The Washington Wizards gave no choice to the Indiana Pacers who ran out of resources or breath in the second half of the final battle for eighth place in the East playoffs in the revamped NBA play-in tournament. The resounding defeat by 142-115 It leaves no doubt that the Capitolines deserved the last playoff spot after a season finale in which they came back in the standings thanks to the continued excellence from Russell Westbrook.
Mr. Triple-Double did not have to show off his main talent, that of accumulating in all categories, and could rest on the last quarter of the triumph that quotes the Wizards with the Philadelphia 76ers, best record in the Eastern Conference, in the first round of the playoffs. Westbrook finished with 18 points, 8 rebounds and 15 assists in 33 minutes of the game, but it was his companion All Star Bradley Beal the fact that passed sentence just after the break.
The Wizards already left with a +14 to the break (66-52), but Beal seemed to take out his physical discomfort with a brilliant third quarter of 16 points. The guard, with muscular problems, was also able to rest after accumulating 25 points, 5 rebounds and 4 assists in 28 minutes of play (9-17 TC, 4-7 3P).
The Wizards opened a gap of +20 just start the second half and they left until a very hard +38 that completely disarmed a few understaffed Pacers. The casualties of Caris LeVert and Myles Turner They were more evident last night than ever and the beating of the Charlotte Hornets was like a mirage for Nate Bjorkgren’s team.
Washington changed the rhythm of the meeting thanks to the defense. The entrance of Chandler Hutchinson and Daniel Gafford, who got away with 15 points, 13 rebounds and 5 blocks In the game, they were key to opening a gap at halftime and then stepping on the accelerator as soon as the third began. Beal’s six-point streak in a row, with a 2 + 1 and a trippy immediately afterwards, he finished sinking Indiana in the equator of the third, which ended with a partial of authentic massacre (48-31).
The rest of the game was a mere formality and even Domantas Sabonis was erased with his sixth foul staff with 9 minutes to go in the last quarter. The Lithuanian said goodbye to his excellent All Star season with 19 points, 11 rebounds, 10 assists and 2 steals that did not prevent the franchise from falling from grace.
Malcolm Brogdon pulled the cart in the first half and he was the only one who timidly tried to respond to Washington’s stakes in the third period, ending with 24 points in the farewell it’s from the season. Doug McDemott, with 10 of his 13 points in the first quarter, he had remedied the tremendous gap between the two teams in the opening period.
The Wizards had already won all three of their regular-season meetings against the Pacers, and the statistics gave the visiting team few options. Washington has not scored less than 132 points in none of his four games against Indiana this year.
And another curious note: I
sh smith, with 8 points, 4 rebounds, 6 assists and an efficiency of +26, reached the playoffs with his fifth team other than the total of eleven with whom he has played in his professional career.
The play-in has been effective and attractive, after accumulating 6 million viewers of television for the summit duel between LeBron James and Stephen Curry on ‘ESPN’. Last night’s game, with less fanfare, explains another success of the tournament: it will allow us in the first round to see Westbrook and Beal annoy Embiid, Simmons and company.