Wizards shoot lights-out vs. Pacers


WASHINGTON -- The Washington Wizards beat the Indiana Pacers 127-113 on Saturday night at Capital One Arena. Here are five takeaways from what went down...

Made it look easy

If the Wizards are to make the play-in tournament at the end of this season, one of the teams they may need to hold off is the Pacers, as Washington entered Saturday's matchup ranked 10th in the East with Indiana not far behind in 12th. Despite their close proximity in the standings, the Wizards had no trouble in a dominant win for their final home game before the All-Star break.

The Wizards got hot early and never looked back. They scored 127 points for the game, shooting 64% from the field, which was nearly a franchise record. In fact, it was the third-best shooting night in franchise history.

They also sank 12 threes, shooting 46.2% from beyond the arc. The Wizards had 32 assists, including 23 in the first half.

That's two in a row for the Wizards, both without Kyle Kuzma, as they improved to 26-29 on the year through 55 games. They now head out on the road to see the Warriors, Blazers and Timberwolves before the All-Star break arrives.

Huge first half

The Wizards came out swinging with one of the best first halves in franchise history. They dropped 80 points, a season-high for any half, shooting a sky-high 73.2% from the field, including 9-for-17 (52.9%) from three. It was just the sixth time in franchise history they have scored at least 80 points in a half.

The last time they did it was May of 2021, back when Russell Westbrook was on the team. That was also against the Pacers. The time before that was 1990 and before that was 1970. So, usually, a few decades pass in between each instance, but in this case, they did it again just two years after the last time and against the very same team.


Beal was on one

Bradley Beal accounted for about a quarter of those first-half points, as he arrived at halftime with 19 points in just 17 minutes on 8-for-10 shooting, including 2-for-2 from three. He ended up with 32 points for the game along with six assists. He knocked down 13-for-18 overall and 4-for-5 from deep.

Beal feasted on a steady diet of shots on the baseline and made a series of layups where he had to adjust mid-air through contact. The Wizards also did a nice job finding Beal outside shots in rhythm. There were a lot of those to go around, as the Wizards did an excellent job moving the ball and getting it up the floor in transition.

Morris has been hot

Monte Morris has low-key been shooting lights out over the last few months. He doesn't score a ton of points, but does so efficiently and that continued in this one. Morris returned from a one-game absence due to back tightness to score 17 points on 7-for-10 shooting against the Packers, along with six rebounds and four assists.

If you go back 31 games, Morris is shooting 42.3% from three. It's only on a relatively modest 3.6 attempts per game, but he's been super reliable when he lets it fly. Corey Kispert has been the Wizards' best 3-point shooter overall this season if you consider makes and percentage, but Morris might be next on that list.

Jackson debuted

The Wizards won so handily that they were able to empty their bench in the closing minutes and that allowed Quenton Jackson to make his NBA debut. Jackson recently earned a two-way contract from the Wizards after standing out for the Capital City Go-Go this season. He is a 6-foot-5 guard with explosive athleticism.

Before the game, head coach Wes Unseld Jr. praised him for his disruptive defense. Jackson is known for his high-flying dunks, but has developed a reputation in the G-League for being a pest on the perimeter. The Wizards can use as much of that as they can get.