NBA: Russell Westbrook, surging Wizards take on Bucks

Field Level Media/Reuters

Posted at May 06 2021 01:00 AM

Russell Westbrook will look to move closer to the NBA career triple-double record when the red-hot Washington Wizards visit the Milwaukee Bucks on Wednesday night.

Westbrook's total sits at 178, three shy of the mark held by the legendary Oscar Robertson, as the Wizards (30-35) seek to win for the 14th time in 17 games.

Westbrook has 32 triple-doubles this season and is fresh off the third 20-rebound, 20-assist effort in NBA history. He has two of them (the other was on April 2, 2019) and Hall of Fame icon Wilt Chamberlain (Feb. 2, 1968) recorded the other.

Westbrook matched his career high of 24 assists, collected a career-best 21 rebounds and scored 14 points in Monday's 154-141 home win over the Indiana Pacers.

"He's amazing -- superhuman at times," Washington coach Scott Brooks said of a player he also coached in Oklahoma City. "Point guards don't do what he does. They're not built that way."

Westbrook holds the single-season, triple-double record of 42, set in 2016-17. The 32-year-old is on an amazing stretch in which he has 18 triple-doubles in his past 22 games and double-doubles in each of his past 29.

He has season averages of 21.8 points, 11.3 rebounds and an NBA-leading 11.2 assists in 58 games. With just seven games left, he is assured of averaging a triple-double for the fourth time in his career.

"Me personally, I feel like I'm the best playmaker in this league," said Westbrook, who was acquired before the season in a deal in which fellow point guard John Wall went to the Houston Rockets.

Westbrook and shooting guard Bradley Beal -- who ranks second in the NBA with a 30.9 scoring average -- have fueled Washington's rise to 10th place in the Eastern Conference. The duo will look to maintain the Wizards' torrid pace when the team opens a five-game trip in Milwaukee.

The Bucks (41-24) clinched their fifth consecutive postseason appearance with a 124-118 home win over the Brooklyn Nets on Tuesday night.

The victory was the second in three days over the Nets and allowed third-place Milwaukee to move within 1 1/2 games of the second-place Nets and three games of the first-place Philadelphia 76ers in the Eastern Conference.

"It's important to be playing well down the stretch here," Milwaukee coach Mike Budenholzer said afterward.

Two-time reigning MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo averaged 42.5 points and 10 rebounds in the two victories over Brooklyn. He had 36 points and 12 rebounds on Tuesday despite being just 11-of-30 from the field.

But Milwaukee's main cog wasn't overly impressed with the back-to-back sweep.

"They don't mean nothing," Antetokounmpo said of the wins. "Nobody's going to remember these games when we're in the playoffs."

Jrue Holiday contributed 23 points, 10 assists and eight rebounds and Khris Middleton also scored 23 points. Budenholzer was highly impressed with his team's 55-39 rebounding edge that included a career-best 15 rebounds from guard Donte DiVincenzo.

The Bucks won two mid-March games with the Wizards and have prevailed in the past seven meetings. Antetokounmpo recorded triple-doubles in both of this season's contests while averaging 32 points, 13 rebounds and 10.5 assists.

Westbrook scored 42 points while posting a triple-double in the first meeting and averaged 32.5 points, 14.5 assists and 7.5 rebounds.

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