WASHINGTON – Just when it appeared that the intensity of a playoff run was getting to be too much for the Washington Wizards, they pull off a solid win over the Indiana Pacers.
And the Pacers? They played so poorly that it made this week’s win over the Miami Heat look more like an aberration in some late-season doldrums.
John Wall scored 20 points, and Marcin Gortat added 17 points and 12 rebounds Friday night as the Wizards never trailed in a 91-78 win over the cold-shooting, turnover-prone Pacers.
We’re at the point where we can’t just get up for the Miamis or the Chicago Bulls and then come out and get doughnuts against the Wizards or these other teams, said David West, who committed four of Indiana’s 17 turnovers. I just don’t know if we are handling success and being out front the right way.
The Heat beat the Detroit Pistons on Friday night, essentially negating Indiana’s victory over Miami on Wednesday in the standings. The Pacers’ lead is back to two games atop the Eastern Conference.
The game Wednesday doesn’t mean anything if we don’t get the one tonight, and we’re back at square one, Pacers guard George Hill said. We gave up another game where we should have won.
The Wizards, meanwhile, sit sixth in the East and are almost certainly playoff-bound for the first time since 2008.
Paul George scored 19 points, and Lance Stephenson had 13 points and matched a career-high with 14 rebounds for the Pacers, who have lost four straight road games.
TRAIL BLAZERS 91, BULLS 74: In Chicago, Mo Williams scored 18 points to lead five players in double figures as Portland won on the road for a second straight night.
SPURS 133, NUGGETS 102: In Denver, Marco Belinelli scored 27 points, and Tim Duncan added 20 as San Antonio extended its winning streak to 16 games.
RAPTORS 105, CELTICS 103: In Toronto, Amir Johnson scored the winning basket with 7 seconds left as Toronto clinched its first playoff berth in six seasons.
NETS 108, CAVALIERS 97: In New York, Paul Pierce scored 17 of his 22 points in a flawless first quarter as Brooklyn won its 12th straight home game.
HEAT 110, PISTONS 78: In Auburn Hills, Mich., LeBron James had 17 points, 12 assists and 10 rebounds to lead Miami, which was without Dwyane Wade, Mario Chalmers, Ray Allen and Greg Oden.
MAGIC 110, BOBCATS 105, OT: In Orlando, Fla., Nikola Vucevic scored 24 points and grabbed 23 rebounds, and Jameer Nelson had five points in overtime as Orlando won its second straight.
THUNDER 94, KINGS 81: In Oklahoma City, Kevin Durant scored 29 points, the 37th consecutive game he has scored 25 or more points, to lead Oklahoma City.
PELICANS 102, JAZZ 95: In New Orleans, Tyreke Evans had 22 points and 15 assists, and New Orleans overcame the loss of Anthony Davis to extend its winning streak to five games. Davis left the game with a left ankle injury less than four minutes in.
TIMBERWOLVES 143, LAKERS 107: In Minneapolis, Kevin Love had 22 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists for his second career triple-double to lead Minnesota.