March 18, 2018 / 1:47 AM / 4 months ago

Wizards outlast Pacers to gain potential tiebreaker

EditorsNote: minor edits throughout

Bradley Beal scored 19 points and led the way as five Washington players finished in double figures, helping the Wizards post a 109-102 victory over the visiting Indiana Pacers on Saturday night.

The win could prove crucial for the Wizards in the coming days. It gave Washington a victory in the season series 2-1 — which means the Wizards would get the tiebreaker if the teams end up with the same record at season’s end.

Both teams now are 40-30.

Beal added six assists. Marcin Gortat (18 points), Kelly Oubre Jr. (16 points), Markieff Morris (15 points) and Tomas Satoransky (12 points, eight assists) also scored in double figures for Washington.

As they have in recent weeks, the Wizards moved the ball effectively. They finished with 29 assists on 40 baskets as they have passed better with John Wall (knee surgery) out of the lineup.

The good passing was a big reason why the Wizards shot well again from the field, hitting 54.8 percent of their shots, a reason they were able to pull away after a close first quarter.

Lance Stephenson led Indiana with a game-high 25 points. Victor Oladipo, who is from the Washington area, added 18 points.

The Wizards led for much of the game. They went on an 11-point run in the first quarter and never trailed again.

Washington held a 25-20 lead after one and stretched that margin in the second quarter. Morris scored nine of his points in the second period as the Wizards moved their advantage to 57-45 at the break.

Gortat posted 10 points in the third quarter as Washington increased the margin to 86-71 after three. The Pacers tried to rally early in the fourth thanks to a Bojan Bogdanovic 3-pointer and a Darren Collison trey, which cut the Wizards’ lead to 86-77.

Washington answered by scoring seven straight points, thanks in part to two layups from Oubre. That gave the Wizards a 93-77 lead.

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