WASHINGTON, Jan. 31 (Ticker) --
It was Peja Stojakovic
's debut with the
Indiana Pacers, but it was Antawn Jamison
's night to shine.
Jamison scored 19 points and grabbed 18 rebounds and Gilbert Arenas
scored 20 points as the Washington Wizards held on for an
84-79 victory over the struggling Pacers, who have dropped a
season-high six consecutive games.
NBA TV highlights from |
Acquired from Sacramento on Wednesday in the trade for Ron Artest
, Stojakovic scored 17 points but struggled shooting in
his first game with his new team. He made just 4-of-10 shots,
including 1-of-6 from 3-point range.
"I just got a feel for my new teammates and they got a feel for
me," Stojakovic said. "We've got to keep working. You think you
know the set plays after reviewing them in practice. Then the
game comes, and it gets a little bit confusing.
"I think with time it's going to get better. In the second
half, I felt more comfortable with the team out there. I just
have to be more and more aggressive."
The Pacers did not feel like it was a difficult fit.
"He fit in like he's been here all year," Indiana guard Stephen Jackson
said. "We know where he likes his shots. We know his
game and he fits in real well. I don't think we're going to
have to change anything or slow anything down for him to fit in.
He came in and did his thing."
Jamison, who recorded his 22nd double-double of the season,
burned the Pacers with his vast repertoire of shots, including
scoops and teardrop floaters. The 6-9 forward's follow shot
with 4:24 to go capped a 13-6 run and gave the Wizards an 80-65
"During our stretch when we weren't playing well, I wasn't
playing well," Jamison said. "I took it to heart because I
understood that if I was playing well it would have been a
different story. You really have to look yourself in the mirror
and take it upon yourself and try to do better. I just stayed
positive and my teammates did a good job of believing in me. As
a team, we knew eventually we could get to this point."
"He wants to win - that is his No. 1 priority," Wizards coach
said. "He is a leader for this team in a different
way. He is not loud, verbal or demonstrative, but he leads by
gutting it out and fighting for rebounds. He can score from the
outside, in the paint and on runners. He has emerged as a
major leader for us during this stretch of games."
While the Wizards (21-22) won for the eighth time in their last
11 outings and crept within a win of .500, the Pacers (21-22)
dropped below .500 for the first time since March 6, 2005.
Already without starters Jermaine O'Neal
and Jamaal Tinsley
Indiana lost forward Austin Croshere
to a possible concussion in
the third quarter.
"We're down a lot of players and it looks like we might be down
another one tonight," Pacers coach Rick Carlisle
see how he's doing (Wednesday). We're down players, which hurts
us, but also we're in a situation where we've got zero margin
"We're going to have to make shots. The whole game we were
shooting in the 30s. We just could never get anything going
offensively to help set up our defense."
Indiana crept within 83-79 with nine seconds left after Fred Jones
drained his team's fifth 3-pointer in the final 3 1/2
minutes. But Arenas netted 1-of-2 foul shots to seal the win.
"A team like that is not going to give up," Arenas said. "They
are a great 3-point shooting team and when they put five guards
in, if you mess up switching defensively, they are going to make
Arenas added five assists and three steals and Caron Butler
collected 13 points and eight rebounds for Washington, which
held Indiana to 36 percent (27-of-76) shooting.
"We're passing the ball around a lot," Arenas said. "Everyone is
sharing the ball and everyone trusts each other. The way the
ball is moving is a success and it is showing."
Jones scored 16 points for Indiana, which made 9-of-32 (28
percent) shots from the arc. Jackson managed just five points
on 1-for-11 shooting.
"Yeah, we did get a lot of good looks, especially in the first
half," Stojakovic added. "We missed most of those shots and
they took advantage. They moved the ball well, especially in
the first and third quarters when we tried to make a run. We got
good looks, we just couldn't make them."
The Wizards jumped out to a 19-5 lead and never trailed.