The 2021 NBA Playoffs got underway on Tuesday, May 18 with the Eastern Conference play-in tournament, and we’ve got one game left to finalize the playoff picture. The Pacers will travel to face the Wizards Thursday night. In the first round of the play-in tournament, Indiana Pacers dominated the Charlotte Hornets by 27 points, officially ending the Hornets season. The Washington Wizards lost their first-round matchup against the Boston Celtics by an 18-point margin, but as the higher seed, they’ll host the game.
TNT will broadcast the matchup with tip-off set for 8:00 p.m. ET at Capital One Arena in Washington DC. The winner will secure the No. 8 seed in the Eastern Conference and face the Philadelphia 76ers in Round 1 of the 2021 NBA playoffs. The loser will head home for the offseason.
If you aren’t around a TV to check out this NBA matchup, you can stream the game on Watch TNT or via their mobile app. But keep in mind that you need a cable-login subscription. If you don’t have a cable login to access TNT for a live stream, you can get a free trial from YouTube TV, Hulu with Live TV, AT&T TV Now, FuboTV, or Sling TV to stream the game.
As mentioned, the Pacers are fresh off a 144-117 blowout victory over the Hornets in their first play-in game. Oshae Brissett led the team with 23 points while Doug McDermott added 21. Domantas Sabonis also came up huge with 14 points, 21 rebounds, and nine assists. Indiana dominated all-around as eight players came up with double-digit points. They’ll head into Thursday night’s contest with a few players still ruled out, including Caris LeVert (health and safety protocols), Myles Turner (toe), Jeremy Lamb (knee), and TJ Warren (foot). In addition, both Malcolm Brogdon (hamstring) and Edmond Sumner (knee) are listed as questionable, although both players made appearances in Tuesday’s win.
It was a relatively quiet night for Russell Westbrook and Bradley Beal as they both underperformed in their 100-118 loss to the Celtics on Tuesday. Of course, “underperforming” is a term being used loosely for these guys, as Westbrook finished with 20 points, 14 rebounds and five assists while Beal grabbed 22 points, nine rebounds, and six assists. Beal averaged 31.1 points throughout the regular season, and dropped 50 points on the Pacers last time they met just a couple weeks ago. Westbrook logged a triple-double in that last game as well, scoring 33 points while adding 19 rebounds and 15 assists. Washington will hope their star tandem will be ready to propel them at home in tonight’s win-or-go-home contest.