Local Sports

Wizards Rout Pacers to Punch Postseason Ticket

Russell Westbrook nearly produced a triple-double Thursday night, Bradley Beal scored 25 points and the Wizards reached the NBA playoffs as the Eastern Conference's No. 8 seed by overwhelming the Indiana Pacers 142-115 in the play-in round Thursday night.


Washington led by as many as 38 and now faces Joel Embiid and the No. 1 seed Philadelphia 76ers in the first round, marking quite a turnaround for Brooks' crew, which was 17-32 before going on a 17-6 run over the regular season's last six weeks.


A little more than a week after breaking Oscar Robertson's career record for most regular-season triple-doubles, Westbrook finished Thursday with 18 points, 15 rebounds and eight assists, and it was Beal - second in the NBA in scoring two years in a row - whose 3-pointer opened up a 30-point lead at 98-68 with about four minutes left in the third quarter.


Domantas Sabonis had 19 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists before fouling out early in the fourth quarter for the Pacers, whose run of five consecutive playoff appearances ended in coach Nate Bjorkgren's first year in charge.


Rui Hachimura scored 18 points for Washington. 


The Pacers were missing Caris LeVert (COVID-19 protocols), Myles Turner (right foot), T.J. Warren (left foot) and Jeremy Lamb (left knee).

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