The Washington Wizards are back to playing the brand of basketball that makes Randy Wittman happy. The defensive intensity has picked up, to a tune of 58 forced turnovers during the current three-game winning streak, and they have allowed that to turn into efficient offense by scoring 73 points off said turnovers. Going into Friday, the Wizards have 15 more games until the all star break in mid-February, when they are likely to be fully healthy — barring any further injury. Although currently the 12th seed in the Eastern Conference, they are only one game back of the eighth seeded Magic.
Without two regular starters, Marcin Gortat (knee inflammation) and Otto Porter (hip), you might think the Pacers would run Washington out of the building with the shooting that set Verizon Center on fire before Thanksgiving. While the Pacers shot a miserable 17.6 percent (3 of 17) from beyond the arc, the House of Guards performance that fans expected all year returned. John Wall and Bradley Beal combined for 50 points on 36 field goal attempts as well as 12 rebounds and 9 assists. Washington got 69 points off the bench as they cruised in the second half with a 118-104 victory over the Indiana Pacers.