Morning tip: Last hurdle for Wizards going into All-Star break


The best-case scenario is unfolding for the Wizards with tonight's game at the Indiana Pacers as the last matchup before the All-Star break begins for one of the NBA's most surprising teams. 

The Wizards (33-21) can secure the season series with a victory to earn another tiebreaker in the East. It also allows them to solidify their hold on the third spot and keep pace with the second-place Boston Celtics (37-19). 

It comes on the heels of a blowout win over the Oklahoma City Thunder and an epic showdown the the Cleveland Cavaliers that was on overtime loss. 

"There can be a letdown. There's no question," Wizards coach Scott Brooks said. "We've had a couple of big weeks of playing at a high level. It's All-Star break. It's the time of the year. all coaches are worried. Everybody is working on their plans on what are they going to do for that week. Hopefully, our guys have done that already. We have one more game."

The last meeting vs. Indiana was at Verizon Center on Feb. 10, a 112-107 victory that was Washington's  19th in their last 20 on their home floor. 

John Wall had 26 points and 14 assists and Bradley Beal eventually broke free of Paul George to score 20. Markieff Morris had 26 points and 10 rebounds.

"Our backcourt is dynamic. Our backcourt can make plays for each other. Our backcourt can score when they need to," Brooks said. "They playmake for their teammates. Our team is good because we have a good group of guys going in the same direction. ... We're good because all of the guys are on the same page and we have the same thoughts."


In the previous two years, Marcin Gortat projected that the Wizards would win 50 games. They came up short in 2015 (46) and shorter in 2016 (41). He refrained from doing it again going into this season, but this could be the year that they finally do it for the first time since 1979.

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