The Wizards Destroyed The Pacers To Earn The 8-Seed In The East

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After the Wizards lost to the Celtics in Boston and the Pacers crushed the Hornets in Indiana on Tuesday, the final Eastern Conference play-in game was set for a showdown for the 8-seed in Washington. With the way Indiana played against Charlotte, the hope was for a competitive game — as we saw between the two in the regular season in three high-scoring shootouts that went Washington’s way — but unfortunately for the Pacers, the game was all-but decided by the mid-third quarter in what became a 142-115 blowout win by the Wizards.
Russell Westbrook and Bradley Beal, as they’ve done throughout the second half of the season, led the way for Washington. Westbrook finished with 18 points, 15 assists, and eight rebounds, bouncing back from a dismal showing in Boston to be the sparkplug he has been for the past few months. Beal, meanwhile, had 25 points, five boards, and four assists in the win, as both players got to enjoy the fourth quarter from the bench after dominating the third quarter, 48-31.

WE’RE UP 25!!!!#WizPacers | @RealDealBeal23
— Washington Wizards (@WashWizards) May 21, 2021
— Washington Wizards (@WashWizards) May 21, 2021

Brad with SIXTEEN in the third quarter already!#WizPacers | @RealDealBeal23
— Washington Wizards (@WashWizards) May 21, 2021

The lasting image of the game is the celebration after Westbrook’s pass to Beal for the third quarter dunk, as TNT’s sideline camera captured an incredible shot of both of them.

Put it in the Louvre
— Washington Wizards (@WashWizards) May 21, 2021

For Indiana, it was a disastrous defensive effort and an equally poor offensive showing in the win or go home setting. Domantas Sabonis had a 19-point, 11-rebound, 10-assist triple double and Malcolm Brogdon had 24 points, but they just could not keep up with or contain the Wizards from the second quarter on. Washington had, effectively, a layup line going any time they wanted it and the Pacers will be going back to the drawing board — possibly with a new coach — as they enter the offseason.
Washington will now head to Philadelphia on Sunday for their Game 1 against the Sixers in a series that will pit one of the NBA’s best defenses in Philly against an offense that has been absolutely rolling over the past couple months.