Magical Pixels, Wizards vs. Pacers: Washington rides spectacular defense to immense win over East's best

Rob Carr

Well, that was unexpected.

It certainly wasn't as thrilling as triple-overtime in Toronto, but coming off a stretch where the Wizards had lost four-of-five, beating the Eastern Conference-leading Pacers, 91-78, to remain above .500 and, more importantly, increase their lead over the Bobcats for the conference's sixth-seed to 2.5 games has to be in the conversation for the biggest win of the season, no?

I mean, it's hard to come up with one that has been more important. It's cliche, but every game grows in importance as the season winds down and teams are jockeying for playoff positioning. Along those lines, tonight's tilt against the Hawks is huge, and Monday's game against the Cats is critical.

But man, what a win. I certainly didn't see it coming, but I really should have. After all, this is what the Wizards do: wins against the league's best interspersed among losses to teams they should beat.

Marcin Gortat was brilliant, recording 17 points and 12 rebounds, but more importantly, helping hold Roy Hibbert to eight points and two rebounds. John Wall guided the offense expertly, finishing with 20 points and eight assists. With Bradley Beal and Trevor Ariza both struggling from the field (they went a combined 4-for-25), Martell Webster and Al Harrington provided some much-needed punch off the bench, scoring 11 and 12 points, respectively. Drew Gooden continued to provide solid minutes, and though he didn't score much, he helped keep the paint locked down when Gortat needed a breather.

Huge win. Hopefully this fully snapped the Wiz out of their recent funk.

KEY LINKS

Road team recaps: BF StoryStreamWashington PostAP | CSN Washington (recapsidebar) | Wiz of AwesDC Pro Sports ReportWizards.comMonumental Network

Home team recaps: Indy CornrowsIndy Star8 Points, 9 SecondsInk On IndyPacers.com

Game highlights

Postgame interviews: Randy WittmanJohn WallBradley BealMarcin GortatTrevor Ariza

KEY STATS

35.4 - Indiana's field-goal percentage against the Wizards.

15.4 - Indiana's three-point percentage against the Wizards.

TWEETS OF THE NIGHT

VIDEO/GIF OF THE NIGHT

Release the Gooden? Unveil the Gooden? Whatever you want to call it, this was all of us last night.

Can't wait for Drew Gooden celebration GIFs in the playoffs.

Some more fun GIFs, courtesy of Mike.

This here's a pick and roll.

This pass is sick.

Then there was this.

And this

GAMETHREAD COMMENT OF THE NIGHT

Gt_comment

GAMETHREAD ROLLCALL

# Commenter # Comments
1 qthaballa 93
2 Wall_Hopeful 88
3 TheBackCourt 63
4 richkam14 59
5 dc_chilling 44
6 Chetho 35
7 Yeti60 29
8 Inside Job 25
9 ryanwadams 21
10 novadada 18
11 Bradley_B3al 16
12 MC-Sneaks 15
13 BulletsBaby 15
14 TyeBrown 9
15 tw10 7
16 Kend3zy 6
17 nichobert 6
18 hambonejackson 6
19 khrabb 5
20 John Wall Stan 4
21 DCKRS 4
22 PolishHammer 4
23 obeast 4
24 jobe 4
25 wync 3
26 abdou77 3
27 SladeKillah 2
28 bartek.biadasiewicz 2
29 Jormond Wall 2
30 N4Norman 2
31 ATrueNigerian 2
32 Akbar264 2
33 LRJ 2
34 ZonkerBL 1
35 DCrez 1
36 Jaba 1
37 Entr0py 1
38 elliotlevy2 1
39 thewiz06 1
40 Croftonpost 1
41 RCpige 1
42 BealMVP4ever 1
43 abala 1
44 Mike Prada 1
45 DCfaninFrance 1
46 t0Shihiro 1
47 perroandaluz 1
48 PasqualeGMP 1
49 Clutchcity202 1
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