33 on the season and back in the Eastern Conference playoff chase after this victory. It’s difficult to believe Washington will keep this up for the remainder of the season, but they’ve clawed their way back into the No. 10 seed and a chance to play in the play-in game. The Wizards are currently one game ahead of an equally motivated Chicago team for the final Eastern Conference playoff spot, in a fight that could go down to the wire this season.