Pacers at Wizards

Defense Leading the Way

March 28, 2021 - Edmond Sumner, Nate Bjorkgren and T.J. McConnell discuss how the team's defense has been the catalyst for their recent success.

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Defense Leading the Way

March 28, 2021 - Edmond Sumner, Nate Bjorkgren and T.J. McConnell discuss how the team's defense has been the catalyst for their recent success.
Mar 28, 2021  |  01:43

Game Preview: Pacers at Wizards

Monday, March 29, 2021 at 7:00 PM ET at Capital One Arena

Pacers.com Game Preview presented by DraftKings

Matchup

The Pacers (21-23) are looking to make up more ground in the Eastern Conference standings as they take on the Washington Wizards (16-28) Monday night at Capital One Arena. The contest will end a heavy month of travel for the Blue & Gold, who have played just three games at home in March. They will host the Miami Heat on March 31 to round out the month's slate of games.

Monday's matchup against the Wizards will be Indiana's first true road game against the club since the 2018-19 NBA season. Last year's expected visit turned into one of the team's final regular season games played inside the Orlando bubble. The Pacers, who improved their road record to 13-11 after Friday's 109-94 victory over the Dallas Mavericks, are just one of five Eastern Conference teams with a winning record away from home right now.

Despite the acquisition of triple-double threat Russell Westbrook (21.4 points, 10 rebounds, 10.2 assists per game) before the start of this season, not much has broken in favor of the Wizards this year. Collectors of just two wins since the All-Star break, the squad suffered another blow as they watched the NBA's leading scorer, Bradley Beal (31.3 points per game), tumble and land squarely on his right hip on Saturday night in their latest game against the Detroit Pistons. While the group pulled out a 106-92 win, Beal did not return to action after halftime.

Meanwhile, the Pacers could be without the services of sharpshooter Doug McDermott for Monday's meeting. Starting 4-of-6 from beyond the arc, the former Creighton star was having a stellar night against the Mavs before rolling his right ankle late in the third quarter. He did not return for the remainder of the game.

Projected Starters

Pacers: PG - Malcolm Brogdon, SG - Caris LeVert, SF - Justin Holiday, PF - Domantas Sabonis, C - Myles Turner
Wizards: PG - Russell Westbrook, SG - Bradley Beal, SF - Deni Avdija, PF - Rui Hachimura, C - Alex Len

Injury Report

Pacers: Doug McDermott - questionable (right ankle sprain), T.J. Warren - out (left foot stress fracture)

Wizards: Bradley Beal – questionable (right hip contusion), Davis Bertans – out (right calf strain), Thomas Bryant – out (left ACL surgery), Ish Smith – out (right quadriceps strain)

Last Meeting

Aug. 3, 2020: T.J. Warren kept up his red-hot restart in the Orlando bubble and dropped 34 points — 23 in the second half — on 14-of-26 shooting in a 111-100 victory against the Wizards. The talented forward also hauled in 11 rebounds for a double-double. Malcolm Brogdon added 20 and six assists, while Aaron Holiday and Myles Turner notched 17 apiece to aid Warren in the win.

A seven-point Wizards lead in the second quarter quickly evaporated behind a 22-4 Pacers run. While the offense was hot, the squad also held the Wizards scoreless for a 3:36 span late in the frame. Washington scored five straight near halftime to get within six. However, Turner's late 3-pointer extended Indiana's lead to 56-47 at the break.

Then, Warren erupted. The former N.C. State standout recorded 16 points in the period, including 12 during a 22-2 Pacers run that extended the squad's lead well into double digits. Indiana held a commanding 90-68 lead heading into the fourth quarter.

Ten unanswered Washington points gave Indiana a bit of a scare at the start of the frame. However, head coach Nate McMillan subbed in the starters once more. Warren obliged and added five more to his total to push the lead back to 13. Indiana never let the lead slip under seven for the remainder of the game.

Noteworthy

  • Indiana has won three straight against Washington and five of the last six meetings overall.
  • The Pacers have led going into the fourth quarter in nine of their last 10 games.
  • Myles Turner recorded seven blocks in a game for the third time this season Friday night against the Mavericks. The rest of the players in the NBA have that many games with seven or more blocks combined (via StatMuse).

Tickets

A limited number of tickets for all upcoming Pacers home games from March 17 - April 21 are now on sale. Tickets for the final nine regular season home games will go on sale on Monday, April 19. Single Game Tickets »   Health & Safety Guidelines »

Broadcast Information TV & Radio Listings »

TV: FOX Sports Indiana - Chris Denari (play-by-play), Quinn Buckner (analyst), Jeremiah Johnson (studio host)
Radio: 93.5/107.5 The Fan - Mark Boyle (play-by-play), Pat Boylan (studio host)





by Brendan Rourke
Pacers.com Contributor

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