Beal’s Very Efficient Game Paves the Path for the Wizards to Take Down the Pacers

The Wizards took care of business Saturday night, escaping with a win against the Indiana Pacers. Indiana came to D.C. on a 3-game losing streak and the Wiz extended it 4 games after Beal boomed for 32 points.

Washington has found some momentum in the last two games to build off as they march into a tough second half of February. The Wiz will be facing teams such as the Warriors, Hawks, Bulls, and Trail Blazers.

Now speaking of second halves. The Wizards had a very slow second half on Saturday night, scoring under 25 points in each of the later quarters after scoring almost 40 points in both of the opening frames.

The weaker second half may have been from the fact that coach Unseld Jr. didn’t go deep into his bench last night despite still missing Kuzma with an ankle injury. There were only 3 players who saw serious minutes in the second half, and they were the usual ones: Avdija, Nunn, and Wright.

However, strong first-half performances came from Beal, who netted 19 of his 32 points, as well as Porzingis, who scored 12 of his 17 points and brought in 8 of his 10 rebounds in such quarters.

Beal also shot the ball incredibly well throughout the game. He went 13-18 from the field and was one of two Wizard players to shoot over 50% from deep, going 4-5 from such range. The Wizards, though, still finished the night going 12-26 (46%) from long range because several guys were sitting at 50% on the trey-ball.

But going past just the deep ball, the Wizards were very efficient offensively as a whole, shooting 64% from the field, and saw 7 guys reach double digits in points. Now the Pacers weren’t terrible, shooting 45% from the field, it was just that the Wizards were finding good looks. The game looked a lot like if the roles in the loss to the Cavs were switched a few games ago.

Yeah, the offense was great, but the defense, especially in the paint, was phenomenal. Washington was able to outrebound 40-33, out block 7-3, and outscore Indiana 54-48 in the paint. All of this boils from the fact that they were able to somewhat contain Myles Turner.

Turner still dropped 20 points while shooting 70%, but he wasn’t a force on the glass, bringing in only 3 rebounds. Matter of fact, the Pacers’ leading rebounder was Tyrese Haliburton, who hauled in 6 rebounds. Haliburton would also score a team-high 21 points and dish out 7 assists to finish a great game, but it wasn’t the usual fantastic game he is used to each night.

The well-rounded win pushed the Wizards to 26-29 and 9th in the Eastern Conference. They will watch the Super Bowl and then pack their bags and head out to San Francisco to play the Curry-less Warriors on Monday. Tip-off for that game is set for 10 pm EST.

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