Pacers at Wizards final score: Washington uses a balanced attack to knock of Pacers 109-102

The Washington Wizards used a balanced attack led by Bradley Beal with 19 points to knock off the Indiana Pacers in a pivotal Eastern Conference matchup, 109-102. Marcin Gortat had one of his better games of the season with 18 points and eight rebounds and Kelly Oubre scored 16 points off the bench as the Wizards notch their 40th win of the season.

Washington led by as many as 20 in this one, 101-81 in the fourth quarter and looked like they might win this one in a blowout fashion. But, Pacers coach, Nate McMillan pulled his starters with 5:33 remaining in the game, which sparked an Indiana run. Indiana used a 17-4 run behind the hot shooting from Lance Stephenson and TJ Leaf to trim the Wizards lead down to seven, 105-98 late in the fourth quarter. But Scott Brooks would reinsert his starters and the Wizards would hold suit knocking off the Pacers 109-102 and win the season series, 2-1.

Takeaways 

Washington wins with a balanced attack

Five Washington players scored in double figures tonight and the team combined for 29 assists in the latest edition of ‘Everybody Eats’. After struggling for nearly the entire month of March, Gortat had a breakout game with 18 points, eight rebounds, and four assists. Kelly Oubre, who’s also struggled as of late, chipped in with 16 points off the bench including two timely three-pointers for Washington.

Tomas Satoransky continued his outstanding play with 12 points, five rebounds, and eight assists as this time; he won the dual with Cory Joseph.

The Washington bench combined for 37 points in another great all-around team effort for the Wizards.

Washington keeps Oladipo in check

Last time these two teams played, Oladipo scorched the Wizards for 33 points in an Indiana victory. That was not the case tonight as the Wizards put the clamps on Oladipo holding him to a relatively pedestrian 18 points on 7-16 shooting from the field.

Bradley Beal, who guarded Oladipo for most of the previous matchup started off defending the first-time All-Star tonight but the Wizards switched the guard positions much more freely. Tomas Satoransky also guarded Oladipo for stretches tonight and he was great at defending the dribble handoffs that the Pacers like to run.

But most importantly for Washington tonight, they limited the Pacers, specifically Oladipo’s, transition opportunities evidenced as Indiana ended the night with just four fast-break points.

Tip Ins

  • The Wizards were the beneficiaries of Indiana’s mistakes turning 15 turnovers into 26 Washington points
  • Markieff Morris turned in another strong performance with 15 points and five rebounds 

Up Next: Washington heads to San Antonio on Wednesday night where they haven’t won since 1999.

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Pacers at Wizards Recap: Wizards can’t overcome 17 point deficit, fall to Indiana 98-95

Bradley Beal had a chance to tie the game with just seconds remaining. After catching the inbounds pass, Beal sidestepped Myles Turner for a wide-open three-pointer but it fell short as the Wizards fall to the Pacers, 98-95.

Victor Oladipo, the former DeMatha product scored a game-high 33 points for the Indiana Pacers who jump into the 4-seed with the win this evening.

Bradley Beal led the Wizards with 22 points (8-27 shooting) and Otto Porter added 17 (6-12 shooting) but it wouldn’t be enough, as the Wizards can’t complete the comeback to overcome a 17-point deficit.

Turnovers, turnovers, turnovers

Washington’s bad habit of turning the ball over continued tonight as the Wizards coughed the ball up 14 times with 10 of those coming before halftime. Late in the fourth quarter with a chance to tie the game, Bradley Beal threw the ball out of bounds trying to get it to Mahinmi down low. Next time down the court, Beal had another careless pass as he tried to find Meeks but Oladipo intercepted it for an easy dunk on the other end.

Like we’ve seen over the past few games, the Pacers made the Wizards pay for their turnovers. 14 Washington turnovers led to 20 Indiana points including two easy layups late in the game as the Wizards were mounting their comeback.

No love for Otto Porter down the stretch

Otto Porter started the game just 1-7 from the field. But since the slow start, he kicked things into high gear connecting on his next five field goal attempts. But that’s where the buck stopped as Otto only had one field goal attempt (made it) in the fourth quarter this evening.

Down the stretch, Beal was the primary ball handler and he and Mahinmi would run the pick-and-roll to trigger the offensive sets. But, Beal was also forced to play 43 minutes tonight and was gassed down the stretch. As a result, his shots were coming up short and two of his five turnovers came off of lackadaisical passes.

Porter, on the other hand, had no plays run for him down the stretch and is actually in the midst of a hot shooting streak. It’s really hard to win basketball games when the ball stops moving and the second best player on your team only gets one shot in the fourth quarter.

About those rotations

Scott Brooks was already short-handed tonight with Kelly Oubre out but his rotations in the fourth quarter made no sense. Brooks went with the no point guard lineup starting at the 9-minute mark of the fourth quarter and never put Satoransky back in.

Bradley Beal was the primary ball handler but look gassed for much of the fourth quarter as he was forced to play 43 minutes tonight.

Not only did Beal not get a break, but Tomas Satoransky, Markieff Morris, and Marcin Gortat never came entered the game in the fourth quarter as Brooks opted to go with Meeks, Mike Scott, and Ian Mahinmi down the stretch.

Tip Ins

  • Bradley Beal had the first double-double of his career (of this assist variety) as he dished out 11 assists to go along with 22 points

  • Ian Mahinmi continues to play well as he scored 8 points and grabbed 9 rebounds against his former team

Next up: Miami comes to town Tuesday night for the third matchup against their divisional foe.

Wizards at Pacers final score: ‘Everyone Eats’ yet again as Washington rolls to a 111-102 victory over Indiana

Eight Wizards players scored in double figures this evening led by Bradley Beal with 21 as the Wizards knocked off the short-handed Pacers, 111-102. Otto Porter scored 13 points (11 in the second half) and the duo of Tim Frazier and Tomas Satoransky combined for 12 assists as Washington wins their fifth straight game and improves to 10-6 without John Wall on the season.

After racing out to a 28-23 lead after one quarter, like we’ve become accustomed to, Scott Brooks inserted all reserves only to watch the lead quickly vanish. But it was Kelly Oubre who got fouled shooting a three-pointer which sparked a Wizards 9-0 run as the Wizards regained control 42-34.

Bradley Beal hit this nasty step back jumper late in the second quarter, something we’ve become used to seeing on a nightly basis as the Wizards enjoyed a 58-49 lead at halftime.

After a slow first half, Otto Porter caught fire for the Wizards with 11 of his 13 points coming in the third quarter as Washington was able to take control of this game.

Jodie Meeks and Ian Mahinmi had some very timely baskets in the fourth quarter (yes, you read that correctly) as Washington was able to pull away for the 111-102 victory.

Everybody eats once again

As mentioned, eight Wizards players scored in double figures tonight led by Bradley Beal with 21 and Kelly Oubre Jr. with 15 off the bench. However, Ian Mahinmi and Jodie Meeks also scored in double figures tonight, something we’ve seldom seen from them this season.

Not only did the team share the scoring wealth, but the ball continued to zip around. Washington combined for 29 assists tonight, their fifth straight game with at least 25 assists and it was Tim Frazier and Tomas Satoransky who led the team in that department with six each.

Markieff Morris was terrific tonight as he notched a double-double with 11 points and 10 assists and Mike Scott was his usual efficient self, connecting on 5-10 field goals for 11 points as everyone eats for the fifth straight game.

Ian Mahinmi and Jodie Meeks both had really good games

Jodie Meeks, who’s stated that he wants out of Washington in hopes of playing for a team where he can have a more prominent role did well in his audition with 10 points on 4-6 shooting. Meeks knocked down his first three-pointer of the night and also hit a nice baseline jumper in the first half at a time when the Wizards were struggling to score.

Meeks backed that up with five fourth quarter points including a three-pointer in transition to give Washington a double-digit lead.

Ian Mahinmi played one of his best games for the Wizards tonight with 12 points on a perfect 4-4 shooting to go along with seven rebounds. Mahinmi was active on the offensive end bullying his was for easy layups and dunks all night.

