Friday’s NBA Game of the Day: Pacers at Wizards

Indiana Pacers at Washington Wizards (-5, 214.5)

Two teams surging up the standings in the Eastern Conference square off when the Indiana Pacers visit the Washington Wizards on Friday. The Wizards had a 17-game home winning streak come to an end on Monday but bounced back with an overtime win at Brooklyn on Wednesday while the Pacers’ seven-game winning streak was coming to an end in a loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Washington battled into overtime in one of the best games of the NBA season but was denied an 18th consecutive home win in Monday’s 140-135 loss to the Cavaliers and had to fight off a bit of a hangover from that outing before putting away the Nets 114-110. “We were trying to find a rhythm,” Wizards coach Scott Brooks told reporters after Wednesday’s triumph. “Some parts of the game looked good and some parts of the game we’re going to push fast forward on our film tonight and try to keep finding the good things we can do.” The Pacers led Cleveland at halftime on Wednesday but completely fell off the pace after the break and ended up falling 132-117. “It’s one game,” star forward Paul George told reporters. “We look past this. We played a really good team tonight. We know what beat us and we know the reason why we lost tonight. … If we’re serious about where we want to get to, then we’ll respond Friday.”

TV: 8 p.m. ET, ESPN, FSN Indiana, CSN Mid-Atlantic (Washington)

LINE HISTORY: The Wizards opened as 5-point home favorites and the total hit the board at 214.5. As of Friday morning there had been no movement to either number. Check out the complete line history here.

INJURY REPORT:

Pacers – PF Thaddeus Young (Out, wrist) 

Wizards – PF Markieff Morris (Questionable, calf), PF Daniel House (Mid-February, wrist)

COVERS POWER RANKINGS: Indiana (-3.2) – Washington (-5.5) + home court (-3) = Washington -5.3
 
MATCHUP CHART:


ABOUT THE PACERS (29-23 SU, 23-28-1 ATS, 27-25 O/U): Indiana allowed an average of 96.3 points during its seven-game winning streak and held four straight opponents under 100 points before letting up on that end Wednesday. The Pacers were outscored 40-18 in the decisive third quarter and allowed Cavaliers sharpshooter Kyle Korver to go 8-of-9 from 3-point range in the loss. “At the start of the third quarter, you can’t come out not focused and ready to go as we did,” Indiana coach Nate McMillan told reporters. “You’ve got to be calm in games like this. We got rattled. … It was a good lesson for us. We should learn from this.”

ABOUT THE WIZARDS (31-21 SU, 30-22 ATS, 32-20 O/U): One of Washington’s 17 straight home wins came over Indiana, a 111-105 on Dec. 28 that pulled the team within a game of .500 at 15-16. The Wizards are now third in the Eastern Conference behind Cleveland and Boston and are getting star-level performances from shooting guard Bradley Beal, who followed up a 41-point effort on Monday with 31 points in 41 minutes at Brooklyn. The 23-year-old did not play more than 73 games in any of his first four seasons and was limited to 55 last season but only missed four games so far this season and is logging heavy minutes (39.3 in the first four games this month) along with backcourt mate John Wall (42.3 minutes in February).

CHEERLEADER BATTLE:

TRENDS:

* Pacers are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 games vs. a team with a winning straight up record.
* Wizards are 9-2 ATS in their last 11 games following a straight up win.
* Over is 9-2 in Pacers last 11 road games vs. a team with a winning home record.
* Over is 4-1 in Wizards last 5 home games.
* Over is 8-1 in the last 9 meetings.
* Pacers are 7-1 ATS in the last 8 meetings in Washington.

Check out a complete list of hot and cold trends, here.
 
COVERS CONSENSUS: 65 percent of Covers users are siding with the home favorite Washington Wizards and Over is picking up 78 percent of the totals wagers. View full consensus data here.


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