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Pacers come back from break with big win
By Conrad Brunner
It took them a little while to shake the All-Star break sand out of their sneakers. But once they regained their footing, the Pacers simply ran away from the Washington Wizards.
Danny Granger scored 12 of his 21 points in the third quarter, when he sparked a game-breaking run as the Pacers routed Washington 113-96 Tuesday in Verizon Center.
Indiana's bench again played a crucial role, racking up 48 points as Tyler Hansbrough scored 17 and Paul George 11.
Andray Blatche led Washington with 21 points, while rookie John Wall had 15 points and 10 assists.
The Pacers snapped a two-game losing streak and improved to 25-30 overall, 10-18 on the road. They're 8-3 under coach Frank Vogel, and their current starting lineup improved to 19-13. The Wizards lost for the 11th time in 12 games to fall to 15-40 overall, 14-14 at home.
- Very, very, very proud of our guys. It doesn't matter who you're playing, you build a 26-point lead on the road and hold it, that's an impressive victory." -- Vogel
- Roy Hibbert was great in the low post and defensively with four blocks and our bench was superb as usual.'' -- Vogel
- We have great depth. There's a lot of talk around the NBA about super teams that teams are building, and powerhouses and all that. We don't have any of those super-superstars, quote-unquote, but we've got 15 guys that can play and our depth is going to win us a lot of games." Vogel
- "Any time you beat anyone on the road, it's a huge win. When you're in a playoff chase, our guys know we've got a 28-game season, we're 1-0 and they know the importance of every game." Vogel
- "Usually when we have a good first half we fall back and relax in the second half but we kept the pressure on them in the second half." Paul George
STAT OF THE GAME
With their 10th road victory, the Pacers surpassed their total of the 2009-10 season, when they were 9-32 away from Conseco Fieldhouse. Their next road win will match their total from 2008-09.
The teams traded runs in the first quarter, with the Wizards scoring the final 10 of the period to take a 30-25 lead. But with Vogel going with a small lineup early in the second, the Pacers' bench did most of the damage in a 20-7 run that gave the visitors a 45-37 lead. All five reserves combined to score the first 16 points of that run.
After a quiet first half (2-of-9 shooting), Granger came out hot in the second, scoring eight quick points as the Pacers put came out of the locker room with a 15-3 run to push the lead to 73-52. Washington trailed by double figures the rest of the night as Indiana pushed the lead to as many as 26, 94-68, early in the fourth quarter.
BY THE NUMBERS
Granger missed his first five shots but made seven of 12 the rest of the way, producing his fifth double-double of the season with 21 points and 10 rebounds. Hansbrough scored nine of his 17 from the free-throw line. Hibbert had six rebounds and four blocks with his 16 points and Darren Collison had 11 points, six assists and five rebounds in 24 minutes. George had nine rebounds and two blocked shots with his 11. The Pacers didn't shoot particularly well (.432) but scored 34 from the free-throw line and racked up 51 rebounds. After a shaky start with six turnovers in the first period, they had just nine the rest of the way.
Blatche was 9-of-16 for the Wizards, adding five rebounds and five assists to his 21. Nick Young missed his first nine shots and finished 4-of-15, scoring 16. Wall was 5-of-15 from the field but threatened a triple-double with eight rebounds in addition to his 15 points and 10 assists. Josh Howard scored 14. The Wizards shot just .398 and committed 20 turnovers.
- The Pacers scored at least 100 points for the 11th straight game, their longest streak since the 2008-09 season.
- Since the 2007-08 season, the Pacers are now 45-43 in games played after the All-Star break.
- Hansbrough and Wall picked up double technical fouls after briefly exchanging words in the third quarter.
- Rashard Lewis returned for Washington after missing the last three games with a sore knee, but played off the bench.
The Pacers return home for a rematch with the Detroit Pistons on Wednesday in Conseco Fieldhouse (7 p.m., Fox Sports Indiana, WIBC 93 FM). The Pacers lost 115-109 to the Pistons last Wednesday in Detroit. Tickets: Buy now | College Night | Kroger Plus Night