Tip Ins:

  • Washington turned the Pacers over 15 times converting that into 29 points
  • The Wizards shot 14-17 (82 percent) from the free-throw line tonight

Up Next: Washington heads to Philadelphia to take on the 76ers tomorrow night.

Porter, Wall lead Wizards past Pacers, 111-98.

This had all the makings of a potential letdown game for the Wizards but silly me for doubting them. Washington beats Indiana 111-98 in their final game before the All-Star break for their 34th win of the season. Otto Porter led the Wizards in scoring with 25 points on 6-10 shooting from three-point range while Markieff Morris continued his tear with 21 points and seven rebounds.

Otto Porter was on fire to start the game. The NBA’s leading three-point shooter knocked down his first three three-pointers of the game. Things were going so well for Otto that the bank stayed open late as he heaved this shot off the glass for his fifth three-pointer of the first period as the Wizards led 34-27.

Like we’ve become accustomed to, the starters built up a lead up to 10; but the bench came right in and blew it. The Pacers started the quarter on an 8-3 run forcing Brooks to reinsert his starters back in earlier than he probably would have liked to.

Everything started clicking again once the starters came back in.

The Wizards led by 19 at one point, 62-43 but once again, Indiana was able to counter with a 9-0 run but the Wizards still led by 10 at halftime.

Things got a little uneasy during the third quarter as Paul George started to get hot. George, who made just two baskets in the first half hit his first two shots of the third quarter to get started. But this time, it was the Wizards turn to counter with a run. Threes from Morris, Beal and Burke helped the Wizards regain control as they enjoyed a 90-77 lead entering the fourth quarter.

And in methodical fashion, the Wizards answered every single punch thrown their way in the fourth quarter to close this one out 111-98.

After a horrific 2-8 start to the season, the Wizards find themselves in the 3-seed out east with a record of 34-21 at the All-Star break. Not too shabby.

A first quarter to remember for Otto Porter

Porter, the league’s best three-point shooter, put on a show in the first quarter. Wall found Otto in the corner as he hit his first three to start the game. The basket looked like an ocean for Porter as he continued to let it fly and the shots kept falling. Otto connected on his first three three-pointers in the period and was 5-6 overall in the first quarter.

The Markieff Morris tear continues

After a somewhat quiet first half, Morris came out firing in the second half as he hit his first three-pointer as well as several fadeaways near the basket when matched up against smaller players. Morris ended the night with 21 points on 8-12 shooting and snatched seven rebounds. Morris was a key contributor for the Wizards in the second half as he provided them with timely buckets as the Wizards started to pull away.

Wall, Wizards pull away from Pacers win, 112-107.

Three Wizards players log double-doubles led by John Wall and Markieff Morris with 26 points a piece as the Wizards pull away from the Pacers and win 112-107. Marcin Gortat added 14 points and 16 rebounds while Beal scored 20 as the Wizards knock down an eastern conference foe hunting them down in the standings.

It looked like Otto Porter was going to be in for a big game. Porter scored eight points in the first period and knocked down his first three-pointer of the night. Unfortunately for Porter, he was shutout the rest of the game. For the first time in a long time, Scott Brooks went with all five reserves on the floor to end the first quarter. The Wizards led 33-27 after one.

The Wizards were a cold 2-7 from the floor to begin the second quarter. The starters came back in and countered with an 8-0 run with all points coming courtesy of Morris. The Pacers lead was stretched to as much as nine but the Wizards came back and tied the game at 59 at halftime.

The teams traded buckets for most of the third quarter. Once again, Brooks reinserted all five reserves to end the quarter and they were able to regain the lead as they capitalized on swift cuts and were able to get easy buckets.

The Pacers wouldn’t go away. Tough shots from Paul George down the stretch kept Indiana within striking distance. With under a minute remaining, Wall looped around the court and found Morris for a wide-open three as the Wizards would take a 108-102 lead and never look back.

Wizards win 112-107.

Frontcourt comes up big

Markieff Morris and Marcin Gortat both notched double-doubles and combined for 40 points and 26 rebounds (10 OREB). Morris scored a season-high 26 points on 11-18 shooting while knocking down three three-pointers. Gortat came up big with eight offensive rebounds often resulting in second chance points. Gortat’s biggest offensive rebound of the game came with 40 seconds remaining as Beal missed both free-throws but Gortat was there to knock it out and give Washington an extra possession.

