The Washington Wizards avoided a pre All-Star break lull, defeating the Indiana Pacers 111-98 for their 34th win on the season. Markieff Morris and Otto Porter carried most of the teams scoring throughout the game, finishing with 21 and 25 points respectively.
Bradley Beal remained aggressive and put up 19 points of his own, as his backcourt partner and star John Wall dished out 12 assists and scored 20 himself. Marcin Gortat remained consistent, with 12 points, 7 rebounds, and a +14 line.
The Wizards came out on fire from downtown, scoring 20 points in the first 7 minutes of the game. Mr. Otto-matic was just that, hitting five of six three pointers, including a miraculous banker at the end of the first quarter. Their 34-27 lead at the end of the quarter helped them extend their streak of leading at the end of the first quarter to 12.
The starters had to come back in the game early in the second quarter, and they showed why they have one of the highest plus/minuses among any lineup in the league. Brad showed the stroke and John got everyone involved, as the crowd rained down erroneous chants of “overrated.”
They carried that momentum throughout the third quarter. By the end of the period, Wall had a double-double. It’s the ninth game in a row he’s gotten a double-double, a mark that ties his own franchise record. The Wizards ended the quarter shooting a blistering 52.3 percent from the field, and carried a 13 point lead going into the final period.
The second unit did a better job of holding their own in the first part of the final quarter, but it still wasn’t always pretty. Despite that, Washington still hit 100 points by the 5:30 mark in the fourth quarter, their 22nd straight game of reaching triple digits.
Things started to get tight late, but boy did John show up in the final few minutes, hitting huge jumpers and swatting Rodney Stuckey in an emphatic fashion. A few long jump shots later and Washington sent Indiana home sad for the third time on the season, with a 111-98 victory.
How Many Times? How Many Times?
The Wizards had a decent lead going into the second, and then the bench mob came in. I hate harping on the bench, because it has become a cliché as a Washington writer, but they did not do the job in this one.
The Pacers bench handled business and forced an uneasy Scott Brooks to quickly reinsert John and Brad. Ernie Grunfeld really needs to help this bench unit out with a pure scoring guard. I heard something about a deadline coming up soon.
Otto Porter Is My All-Star
Porter came out and rained three pointers early and late, causing a complete shift in Pacers’ defensive game plan. Paul George had to shift off of Bradley Beal, which allowed for some easy Panda jumpers.
He forced rapid closeouts by Indiana’s big men, resulting in numerous easy put backs. On top of the usual stellar shooting, Otto was driving and dishing. He also did a fantastic job whenever he was guarding Paul George. How did he even do this....
Feel like people from Missouri always win PowerBall. Here's Otto Porter. pic.twitter.com/8k6nrnKNov— Kyle Weidie (@Truth_About_It) February 17, 2017
This Myles Turner Kid is a Unicorn of His Own
Basketball bloggers outside of Indiana do not pay enough attention to Myles Turner. He is in the same special young big man category with Porzingis and KAT. The center showed shooting stroke and a willingness to rebound with his slender frame.
He was the only real problem for Washington, shooting right over Keef and finishing the game with 17 points and 9 rebounds. Paired with George, the two could be a potential all-star duo.