The Washington Wizards defeated the Indiana Pacers 142-115 on Thursday in the NBA play-in tournament to advance to the Eastern Conference playoffs.
Recall that the Wizards had lost 118-100 to the Boston Celtics in their first Eastern Conference play-in contest on Tuesday.
But Bradley Beal scored 25 points on Thursday as Washington took their last chance to reach the post-season. After the game, he praised his team’s fantastic performance.
“It’s probably the most beautiful thing I have seen us do all year,” he said.
The Wizards secured the eighth seed in the conference and face the top-seeded Philadelphia 76ers in the first round of the play-offs, beginning on Sunday.
Russell Westbrook combined with Beal to lead a 16-0 run by Washington in the second quarter, before finishing with 18 points and 15 assists.
The Wizards earned their first post-season berth since 2017-18 while the Pacers, for whom Malcolm Brogdon scored 24 points, saw their streak of five straight play-off appearances come to an end.
The play-in tournament has been introduced on a one-year basis for the 2020-21 season to determine who takes the seventh and eighth-seeded positions in each conference for the play-offs.