The Wizards lost 100-99 to the Pacers on Saturday Night, falling to 30-32 for the season. Paul George led Indy with 38 points on 13 of 22 shooting while John Wall led the Wizards with 24 points, 12 assists, and 6 rebounds.
If you watched just the first half of this game, the Wizards were shooting at a very hot rate of 58.7 percent. If they shot a little better from the free throw line (7 of 11) and committed fewer than eight turnovers, you could call this an all around great performance.
But the second half happened.
Bradley Beal (12 points and 3 assists) got injured midway through the third quarter when he fell, landing on his elbow and spraining his pelvis. Once he was gone, it seemed that Washington's momentum stopped along with it. The Wizards shot a pathetic 27.9 percent from the field and continued to shoot poorly from the free-throw line (8 of 13).
Speaking about free throws, that's exactly what hit the Wizards the hardest. Nene had a chance late in the game with 10 seconds left to give the Wizards a potential 100-98 lead.
However, he only made one of two shots to give Washington a 99-98 lead. In the following possession, George was fouled with three seconds left with the Wizards in the penalty. He made both of his shots, which ultimately closed the game out.
Here are the takeaways from the loss.
Wizards lose a critical tiebreaker to an Eastern Conference opponent
First things first. Tonight's Wizards game had tiebreaker implications. The Wizards and Pacers only play three times this season. With Washington holding a 1-2 record against Indy, they lose the tiebreaker if they have identical records to finish the year.
Nene's free throw miss hurt, but the Wizards were missing them all game
It's easy to point the finger at Nene and say, "Dude, if you made just one more free throw, we would've won." But that's not the only issue at hand here.
Washington was horrible at free throw shooting tonight where they made only 15 of 24 attempts, just 62.5 percent. Even their regular season average of 74.3 percent is 22nd in the NBA.
This issue of missing free throws goes further back longer than this season. They were 21st in the NBA last season in this same area and 25th in it during the 2013-14 season. The most frustrating part about missed free throws is that there really is no other way for teams to
TL;dr: It's nice to see that Marcin Gortat made up for two free throw misses with this play.
Marcin Gortat makes up missing two free throws https://t.co/qld8XXuW64— Albert L. (@aleeinthedmv) March 6, 2016
But let's be honest. It would've been better if he made them from the beginning.
John Wall was a tale of two halves -- the bad Wall showed up in the second half too
Wall shot 6 of 9 in the first half, but just 3 of 15 in the second. In addition, he also committed five of his seven turnovers in the last 24 minutes.
Yes, this play was nice,
I dunno what to say about John Wall https://t.co/KTI1Ddr7v1— Albert L. (@aleeinthedmv) March 6, 2016
but it was a rare bright moment in a second half where he wasn't very efficient.
Beal just can't get a break this season
It seems like it's bad luck, but just when you think the Panda is coming around after another injury, this happened.
Bradley Beal takes a hard fall https://t.co/12FReytbDl— Albert L. (@aleeinthedmv) March 6, 2016
God, I hope that the pelvis injury he had isn't serious.
What's next for the Wizards
Wall and the gang will head out west for a three-game Western Conference road trip, starting with the Portland Trail Blazers on Tuesday at 10 p.m. ET.