Indiana Pacers vs Washington Wizards: Lineups, preview & prediction 3/4/18

The Indiana Pacers look to salvage a split of their four-game road swing Sunday night when they face the Washington Wizards in a potential first-round playoff preview.

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(Photo Credit: Keith Allison)

After losses to two of the league’s weaker teams in Dallas and Atlanta, the Pacers (35-27) regrouped with a 103-96 victory at Milwaukee on Friday night. Victor Oladipo scored 21 points and hit a pair of clutch baskets late to keep the Bucks at bay while Lance Stephenson continued his strong play off the bench with 16 points.

But the key for the Pacers was tightening their defense as they limited the Bucks to 38.3 percent shooting. Indiana have won their last six games when holding opponents under 100 points.

Washington (36-27) are 0-2 on their current four-game homestand after failing to beat either of the league’s best teams. The Wizards followed up a loss to the reigning champion Golden State Warriors with a 102-95 setback to the Toronto Raptors on Friday night.

Otto Porter Jr. scored 24 points and Bradley Beal added 23, but Washington’s inability to take care of the ball cost them dearly as their 17 turnovers led to 27 points for the Raptors. Washington forced just seven turnovers that resulted in five points.

The teams are on pace for a first-round playoff meeting since the Wizards are one-half game ahead of the Pacers for fourth in the Eastern Conference. Washington have won the only meeting between the teams and the second tiebreaker is whether a team is a division winner, and the Wizards lead the Southeast.