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Wizards vs. Pacers: TV, live stream and radio info, things to watch

Wizards vs. Pacers: TV, live stream and radio info, things to watch

John Wall, Bradley Beal and the Washington Wizards battle Paul George, Myles Turner and the Indiana Pacers on Thursday night as they aim to continue rising the ranks of the NBA's Eastern Conference.

Here is all you need to know: TV, live stream and radio info, tip-off time, plus three things to watch…

WASHINGTON WIZARDS at INDIANA PACERS

Where: Bankers Life Fieldhouse
Tip-off: 7 p.m.
TV: CSN (coverage begins at 6:30 p.m.)
Live stream: CSNmidatlantic.com
Radio: 1500 AM

Three things to watch...

Season series comes to a close

After the Wizards beat the Pacers on Saturday night at the Verizon Center, center Marcin Gortat looked ahead to Thursday's matchup and described it as a "very tough situation." He went on to explain how not only were they seeing the Pacers twice in a short period of time, just six days, but that the second meeting would be the series finale between the teams. He knew that the Pacers would come back even more motivated than usual to tie up the season series and not let the Wizards take a 3-1 advantage.

That record is important because if the Wizards win on Thursday and move to 3-1 vs. Indiana, they will hold a tiebreaker for playoff seeding. Right now the Wizards are third in the East, while the Pacers are sixth and just 4 1/2 games behind them. Seeding could be very important for this basic reason: finishing in the top three would likely mean avoiding the Cavaliers until the Eastern Conference Fnals.

[RELATED: John Wall enters MVP territory in domination of Thunder]

100-point streak

The Wizards continue to light up the scoreboard, having put up 100 points or more in 21 straight games after their dismantling of the Oklahoma City Thunder on Monday night. That 21-game streak is the longest in franchise history since 1989 and only 10 other teams have accomplished the feat this century, since the year 2000.

If they can score 100 on Thursday against Indiana, the Wizards will match the longest such streak in Scott Brooks' coaching career. The longest for him is 22 games, set back in 2015 with the Oklahoma City Thunder. Brooks coached some very good teams in OKC that featured superstars Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and James Harden, all current MVP candidates who are in the top nine of NBA scoring right now. Yet Brooks' current Wizards team is averaging more points (108) per game than any of his teams in Oklahoma City ever did.

[RELATED: Pistons willing to trade All-Star Andre Drummond]

Going out on a high note

Regardless of what happens on Thursday night in Indiana, their final game before All-Star weekend, the Wizards will feel good about themselves heading into the break. They have turned their season all the way around, sit 33-21 overall and third in their conference. With Kevin Love's injury keeping him out of the Cavs' lineup for six weeks, the idea of the Wizards going on a run at the top seed in March does not seem far-fetched. 

If the Wizards win on Thursday, they will be 13 games above .500 for the first time since Feb. 9 of 2015. They have won 17 of their last 20. A win against the Pacers would be a nice end to an impressive first part of the season for Washington.

[RELATED: Barkley and Shaq say John Wall is East's best point guard]

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Dwight Howard improving, but status still unknown entering Wizards' season opener

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NBCSW

Dwight Howard improving, but status still unknown entering Wizards' season opener

Dwight Howard may play in the Wizards' regular-season opener on Thursday night against the Miami Heat, but the team will not know until the day of the game and likely won't announce the decision either way until head coach Scott Brooks addresses the media about two hours before tipoff.

Howard only has three practices under his belt but has made significant progress throughout this week after missing all five of the team's preseason games due to a strain in his piriformis muscle.

Head coach Scott Brooks said Howard has looked good in those three practices but has a lot of missed time to make up for.

"I think he's definitely winded at times, but that's part of it," Brooks said.

Brooks added that Howard is not getting the same lift when jumping that he's used to. Howard, 32, is used to playing above the rim and his vertical leap is an important part of his game.

The Wizards play their first two games at home, the second on Saturday against the Raptors. They then embark on a Western Conference road trip beginning with the Blazers on Monday.

Brooks said Howard will "definitely" make that trip with the team, which gives a good indication of how close he is to returning to game action. When Howard is ready to play will be left up to the team's medical staff.

If Howard does miss time, the Wizards are expected to rely on his backup Ian Mahinmi as the starting center. Jason Smith would then become the No. 2 center on the depth chart, though they could use forwards like Markieff Morris or Jeff Green at the five-spot.

Howard signed a two-year free-agent deal worth $11 million to join the Wizards in July.

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John Wall and Bradley Beal will depend on each other more than ever in year 7

John Wall and Bradley Beal will depend on each other more than ever in year 7

The Wizards will only go as far as John Wall and Bradley Beal take them. There's just no other way around it.

The chemistry between Wall and Beal has been the dominant topic for years surrounding this team, and the magnifying glass will only be pushed closer this season, despite all of the other additions the Wizards made this offseason.

It's all about the backcourt. 

Luckily, both Wizards All-Stars understand and embrace the pressure. 

"We're opposites, but we're the same in a way," Beal told NBC Sports Washington's Chris Miller. "He's more loud and outspoken, I'm more chill and relaxed, but you put us together, it's peanut butter and jelly."

Have you noticed that peanut butter and jelly always seems to be the go-to "good combination" for people? At least Beal didn't say something weird like tuna and bananas, although to each his own if that's what you like.

Anyway, more importantly, Wall understands this sandwich dynamic just as much as Beal does. Especially when the topic of a championship comes up. 

"I couldn't get it without him, and he couldn't do it without me," Wall said.  "I think that's the bond we have built, and it's gotten so much better each year."

One of the biggest reasons for divorce that we see in pro sports is ego. So many players don't understand what Wall alluded to. No matter how good you are, you can't do it alone. You need your wingman.

There were certainly rumblings or worries that Wall and Beal had their issues chemistry-wise earlier in their careers, but we're seeing two young stars grow as each season passes. 

That doesn't mean there still won't be times where they don't click. That's natural.

Keep in mind though, this is the seventh season the two will play together. The NBA is known to chew up and spit out young, inexperienced teams. The grind is part of the journey. Wall and Beal have had playoff success and failures, but they went through it together.

Now comes the time where those learning experiences become something they grow from, and use it to fuel a push to their ultimate goal – a championship.

And maybe a better peanut butter and jelly sandwich. 

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