The Associated PressINDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Suddenly, the Washington Wizards look unbeatable.
Their early season shooting woes are gone, they’re sharing the ball more and they’re playing like a contender. And they’ve done it all with All-Star guard John Wall on the mend.
They did it again Monday as Bradley Beal, their other All-Star, scored 21 points and Kelly Oubre Jr. added 15 to lead the Wizards past the Indiana Pacers, 111-102 for a season-best fifth straight win.
“John is such a key and valuable piece to our team. He draws so much attention at what he brings to both ends of the floor, that’s kind of irreplaceable,” Beal said. “It’s definitely a huge hit to us having him out, but we’ve been having some success. We’ve figured it out a little bit.”
Actually, they’re thriving.
Since Wall went down with an injured left knee, Washington hasn’t lost. The latest victory gave the Wizards their fourth in a row over the Pacers, something that hadn’t happened since a nine-game winning streak in the series ended in 1983-84.
The difference appears to be more balance. On Monday, eight players scored in double figures and three had at least seven rebounds. Thomas Satoransky and Tim Frazier each finished with six assists and Beal was the only Washington player with more than two turnovers.
The Wizards outscored Indiana 30-11 in transition and had a 43-35 rebounding edge, too.
“I thought everybody chipped in and played well,” Washington coach Scott Brooks said.
But the Pacers weren’t themselves.
With All-Star guard Victor Oladipo out with an illness and point guard Darren Collison out with a bad left knee, the Pacers were out of sync and out of contention for most of the game.
The Wizards took advantage.