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    Wizards clinch play-in spot with victory over also-ran Cavaliers

    May 15, 2021
    PHOTO: AP

    By Bobby Bancroft

    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 (Saturday, Manila time) 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.

    Davis Bertans scored 17 points, and Rui Hachimura and Robin Lopez each had 14 as seven Wizards reached double figures.

    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.

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    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.

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    Collin Sexton had 26 points and Jarrett Allen had 18 points and 14 rebounds for Cleveland, which has lost seven straight on the road. Isaac Okoro had 17 points and Cedi Osman added 16.

    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.

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    Cavaliers: Kevin Love (right calf strain management) missed his 46th game of the season. ... G Darius Garland returned after missing seven games with a sprained left ankle and scored three points in 12 minutes. ... Cleveland shot 57.1 % (12 of 21) in the first quarter and led 33-31. ... Osman was back in the starting lineup after missing three games with a sprained left ankle. ... Coach J.B. Bickerstaff picked up a technical in the fourth.

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    Wizards: 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. ... G Raul Neto was out with left hamstring tightness. ... Westbrook broke a tie with Gary Payton and is now the 39th-leading scorer in NBA history with 21,834 points. ... F Chandler Hutchinson started his first game of the season.

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    UP NEXT

    Cavaliers: Wrap up their season at Brooklyn on Sunday.

    Wizards: Host Charlotte on Sunday in a game that may have play-in seeding implications.

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    PHOTO: AP
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