Brooks plays all five reserves at once

Scott Brooks has been shuffling lineups for almost the entire season and continued to do so tonight. Before, Brooks always kept a starter on the floor. Tonight, he went with all five reserves for five-minute stretches at two points in the game. The bench relinquished the lead in the first half but built out the lead in the second half. Clearly, Brooks seems to have more and more confidence in his bench as of late. That, or he’s trying to keep the starters’ minutes down as much as possible.

Wizards get back to business

After a heartbreaker against the Cavs and an uninspiring win against the Nets, the Wizards looked like themselves tonight. John Wall was doing John Wall things while Beal was knocking down three-pointers as he usually does. Nice all around win against a team a few games behind them in the standings.

Young hits circus shot with .9 seconds, drops Wiz 107-105.

Thaddeus Young hit a circus shot with .9 seconds left to put the Pacers up, 107-105. The Wizards had one last chance as Bradley Beal curled free off a screen for a good look at a three-pointer but it wouldn’t fall.

Wizards fall to the Pacers, 107-105, ending their three-game win streak.

For the first time in a long time, the Wizards got off to a hot start as they hit five of their first six field goals to take an early 12-1 lead. Bradley Beal and John Wall both scored 10 points each in the quarter for the Wizards as they led 36-29 after the first period.

The Pacers erased the lead as they used a 9-0 run late in the second quarter behind hot shooting from Paul George and Jeff Teague to tie the game at 57 going into halftime.

The start of the third quarter was sloppy as the Pacers started 0-6 from the field where the Wizards were just 2-9. Tomas Satoransky got his “welcome to the NBA” moment at Jeff Teagues’ expense. Teague blew by Satoransky on several occasions and used a nasty spin move for a layup that turned the rookie around.

The Wizards cut into the lead with a 7-0 run to start the fourth quarter but the Pacers had an answer of their own. George took over in the quarter as he continuously hit tough shots over Beal, Morris, and Porter.

With 15 seconds left at the Wizards down two, Bradley Beal pulled up for what looked like three but ended up being a long two. Rather than taking a one-point lead, the Wizards and Pacers were all tied up at 105 with 15 seconds to play.

Young would hit a circus shot over Morris with just .9 seconds to play as Beal would miss his shot at a game-winner on the other end. Wizards lose, 107-105.

Wizards go cold from three-point range

After starting the game 3/4 from distance, the Wizards went just 5/29 the rest of the game. Beal and Porter hit threes early as the Wizards started out on an early 12-1 run. Things cooled down for the Wizards from deep in the second and third quarters but they were awakened in the fourth. Otto Porter hit another key three-pointer as Bradley Beal also had two more key threes as the Wizards chipped away at the Pacers lead.

Shooting 24 percent from three-point range is less than ideal considering the hot start.

Wizards have no answer for Paul George

George was an All-Star tonight as he scored a game-high 27 points. The Wizards had no answer as George took turns feasting on several Wizards players. Otto started on George but the Wizards switched Beal onto him and even Morris at times. It didn’t matter, as George was unstoppable tonight.

The loss stings but isn’t too upsetting

Yes, the loss stings, but not all hope is lost. The Wizards were very competitive for the entire game considering they were on a second half of a back-to-back and coming off their biggest win of the season. There were times in the quarter when it looked like the Pacers would pull away and the Wizards would just pack it in, but they didn’t. They continued to battle and stay competitive throughout. If this game was played one month ago, I don’t know if we’d be saying the same thing.

A way too early ranking of the Eastern Conference

Last week we took a look at how the teams stack up early in the Southeast Division.

Now let’s see how the entire Eastern Conference stacks up now that free agency is in the rearview mirror.

1. Cleveland Cavaliers

The Cavs just won the championship. Cleveland just re-signed LeBron James to a three-year deal. Not much else to discuss here. Let’s keep moving.

