Wizards beat Pacers in ‘must win’ game for play-in positioning

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
Andrew Gillis
·2 min read
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
This content is not available due to your privacy preferences.
Update your settings here to see it.

Wizards beat Pacers in ‘must win’ game for play-in positioning originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington

Headed down the stretch of the NBA season with just seven games left for the Wizards, it’s easy to make every game a story about their playoff chances. 

Monday was such a game. 

In a 154-141 win over the Indiana Pacers at Capital One Arena, the Wizards moved to within 0.5 games behind the Pacers, who have played one less game. They’re just 1.5 games behind the Charlotte Hornets for the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference, too. They also own the season tiebreaker against the Pacers should they need it down the stretch.

“Very important, especially the position that we’re in and the position they’re in,” Russell Westbrook said. “I believe that it was a must-win game for us. We all understood that.”

Perhaps more importantly, the Wizards are now four games above the Bulls and three games above the Raptors as each team has seven games left. It’d take a massive collapse for the Wizards to miss the playoffs. 

Now, as they inch closer toward the play-in tournament, the eighth seed isn’t out of the question — meaning they’ll need a win in one of two games to make the playoffs and face either the Brooklyn Nets or Philadelphia 76ers in all likelihood. 

But if they’re the ninth or 10th seed, they’ll have to win back-to-back games to make the postseason. Right now, the focus is on just getting into the tournament and let the seedings fall where they may.

But now, should the Wizards keep up their torrid scoring pace, getting advantageous positioning entering the play-in tournament isn’t out of the question either.

“It was a big game,” Washington coach Scott Brooks said. “Every game is a big game. In a normal season you have 82 tests and you either get an A or you get an F and I’ve always been that way. That’s the great thing about sports, you get to find the results right away.”