Saturday, November 10 at 7:00 PM EST at Bankers Life Fieldhosue
Game Rewind: IND 89, WAS 85
by Scott Agness
Returning home from a three-game road trip, the Pacers had some home-cooking in mind against the winless Wizards.
In the ongoing search for the right combination, Lance Stephenson started over Sam Young for the Pacers' third different starting lineup of the young season. A.J. Price, in his first game against his former team, immediately made a difference for the Wizards. He recorded seven assists in the first quarter and ended the night with a career-high 14. The Pacers closed the first quarter with seven straight points, including a high-flying jam from Gerald Green, and went in front 23-22.
The Pacers later went on a dry spell for more than four minutes, and missed seven shots in a row. In that time, the Wizards scored nine points to go ahead 47-40. But the Pacers scored the final seven points of the half and Paul George knocked down a three as time expired to tie the game at 49.
The teams simply traded baskets blow-for-blow in the third quarter and the Wizards carried a two-point lead into the final period. Tyler Hansbrough provided a big lift off the bench, getting back-to-back steals, a free throw and a big dunk.
After great ball movement, Stephenson hit an open West on the left block to put the Pacers up 87-80 with 1:44 remaining. The Wizards scored five in a row to come within two, but that was as close as they would get. The Pacers outscored the Wizards 19-13 in the final quarter to win 89-85.
Inside the Numbers
Paul George had his most efficient game yet, leading the team in scoring for the first time this season. He scored a season-high 20 points on 8-of-12 shooting and also pulled in seven rebounds. Gerald Green finished with 15 points and eight rebounds. Roy Hibbert, despite a tough night shooting the ball (3-of-15), had seven points and 12 rebounds. Lance Stephenson recorded 12 points (5-of-7) and four rebounds in his first start.
Pacers 2009 second-round pick A.J. Price had a record day in his return to Indy. He recorded a double-double—12 points and a career-high 14 assists—with zero turnovers in over 36 minutes of action. Emeka Okafor and rookie Bradley Beal each had 17 points in the loss.
The Pacers have taken care of the ball in the last three games. For the second straight night, they committed 13 turnovers after only turning the ball over 15 times Wednesday night in Atlanta
The game was tight most of the way as the point differential for the Pacers in each quarter was +1, -1, -2, and +6. There were 19 ties and 15 lead changes.
"A really good victory for us. Our guys seemed a bit tired, but gutted it out. We made some adjustments to our rotation to put our bench in a better position to succeed. I thought Tyler's (Hansbrough) energy late in the third and early in the fourth helped us succeed. He was all over the place at both ends of the floor. He made some big-time hustle plays." – Frank Vogel
"We're gonna start rollin'! I think when you're on a losing streak, and you've been on the road five of your first six games, they're always going to be a grind unless you're at full strength and clicking on all cylinders, which we were a lot last year and we would have been if Danny was in." – Frank Vogel on so many close games
"When he's on the court, the energy of everybody else out there picks up. He's an under-your-skin guy. Defensively, he's not always in the right spot but he's getting better... Statistically, he's been our best wing option with Danny out." – Frank Vogel on Stephenson's play
"Honestly, we were hungry for a win. We came in here and it was kind of a must-win for us and we got the win. Hopefully it will give us some confidence and we'll do better in situations late down the stretch when we get there again." – Tyler Hansbrough on ending a three-game streak
"It's always good to see familiar faces, especially when you had a good reputation and good relationship with those people. All the people around the building and all the people on the staff, it's good to see them and I let them know they will always have a special place in my heart." – A.J. Price on his first game back in Indy
"This is home for me. I still call it home. All my extended family is here—mom, dad, brothers and sisters... I've got a lot of friends in attendance, too many to name." – Wizards coach Randy Wittman on being back in his hometown
Stat of the Game
The Wizards scored just 13 points in the final quarter, shooting just 31 percent. The Pacers regained the lead 80-75 after a 10-0 run sparked by Tyler Hansbrough off the bench. They would never trail again.
- The Pacers have won seven in a row over the Wizards.
- Chris Singleton and David West were given a double-technical early in the second period.
- Jeff Pendergraph is cleared and available after dealing with concussion-like symptoms for the last week.
- Paul George, Gerald Green and Lance Stephenson each wore patriotic socks as the NBA honors Veterans all weekend.
Following a busy week playing four games in six days, the Pacers will have a couple days off before their next game Tuesday night at home against Toronto.