The Indiana Pacers head into the All-Star break on a run of six successive defeats after a 111-98 loss at the Washington Wizards.
A dominant display saw the Wizards triumph at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, with the Pacers never able to claw back the lead of the hosts.
McMillan: "We expect to win. This is not a rebuild, we expect to win this year. Losing and accepting that is not part of it." pic.twitter.com/CQOzu6MXM3
— Indiana Pacers (@Pacers) February 17, 2017
The Wizards started on the front foot with a trio of three-pointers from Otto Porter Jr seeing them finish the first quarter with a 34-27 advantage.
That lead was built to a 10-point margin by the end of the second quarter and it proved to be decisive, with the Wizards responding every time the Pacers attempted to make a comeback.
The Pacers trailed 90-77 by the end of the third quarter and despite cutting the lead to seven with six minutes remaining, Bradley Beal responded with a three pointer before a John Wall jump shot.
Myles Turner finished with 17 points for the Pacers, while Wall compiled 20 points and 12 assists for the Wizards.
— Chicago Bulls (@chicagobulls) February 17, 2017
Thursday’s other NBA game was a thriller after the Chicago Bulls pipped the Boston Celtics with a 104-103 victory.
Jimmy Butler made two free throws with a second remaining to secure the win for the Bulls after a superb duel with fellow All-Star Isiah Thomas. Both players finished with 29 points and seven assists.
Just before the final horn, Butler had drawn a foul from Marcus Smart and despite the disbelief of both the Celtics man and the home crowd, he calmly converted the free throws.