WASHINGTON (Dispatches) - The Washington Wizards have eased to a 142-115 win over the Indiana Pacers to book their place in the NBA play-offs.
The Wizards had lost 118-100 to the Boston Celtics in their first Eastern Conference play-in contest0.
But Bradley Beal scored 25 points on Thursday as Washington took their last chance to reach the post-season.
The Wizards secured the eighth seed in the conference and face the top-seeded Philadelphia 76ers in the first round of the play-offs, beginning on Sunday.
Russell Westbrook combined with Beal to lead a 16-0 run by Washington in the second quarter, before finishing with 18 points and 15 assists.
The Wizards earned their first post-season berth since 2017-18 while the Pacers, for whom Malcolm Brogdon scored 24 points, saw their streak of five straight play-off appearances come to an end.
The play-in tournament has been introduced on a one-year basis for the 2020-21 season, to determine who takes the seventh and eighth seeded positions in each conference for the play-offs.
The Golden State Warriors host the Memphis Grizzlies for the final seed in the Western Conference on Friday evening (02:00 BST on Saturday morning).
Also on Thursday, the NBA announced the three finalists for the Most Valuable Player award for the 2020-21 regular season.
The Warriors’ two-time MVP Stephen Curry is up against the 76ers’ Joel Embiid and Nikola Jokic of the Denver Nuggets.