WASHINGTON (AP) — Russell Westbrook nearly had a triple-double and Bradley Beal scored 25 points in just 29 minutes to help the Washington Wizards reach the NBA playoffs as the Eastern Conference’s No. 8 seed by overwhelming the Indiana Pacers 142-115 in the play-in round.
Washington led by as many as 38 points and advanced to face Joel Embiid and the No. 1 seed Philadelphia 76ers in the first round.
It all marks quite a turnaround for coach Scott Brooks’ Washington team, which was 17-32 in early April.
Indiana’s run of five consecutive playoff appearances ended in coach Nate Bjorkgren’s debut season.