Wizards’ Russell Westbrook Sets Franchise Record in Debut Against Philadelphia

Published 12/23/2020, 9:57 PM EST
Dec 23, 2020; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Washington Wizards guard Russell Westbrook (4) scores past Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid (21) and guard Ben Simmons (25) during the second quarter at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports


It looks like the old Russell Westbrook from the Oklahoma City days has come back to life. After having a mediocre Orlando Bubble experience with the Rockets, the Californian has found his rhythm again, and he rocked in his first night with the Wizards.

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The Washington-based franchise acquired Russell Westbrook in a deal where they let go of star John Wall and a protected 2023 first-round pick. That bet has started paying off from the season opener itself. Although the Wizards lost 107-113 against the 76ers, they can at least take away one positive from the game.

Dec 23, 2020; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Washington Wizards guard Russell Westbrook (4) dribbles up court against the Philadelphia 76ers during the first quarter at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Russell Westbrook and his memorable debut for the Washington Wizards

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The game between the Wizards and Sixers went back-and-forth with both sides fighting neck-to-neck. It was the final quarter that played spoilsport and took the game away from the Wiz. For Russ, however, it was a different ball game. He had 9 points, as many assists, and 7 rebounds at the end of the first quarter itself. It was only obvious that he would have a memorable outing.

At the end of Q3, the new man in the team registered a triple-double and became the franchise’s first-even player to do that in his debut game. Although Russ struggled from behind the three-point line and his field-goal accuracy remained low, the 32-YO was great at his playmaking and defense. 

Russ had some eureka moments in the match

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Apart from his trash talking with Dwight Howard, there were many other notable moments. At a point into the third quarter, the Wizards were on a 10-point lead when Russ caught Ben Simmons off-balance after a great move.

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His step-back mid-range shots were totally on-point and everything seemed to be working well for him. Bradley Beal complimented Russ’s game just as James Harden used to do in his one-year stint with the Rockets. Bradley scored 31 points in his 36 minutes of play. Russ closed the game with 21 points, 11 boards, and 15 assists, but to no avail. It all went in vain because Philly’s starting line-up played extremely well. Joel Embiid with his double-double and a great performance coming off Ben Simmons and Shake Milton ensured that Russ wouldn’t enjoy his record.

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Sourabh Singh

1284 articles

Sourabh Singh is an NBA sports analyst for EssentiallySports, who has been working with the site since May 2020. Prior to this, he functioned as Managing Editor at WittyFeed, followed by a stint at Decathlon. The Sports Management graduate leads an active lifestyle, veering to the mountains for off-trail adventures.

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