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Russell Westbrook delivers on midseason vow, leads Washington Wizards to playoffs

the Washington Wizards
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The New York Times
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(2:40)During an impassioned speech that took place in the middle of the season after a loss, Russell Westbrook told the Washington Wizards that they were going to make the playoffs despite all the injuries, a COVID-19 outbreak and losing streaks the team had to endure this season.On Thursday night, Westbrook delivered on his vow, scoring 18 points, dishing 15 assists and grabbing eight rebounds to spark Washington's emphatic 142-115 play-in tournament rout over the visiting Indiana Pacers to clinch the eighth seed.Washington next faces the top-seeded Philadelphia 76ers on Sunday in the first round after completing a relentless run to a playoff berth that hasn't been done in nearly 25 years. Once a dismal 17-32 on April 5, the Wizards became the first team to make the playoffs after being 15 games under .500 during the season since the Phoenix Suns in 1996-97.It's something that has been accomplished only six times since 1984."We were struggling and everybody was down on the outside and we had to figure out a way to knuckle up and make the playoffs," Westbrook said about his playoff promise to the team.

As said here by Ohm YoungmisukESPN Staff Writer