The Washington Wizards bounce back at home with a victory over the Indiana Pacers 112-107. Although the Wizards 17 straight wins at home ended, they were looking to start a streak against the Pacers. John Wall had six points and six assists while Jeff Teague had nine points and three assists in the first quarter as Washington led 33-27.
The bench woes continue to be the problem for the Wizards this season. Indiana came out on a 12-5 run to take a 39-38 lead early in the second quarter. The Pacers did not ease up as they went up by as much as seven points. Washington would then go a 17-10 run to tie the game at 59 going into halftime.
Strong Finish, Fresh Start
The Wizards showed the Pacers whose house they were in by coming out strong in the third quarter. Outscoring Indiana 27-22 to take an 86-81 lead going into the final quarter. Although the Wizards played well in the third, they had to rely on their bench to open up the final quarter. Like most games, the Pacers came back due to the starters being rested. Washington was in for another close game.
After a pacer 7-2 run the game would continue to go back and forth. Wall would hit a clutch jumper with 1:20 left in the game to give his team a three-point lead. After a Paul George miss on the other end, Markieff Morris hit a huge three-pointer to give Washington a six-point lead. Ellis came back down missing a layup due to the defense of Marcin Gortat. Bradley Beal missed a couple of free-throws, but Gortat grabbed a hard-fought 16th rebound to seal the game.
Gortat added 14 points with his 16 rebounds. Morris finished the game with a season and a team-high 26 points to go along with 10 rebounds. All-star Wall had 26 points and 14 assists to make up for his seven turnovers. George had a game-high of 31 points. Teague finished 13 points and nine assists. Former Wizard Kevin Seraphin had 16 points, seven rebounds and two blocks off the bench in 24 minutes,
Long Rest For a Big Game
Washington has a nice two-day break and does not play again until Monday night. After a good win against a good Pacers team, they will now host Mr. Triple Double Russell Westbrook and the Oklahoma City Thunder. There is no question about who the Wizards main focus is and that’s Westbrook.
The last time these two teams met, the Thunder won in overtime 126-115. Washington was outscored 21-10 in overtime and could not close out the game. Westbrook finished that game with 35 points, 14 rebounds, and 11 assists. Victor Oladipo, who is from the D.C. area, finished with 25 points. Kanter had 14 off the bench but will not play in this game due to breaking his forearm. However, that was early in the season when the Wizards were 6-11 at the time. Since that game, Washington has gone 26-10, including a 2017 record of 16-3.
Washington’s main focus will be the Thunder’s backcourt who carries this offense. Westbrook will most likely have a good game, but the Wizards need to contain Oladipo. Containing him will force other players to score. Steven Adams will also be a name to watch out for down low. Washington has not forgotten about giving the game away in their last matchup so they will be ready this time. The extended rest will also help them in the long run.