Russell Westbrook didn’t wait long to make himself at home in D.C.
The former MVP opened his Washington Wizards tenure by securing a triple-double in less than three quarters, but it wasn’t enough to get the win. The Philadelphia 76ers got the 113-107 victory in a close game.
Westbrook finished with 21 points, 15 assists and 11 rebounds to get the first-ever triple-double in a Wizards debut, and there were highlights a plenty.
RUSS STEPBACK GOT 'EM. pic.twitter.com/XjmvbpOoW2
— Washington Wizards (@WashWizards) December 24, 2020
Of course, the triple-double came with some of the standard Westbrook-ian caveats. Along with his six turnovers, Westbrook’s 21 points came on an inefficient 22 shots, missing both of his shots from deep and going 3-for-8 in the paint.
The triple-double was the No. 147 of Westbrook’s career as he closes in on Oscar Robertson’s NBA record of 181. Given that Westbrook has averaged 33.7 triple-doubles in the last three seasons, odds are looking good he’ll pull it off by next season.
It was overall a fairly promising night for the Wizards’ new look, even in defeat. A team that had major defensive concerns on paper showed good life when the Sixers had the ball. The bigger issue was the bench, as a group of Robin Lopez, Ish Smith and Troy Brown Jr. got heavily outscored.
Bradley Beal remained his All-Star self with 31 points, while Davis Bertans started his new contract with 14 points on 4-of-6 3-point shooting. Ninth overall pick Deni Avdija was quietly valuable, posting seven points and four rebounds while looking way more comfortable than a 19-year-old should in his NBA debut.
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