2. Toronto Raptors

The Raptors are here by default. After making their first Eastern Conference Finals appearance in team history, the Raptors are looking to build on that momentum to carry them even further. They re-signed All-Star DeMar DeRozan to a five-year $145 million dollar year to keep the dynamic backcourt of Kyle Lowry and DeRozan intact.

Bismack Biyombo played out of his mind during the playoffs earning him a large payday but with the Orlando Magic. Many think that Biyombo’s departure could potentially set the Raptors back. I disagree. Biyombo is a backup center and a rim protector. He averaged 5.5 points and eight rebounds during the regular season but those numbers jumped 6.2 points and 9.4 rebounds during the postseason. Biyombo is a force to be reckoned with on the defensive end but is very limited on the offensive end. He’s a classic energy guy who happened to explode on a national stage at the right time. Yes, they’ll miss his defensive presence and shot-blocking; it’s just, I don’t think that’s enough to set the entire team back.

The Raptors replaced Biyombo with the acquisition of Jared Sullinger. As a starter last season, Sullinger averaged 10.3 points and 8.3 rebounds for the Celtics. However this year, he’s expected to come off of the bench for the Raptors. Sullinger’s playing style is the opposite of Biyombo. Sullinger is shorter in stature but throws his weight around to gain position in the paint. Sullinger can stretch the floor and is effective in doing so as he shot 44.1 percent from shots 5-9 feet from the basket and 44.9 percent on shots 20-24 feet from the hoop.

He isn’t a great three-point shooter but is capable of knocking them down as he shot a modest 28.2 percent from distance last season which is better than most centers.

The Raptors did what they had to do to stay at the top of the Eastern Conference. They may not scare Cleveland, but keeping DeRozan and other key players intact will make them a force to be reckoned with next season.

3. Boston Celtics

The Celtics return four of their five starters from last season. They upgraded at the center position in acquiring Al Horford to fill the void left by Jared Sullinger. Although Horford is 30 years old, the former All-Star is an instant upgrade over Sullinger as he averaged more points (15.2), shot better from the field (50.5 percent), and shot better from three-point range (34.4 percent).

Plug in rookie Jaylen Brown and now the Celtics have another long wing to go alongside Jae Crowder, Amir Johnson, Jonas Jerebko, and Gerald Green.

Additionally, according to ESPN.com, the Celtics are projected to have the easiest schedule in the league next season.

This team still lacks an “alpha dog” as I don’t believe Isaiah Thomas has reached that level yet. However, they still have a very good roster and one of the top coaches in the NBA. The arrow continues to point up for this team.

4. Indiana Pacers

The Indiana Pacers didn’t get much publicity but positioned themselves very well for next season. The Pacers upgraded at point guard acquiring Indianapolis native Jeff Teague from the Atlanta Hawks in a three-team trade. Teague and Hill shot almost identical shooting percentages from three-point range and from the field, however,Teague averaged more points (15.7) and assists (5.9).

Us Wizards fans know that Ian Mahinmi is now gone from the Pacers. The Pacers seem very pleased and confident to move forward with second-year player Myles Turner at center and they also signed a Swiss Army Knife player in Thaddeus Young.

The Pacers secured up the center position with Al Jefferson and it’s very clear that Paul George is back to his superstar ways. The Pacers do have a new coach in Nate McMillan to get used to, however; this team looks poised to take a step forward after getting eliminated in the first round of the playoffs.

5. Detroit Pistons

The Pistons bring back essentially the same roster that they had last season after re-signing All-Star center Andre Drummond. In somewhat of an under the radar move, the Pistons acquired Boban Marjanovic from the Spurs to play the backup center position. He is still somewhat of an unknown as he didn’t get too much playing time in San Antonio, however, he’s coming from the best culture in the NBA and will practice against one of the best centers in the NBA in Andre Drummond.

Tobias Harris and Marcus Morris will now have the entire offseason to get acclimated with the team rather than learning on the fly in just 30 games prior to the postseason. The Pistons have a nice core of players and young guys such as Stanley Johnson and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope who should continue to get better with time.

Expect a big step forward from the Pistons this season.

