Returned sooner than expected from a left knee injury and produced 24 points, seven rebounds, three assists and two blocked shots.
"It was great to have Jermaine out there, and I thought he played exceptionally well. It gave us a big lift early but we ran into a tough team at a tough time. The effort's there, we've just got to get as many guys as healthy as possible."
Points in the Paint:
Wizards 40, Pacers 32
Fast-break points:
Wizards 16, Pacers 11
2nd-chance points:
Wizards 8, Pacers 4
Points off turnovers:
Wizards 19, Pacers 16
Starters scoring:
Wizards 79, Pacers 74
Bench scoring:
Wizards 23, Pacers 22
For the second game in a row, the Pacers committed seven turnovers in the third period.
After a couple of much-needed days off, the Pacers face former teammate Anthony Johnson and the Atlanta Hawks Saturday in Conseco Fieldhouse (7 p.m., FSN-Indiana).
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    O'Neal Returns But Streak Continues

    By Conrad Brunner | March 14, 2007

    If you're beginning to wonder what it's going to take for the Pacers to snap this losing streak, join the club. A 37-point game from Jamaal Tinsley wasn't enough Tuesday in Minnesota. The surprise return and 24-point performance from Jermaine O'Neal didn't get it done Wednesday night. Maybe having the whole team together at once, rather than one at a time, can be the next step.

    With Tinsley (leg) and Jeff Foster (back spasms) joining the list of injured just as O'Neal emerged from it, Gilbert Arenas scored 28 of his 35 points in the second half to spark Washington to a 112-96 victory over Indiana Wednesday night in Conseco Fieldhouse.

    O'Neal was expected to be in uniform but Coach Rick Carlisle said 90 minutes before tipoff he considered the six-time All-Star "a long shot" to play and planned to start David Harrison. As the players were taking the floor for the opening jump, Carlisle told the official scorer O'Neal would be in the lineup instead.

    Though O'Neal played well, the Pacers struggled to contain Arenas and Antawn Jamison, who scored 17 of his 27 in the first half. Arenas scored eight points in a row in a 10-point third-quarter run that gave Washington the lead for good, 61-52. he then added eight, including a pair of long, off-balance 3-pointers, in an 18-5 fourth-quarter run that put it away.

    The Pacers (29-35) lost their 11th game in a row, one shy of the franchise record set during the 1988-89 season, and fell out of playoff position in the Eastern Conference. Indiana and New York are tied for ninth, .002 percentage points behind eighth-place Orlando (30-36). It was also the Pacers' fourth home loss in a row, dropping their record at Conseco Fieldhouse to 18-14.

    The Wizards (35-28) snapped losing streaks of three games overall and five on the road, where they improved to 11-19, and moved one game ahead of Miami in the Southeast Division.


    O'Neal's return certainly was an unexpected bonus as he played 30 minutes, shot relatively well (7-of-14 overall) and was aggressive in attacking the basket, going 10-of-15 from the free throw line. Danny Granger shot 7-of-11 and scored 19 points with five rebounds. Troy Murphy shot 7-of-12 and scored 17 with seven rebounds and three assists. Mike Dunleavy had 12 points and nine rebounds but missed all four of his 3-pointers. Darrell Armstrong scored 11 and Shawne Williams nine off the bench.
    Familiar problems recurred in that the Pacers committed 17 turnovers offensively and couldn't come up with enough stops, defensively, as the Wizards shot 50.6 percent and racked up 63 points in the second half. Arenas shot 10-of-22, but made 5-of-8 from the arc and 10-of-13 from the line, adding eight assists, five rebounds, two steals and a block. Jamison was 12-of-20 for his 27 points, adding eight rebounds. Darius Songaila tied his season high with 12 points off the bench and Antonio Davis had 10 points and a season-high nine assists.
    Washington had the three significant runs of the game. A 15-4 burst early in the second quarter – without the presence of either Arenas or Jamison – pushed the Wizards into a 38-29 lead. The Pacers carved the halftime deficit to 49-46 and took a 52-51 lead early in the third quarter on O'Neal's bucket. But Arenas then got loose to key the 10-point run that put the Wizards in front 61-52. The Pacers got as close as four on Granger's 3-point play, 73-69, but Arenas hit two more 3-pointers and DeShawn Stevenson closed the third with a trey of his own to give the visitors an 84-74 lead heading into the fourth.

    The Pacers surged briefly to start the fourth, as O'Neal scored six in a row to cut it to 88-82 with 8:20 remaining but two more 3-pointers from Arenas sent the Wizards on their way to the game-sealing 18-5 run that extended the lead to 106-87 with 3:32 remaining.

  • Foster didn't play because of back spasms that cropped up during the second half of the Minnesota game Tuesday. Coach Rick Carlisle said he didn't think the problem was serious and "we're hoping he can play on Saturday" against Atlanta.
  • Tinsley was unable to play after scoring a career-high 37 points against the Timberwolves. Carlisle said Tinsley was "banged-up and just decided he couldn't go." The point guard has been bothered by injuries to his left leg and foot.
  • Marquis Daniels missed his seventh game in a row with left knee tendinitis and isn't expected to play Saturday. "It's going to take awhile," Carlisle said. "How long, I don't know. It has been slower than we hoped."
  • The Wizards played the second half without starting small forward Caron Butler (left knee stiffness).