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CLEVELAND — Russell Westbrook posted his 31st triple-double of the season with 15 points, 12 rebounds and 11 assists, and the Washington Wizards continued their post-season push with a 122-93 rout of the Cleveland Cavaliers on Friday night.
It was Westbrook’s 177th career triple-double, moving him within four of Oscar Robertson’s NBA record. He also tied Wilt Chamberlain (1967-1968) for the fourth-most triple-doubles in a season, a list that Westbrook leads with 42 in 2016-2017.
Bradley Beal scored 19 points on 8-for-24 shooting, and Raul Neto had 17 points for Washington, which strengthened its hold on the final play-in tournament spot in the East. The Wizards are 12-2 since falling a season-low 15 games below .500 on April 5.
Golden State’s Stephen Curry, whose team did not play, reclaimed the league scoring lead over Beal 31.3 points per game to 31.1.
Collin Sexton scored 22 points but had a career-high eight turnovers for Cleveland in his return from a three-game absence with a concussion. Cedi Osman had 14 points and Darius Garland had 12 before leaving with a left ankle injury in the third quarter.
Kevin Love did not attempt a shot and went scoreless in 22 minutes for the Cavaliers, who have lost five straight overall and seven of their last eight at home. Love threw an on-court tantrum Monday against the Raptors in Tampa, Florida, and publicly apologized for it two days later.
The Wizards blew the game open in the third quarter, outscoring Cleveland 33-16 to extend their lead to 89-77. A 3-pointer by Garrison Mathews late in the fourth gave them their largest advantage at 117-84.
Washington outscored the Cavaliers by 34 points in the 25 minutes played by Ish Smith, who had 11 points and four assists off the bench.
Westbrook became the third player in Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse history with multiple triple-doubles, joining former Cavaliers LeBron James (35) and Andre Miller (3). Westbrook joined James as only visiting players with two in the 27-year old building.
Wizards: Coach Scott Brooks won his 178th game with Washington, tying Randy Wittman for fifth place in franchise history. Dick Motta is fourth with 185 victories … C Robin Lopez appeared in his team-high 62nd game, only sitting out one. He did not play against San Antonio on April 26 because of a sprained left ankle. … C Thomas Bryant (left ACL tear) and F Deni Avdija (right ankle fracture) will miss the rest of the season.
Cavaliers: F Mfiondu Kabengele had his second 10-day contract expire after the game, but coach J.B. Bickerstaff said he will be signed for the remainder of the season. … F Taurean Prince (left ankle surgery), G Matthew Dellavedova (neck strain), C Isaiah Hartenstein (concussion), F Larry Nance Jr. (right thumb fracture), F Lamar Stevens (concussion) and F Dylan Windler (left knee surgery) remain unavailable.
The Wizards’ path to the playoffs includes six road games in their next seven contests. Their second-half schedule is compressed tighter than most as a result of their Jan. 13-22 shutdown for COVID-19. “Everyone in the NBA is tired at this point of the season, so that’s not an excuse,” Brooks said. “But making up those six games has led to extra travel and fewer days off, so it’s something we’ve had to adjust to.”
Wizards: Visit Dallas on Saturday. Washington is 18-11 against the West, but lost to the Mavericks 109-87 on April 3 at Capital One Arena.
Cavaliers: Host Miami on Saturday. The Heat have claimed both matchups this season, winning 113-98 on March 16 and 115-101 on April 3.
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Brian Dulik, The Associated Press