The Wizards couldn’t have asked for a more perfect night from their star players Bradley Beal and Russell Westbrook.
In a must-win game against an Indiana Pacers team that sat just ahead of Washington for the ninth-seed in the Eastern Conference standings, the Wizards (30-35) came together in a big way to dominate the Pacers with a season-high in scoring as they took home their 11th win in 13 games, 154-141.
Brad was his typically dominant self in the scoring department, putting up 26 points to go with six assists, but it was Russell Westbrook who generated the headlines with an outrageous 14-point, 21-rebound, 24-assist triple-double. His line marked just the third time in NBA history that a player was able to get more than 20 rebounds and 20 assists in a game, and Westbrook managed to do it while also setting career highs in both categories.
BB and Westbrook showcased their connection all night, with Westbrook assisting on seven of Brad’s 11 field goals, including one with 6:30 left in the first quarter where Westbrook zipped a laser from the right-wing into the opposite dunker’s spot, finding a cutting BB for an easy layup. Westbrook also found a running No. 3 in transition multiple times throughout the game, as Indiana struggled to keep up with Washington’s up-tempo style.
Washington’s hot shooting started up quickly, as the team finished the half shooting 57 percent from the field, for their highest-scoring half of the season with 82 points. Brad finished the half with a team-high 16 points while Westbrook already had a double-double with 12 rebounds and 14 assists.
Despite some hot shooting of their own, the Pacers were simply unable to keep up with the Wizards’ torrid pace, and Indiana couldn’t cut Washington’s lead down to single digits for the entirety of the second half. With the Wiz up 122-102 going into the fourth quarter, it became less about if the Pacers could come back and win and more about just how high the score would go. The last time Washington had scored more than 150 points was during the 2019-20 season when they tallied 158 against the Houston Rockets on October 30.
With just seven games left in the regular season, the Wizards now sit just a half-game behind the Pacers for the No. 9 spot in the East and they now own the tiebreaker. The Wizards will meet up with the Pacers one more time on Saturday, May 8,
But they’ll have to first focus on another tough road back-to-back.
Their next game comes on Wednesday, May 5 in Milwaukee against the Bucks. The Wiz have lost their previous two meetings with Milwaukee this season, but a win on Wednesday could prove to be a huge deal for Washington’s playoff hopes. That game tips at 8 p.m. ET on Wednesday.
Those playoff hopes will also ride on Thursday’s game against the Toronto Raptors in Tampa, Florida. Washington has a three-game lead on Toronto with seven games to play, so a head-to-head win could all but bury the Raptors and assure the Wiz a play-in spot. Thursday’s game tips at 7:30 p.m. ET.