The Washington Wizards picked up their seventh straight home win as they defeated the Indiana Pacers 111-105. With the win, they improved to 15-16 on the year and are now only half a game out of the playoff picture in the Eastern Conference.
Bradley Beal got off to a hot start in this one, making four of his first six shots, as he had his stepback jumper falling early. Unfortunately it wouldn’t last, as he had to head to the locker room with a sprained ankle. He re-entered the game with 6 minutes left in the 2nd quarter, but then quickly went back to the locker room for the rest of the game. Scott Brooks said after the game Beal will be day-to-day with the ankle injury.
With Beal out, the Wizards turned to John Wall to carry the load. He helped them open a big lead late in the second quarter, powering the Wizards on a 16-6 run as he forced the Pacers into foul trouble and helped the Wizards control the glass. Washington finished the first half with a 14 rebound advantage and a 10 point lead.
In the third quarter, the Pacers cut the lead down to 3 as the Wizards got careless with the ball and lost the momentum they built up earlier in the game. Paul George gave the Wizards problems all night finishing the game with 34 points and going 6-10 from distance. Jeff Teague also gave Washington fits, especially in the second half, as he finished with 19 points and 11 assists.
The Wizards were shaky at times late in the game without Beal on the floor. Washington just doesn’t have enough other players on the team who can create their own shot and spread the floor when he isn’t available and it showed in how the Washington struggled to create good looks in the second half.
But despite Beal’s injury and Indiana making a late charge, it wasn’t enough to derail the Wizards. John Wall took control late in this one to ensure they came away with the win. He scored 12 of Washington’s 26 points in the final quarter, including the final 8 of the game. He finished with 36 points, 9 assists, and 11 rebounds. It was just another dominant showing from D.C’s point guard, as he helped Washington pick up a key win that puts them right back in the thick of the playoff race.