The Indiana Pacers kept their playoff aspirations afloat Tuesday night as they defeated the Washington Wizards, 99-95, in double-overtime. Indiana now holds a one game lead over the Brooklyn Nets for the eighth and final seed in the Eastern Conference.
Indiana’s backcourt of George Hill and C.J. Miles combined to score 49 points on 20-of-47 shooting from the field. Miles led all scorers with 25 points, and grabbed eight rebounds while draining four three-pointers. Hill added 24 points on 11-of-25 shooting from the field, while dishing out 10 assists and grabbing nine rebounds. David West finished with 15 points and eight rebounds, while Paul George and Rodney Stuckey came off the bench with 10 points apiece.
The Wizards were led by their big man Marcin Gortat who finished the game with a double-double of 19 points and 10 rebounds. Washington’s backcourt of John Wall and Bradley Beal struggled mightily shooting the ball tonight. Wall finished the game with 16 points and 11 assists, but he went 7-of-23 shooting from the field including 0-of-5 from behind the arc. Beal was just as miserable as he shot 7-of-24 from the field with 19 points and nine rebounds. They both played hard on both ends and contributed in other areas, but their poor offensive execution really hurt this team down the stretch. Otto Porter was a spark off the bench with 10 points and seven rebounds as he played 43 minutes tonight.
This game was not sloppy because of an abundance of turnovers, but the poor shooting by both teams was incredible. The Pacers finished the game shooting 38.1 percent from the field on 40-of-105 shooting, while the Wizards ended up shooting 35.6 percent from the field on 37-of-104 shooting. Sure, both defenses can be commended but there were enough uncontested bricks to go around.
At the end of the first quarter the game was tied at 16. The Wizards would go on and lead the Pacers by eight at halftime, 41-33. It looked as if Washington might have control of the game in the fourth quarter as they led by nine, 70-61, with a little over seven minutes remaining in regulation. However, the Pacers would continue to battle and would go on an 18-5 run to lead 79-75 with 1:39 remaining. Washington would force overtime thanks to a couple buckets by Wall. The shooting woes would continue in the first overtime as both teams combined to score eight points, forcing a second overtime period. C.J. Miles would hit a three-pointer with 3:42 remaining in the second overtime period giving the Pacers a 90-87 lead. Indiana would hold onto the lead as George Hill and David West would continue to make shots to hold down the Wizards.
The Wizards have locked down the fifth seed with a record of 46-35, and will face the two seeded Cleveland Cavaliers tomorrow night on the road to close out the regular season. Indiana will head to Memphis to face the Grizzlies as they hope to lock down the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference.