Pacers vs Wizards Recap: Porzingis Shines In D.C. Debut

Kristaps Porzingis, Washington Wizards, NBA
NBA Analysis Network

Malcolm Brogdon and the Indiana Pacers (22-44) traveled to Capital One Arena on Sunday to take on Kristaps Porzingis and the Washington Wizards (29-34) in part of the NBA Sunday slate. It was the Wizards that came out on top with 133-123 being the final score.

This matchup marked the debut of Kristaps Porzingis, who was acquired by the Wizards at the NBA trade deadline in a deal that sent Spencer Dinwiddie and Davis Bertans to the Dallas Mavericks. Porzingis played on a playing-time restriction and still finished with 25 points and five rebounds in 21 minutes.

Kristaps Porzingis had been sidelined since Jan. 29 when he began experiencing back soreness 11 minutes into his matchup with the Pacers. There’s optimism he can form a formidable duo with Bradley Beal next season, based on the comments of the Washington Wizards’ franchise-cornerstone in the NBA news cycle.

The Pacers’ defense was a consistent problem throughout this game—allowing the Wizards to reach the 30-point threshold in all but one quarter. The second half was particularly alarming as Indiana gave up 76 points. Allowing the opposition to score 133 points is just not going to cut it, and the Pacers learned that firsthand.

LATEST NBA NEWS: Pacers vs Wizards Sunday: Lineups, Injury Reports & Broadcast Info

With there being no outlook for the Indiana Pacers to make the 2022 NBA playoffs, the focus for the stretch run of the season is to continue to get a good look at the roster ahead of a busy offseason. Sitting atop the list of priorities is the starting backcourt fit between Tyrese Haliburton and Malcolm Brogdon.

Malcolm Brogdon continued his recent strong play with a team-most 27 points while chipping in four rebounds and four assists. Again, putting up points wasn’t a problem for the Indiana Pacers. In addition to Brogdon, they received at least 15 points from Goga Bitadze (20), Buddy Hield (19), Tyrese Haliburton (15), and Jalen Smith (15).

Kyle Kuzma has been on an absolute tear for the Wizards over the last few months as he’s been relishing the opportunity that’s come with a larger role. Prior to this game, he averaged 21.6 points and 9.7 rebounds with 15 of his performances finishing with a double-double since Christmas. He was critical for the Washington Wizards with 23 points, five rebounds, and eight assists.

If Kristaps Porzingis can stay healthy, there’s an outside shot the Washington Wizards could make a push for the final play-in spot in the Eastern Conference. They trail the Atlanta Hawks by two games for the 10th spot in the East standings following this win.

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