By Jerry Wein
Six weeks ago, the Washington Wizards looked headed for the lottery with a 17-32 record and 13th place in the Eastern Conference.
But with a barrage of Russell Westbrook triple-doubles and Bradley Beal buckets, the Wizards finished the regular season 17-6 and in eighth place with a spot in the play-in tournament.
Now, the once-woebegone Wizards are in the playoffs as the No. 8 after beating the Indiana Pacers 142-115 in the win-or-go-home play-in game last night.
Washington will play the top-seed Sixers in the first round of the playoffs. Game 1 is Sunday (1 p.m. ET, TNT).
“Now we’ve got a chance to play against one of the best teams in basketball, and we’re excited about it,” Wizards coach Scott Brooks said.
“We know what we can do and what we’re about. We’re a much better team than we were in the first month of the season. We know that.”