Russell Westbrook has been at his best vs. Pacers; can that carry over?

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Westbrook has been at his best vs. Pacers; can that carry over? originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington

The Wizards return home to Washington on Thursday to host the Indiana Pacers in the final game of the play-in tournament, with the eight-seed in the Eastern Conference and their season on the line. Win and they head to Philly for Game 1 against the Sixers on Sunday. Lose and their memorable 2020-21 season is over.

The good news is the Wizards have a guy in Russell Westbrook who has been at his best against the Pacers this season. It was a year that saw him average a triple-double for the fourth time in his career, break Oscar Robertson's all-time record and set career-highs in assists and rebounds. He was good against everyone, but even better against Indiana.

In three games vs. the Pacers, Westbrook averaged stats so astronomical you may need to look twice. In three games, all wins, he put up 27.3 points, 20.0 assists, 18.0 rebounds, 1.3 blocks and 1.3 steals. That was all while shooting 50 percent from the field, 53.8 percent from three and 83.3 percent at the line.

Here's how his three games against them broke down:

March 29: 35 points, 21 assists, 14 rebounds, 2 steals, block

May 3: 14 points, 24 assists, 21 rebounds, steal, block

May 8: 33 points, 15 assists, 19 rebounds, steal, 2 blocks

The 24 assists and 21 rebounds on May 3 gave Westbrook a stat-line unique to NBA history. The May 8 game tied him with Robertson for the career triple-doubles record, which he would then break in the next game.

Westbrook's success against the Pacers goes even further back. His 10 triple-doubles against them are his most against any franchise despite the fact he played in the Western Conference for most of his career and would face them half as many times as teams from the West. He averages more rebounds (9.9) against the Pacers than any other team and his assists average (10.8) is tied for his most.

Related: Why fans are apologizing to Westbrook for doubting the trade

The Wizards and Westbrook have that history behind them going into Thursday's game, but it won't mean much if he can't carry it over. Tuesday's loss to the Celtics was not Westbrook's best game, as head coach Scott Brooks thought he never got into a shooting rhythm. Westbrook was wearing a sleeve under his jersey for the first time this season, which led to questions about whether he was playing through an injury.

Brooks and Westbrook said it's just nicks and bruises, usual stuff for a player this time of year. And despite being off, Westbrook still put up solid numbers of 20 points, 14 rebounds, five assists, three steals and two blocks. The main probelm was that he shot 6-for-18 (33.3%) from the field.

The Wizards may need more from Westbrook, or at least a more efficient night, against the Pacers, especially with All-Star guard Bradley Beal not at 100 percent and Davis Bertans in a shooting slump. Somebody needs to step up to save the Wizards season, who better than the guy who has owned their next opponent all year?