6. Charlotte Hornets

The losses of Jeremy Lin, Al Jefferson and Courtney Lee sting; No doubt about it. But as Kemba Walker enters his sixth NBA season, I feel that he’s on the verge of a breakout year. Walker scored a career-best 20.9 points last season. After getting snubbed from the All-Star game, Walkers’ numbers ballooned to 25.2 points, 6.1 assists, and 5.6 rebounds in the three weeks afterward. Walker has had his superstar moments evidenced by his 52-point game against the Jazz last season. We’ve seen Walker perform at All-Star levels in stretches; now’s the time where he does it for an entire season.

Outside of Walker, the Hornets kept many key guys intact by re-signing Nicolas Batum and Marvin Williams. With Michael Kidd-Gilchrist still around along with young, fresher guys in Cody Zeller, Frank Kaminsky, and Jeremy Lamb to round out the roster. That’s enough to make the Hornets the early favorites to win the Southeast division.

7. Washington Wizards

The Wizards return their starting five (after the All-Star game) from last season. The big X-factor this season will be Bradley Beal. Will he stay healthy? That’s the $128 million dollar question. Although he feels his injury woes are behind him, the elephant in the room will remain until Beal proves that he can stay healthy as the four-year player averages just 62 games played per season in his short four-year career.

Another uncertainty for the Wizards is Otto Porter’s development. He has continued to develop over the past three seasons, however if the Wizards are going to be relevant in the playoff race again, they’ll need Porter to take yet another step forward. He needs to continue to increase his scoring as the front office is all in on him and Kelly Oubre at the small forward position.

John Wall on the mend from knee surgery and Bradley Beal’s health are a constant question mark, so if Porter can take on more of a scoring load for this team early; that will pay dividends down the road.

8. Miami Heat

Let me preface this by saying this ranking assumes Chris Bosh DOESN’T play next season.

The Heat lost key players in Dwyane Wade, Luol Deng, and Joe Johnson to free agency. That hurts. The team will now be counting on Goran Dragic, Hassan Whiteside and up and comer Justice Winslow to carry the torch for this team.

The Heat should be just fine defensively as Eric Spoelstra is known for his defensive schemes however the offense is another question. Hassan Whiteside is limited offensively, the team replaced Wade with Dion Waiters, but will count on Goran Dragic to carry the scoring load. Dragic has averaged 20 points for a season just once in his career and if the Heat are going to be competitive this year, he’ll need to do that again.

The wildcard here is Chris Bosh. As mentioned, Bosh has been dealing with blood clots over the past two years causing him to miss 67 games over the past two seasons. If Bosh is cleared to play and can stay healthy, that should be enough for the Heat to make the playoffs. If he can’t, the Heat will probably be on the outside looking in.

9. Chicago Bulls

Will the Bulls make any three-pointers next year? It can be assumed that Rondo, Wade, and Butler will be starting at the point guard, shooting guard, and small forward positions. None of them shoot threes very well. That leaves Nikola Mirotic, the team’s power forward, as the Bulls’ best three-point option.

10. Atlanta Hawks

The Hawks lost Jeff Teague and Al Horford in the offseason. Yes, they signed Dwight Howard but he has proven that he’s not the easiest teammate to play with. In addition, Dennis Schroder will now be counted on to lead this team. There’re too many unknowns right now. Expect the Hawks to fall out of the playoffs.

11. New York Knicks

Derrick Rose was right. The Knicks did form a “Super-Team”…… if the year was 2011. The Knicks should have an improved record now that there’s more talent surrounding Carmelo Anthony and Kristaps Porzingis. It’s just the players they signed in Derrick Rose, Joakim Noah, and Courtney Lee are injury prone or are already past their prime.

12. Milwaukee Bucks

I thought the Bucks would break out last year but they didn’t. They have youth, size, athleticism, and a good coach (so we think). They fooled me last year. Now I need to see the improvement to believe it.

13. Orlando Magic

The Magic added size and athleticism in the offseason. Bismack Biyombo and Serge Ibaka are good players; however, scoring is not their strong suit. Scoring for this team will be difficult.

14. Philadelphia 76ers

They went 10-72 last season and drafted the preseason favorite for rookie of the year in Ben Simmons. Can only go up from here, right?

15. Brooklyn Nets

Close your eyes Nets’ fans.