On Friday night, the Washington Wizards(33-38) did what the Cleveland Cavaliers(22-49) set out to do this season. That is making the Play-In Tournament, and Washington did that by defeating the Cavaliers 120-105 at Capital One Arena.
Russell Westbrook had career triple-double number 183 on Friday night as he had 21 points, 17 assists, and 12 rebounds. For Cleveland, Collin Sexton had a game-high 26 points, Jarrett Allen had 18 points and 14 rebounds, and rookie Isaac Okoro had 17 points, six rebounds, and five assists.
Washington is currently in the 10th spot in the East and could get as high as eight if a few things go their way. The Wizards finish the season at home against the Hornets on Sunday.
As for Cleveland, they finish off the season in Brooklyn against the Nets on Sunday. Cleveland has dropped 12 of their last 13 games, and while this season was a disappointment for the Cavaliers, Allen, who will be a restricted free agent at the end of the season, believes the future is bright for this team.
“I think we have the pieces,” Allen said. “It’s tough because we haven’t seen them in three weeks on the court… But just look at us before All-Star break; we went on a four-game winning streak. That’s when we were playing, arguably, our best basketball when I was here. From there, it just went up and down.”
Allen has also seen improvements from Cleveland’s young players.
“Over these past couple of weeks, if you look at the core, you can pick out one thing that everybody has improved on,” Allen said. “From Darius Garland, Isaac(Okoro), Collin(Sexton), throw me in there. Just everybody has been improving in little ways. Showing that we have the talent to be that team. It’s just going to take experience and time.”
At this point, Cleveland has to focus on the positives, and Garland, Sexton, Allen, and Okoro have been positives this season. If those guys can get better in the offseason and things work out in the lottery, maybe the Cavaliers will be having a different discussion this time next season.
-Garland returned on Friday night after missing seven games with a sprained ankle. In 12 minutes off the bench, Garland had three points and two assists.
-Kevin Love missed Friday’s game due to rest.