Wednesday, January 2nd, 2013 at 7:00 PM EST at Bankers Life Fieldhouse
Game Rewind: IND 89, WAS 81
by Scott Agness | January 2, 2013
Playing host to the league’s worst team, the Pacers knew they had to take care of business against an undermanned Washington Wizards team that has only won four games this season. The Pacers jumped out to a big lead in the first quarter and never trailed in their 89-81 win, but the Wizards hung around to make things interesting.
The Pacers opened the game in a dominant fashion, scoring the first eight points of the contest (the first 10 split among the five Pacers starters). The strong start would continue, and it looked like this one would be wrapped up quickly after Paul George connected on back-to-back 3-pointers to go up 24-7 midway through the first. At the time, George had eight points to the Wizards’ seven. The Pacers shot 50 percent from the field in the first quarter and led 31-18.
Players will tell you that playing with a huge lead is difficult, and more so than coming back from one. The Pacers were on the other end of one almost two weeks ago in New Orleans, when they overcame a 22-point deficit for the road win. The Wizards kept clawing back but the Pacers never relinquished their lead. They did however, have many foolish mistakes and bad passes in the second quarter, leading to six turnovers and thus Indiana's big lead was cut to five at the break.
The Wizards got within two early in the second half on a layup from rookie Bradley Beal. Shortly after, the Pacers went on a 9-2 run to take a nine point lead. D.J. Augustin scored eight of his 18 points in the quarter. Wizards guard Jordan Crawford drained a long 3-ball as time expired in the third to make it 67-58 with the Pacers in charge.
Indiana led by double-digits throughout most of the final period, but the game intensified when Beal scored on three straight possessions late in the game – most notably, a 28-footer that cut the Pacers' lead to four with 34 seconds remaining. After that, Augustin made two pairs of free throws and Beal was off the mark on both of his 3-point attempts as the Pacers defeated the Wizards 89-81 for the third time this season and ninth overall.
Inside the Numbers
Paul George was the best player on the court. He recorded his fourth double-double in the last eight games with 29 points, 14 rebounds and three assists. The Pacers are 9-3 when he scores 20+ points.
With 18 points (and six assists), D.J. Augustin raised his season-high for the second straight game. Ian Mahinmi was one point away from his first double-double of the season but he did grab a season-high 11 rebounds in 23 minutes.
Jordan Crawford led the Wizards with 20 points and seven assists, and Kevin Seraphin had 16 points and nine rebounds. Nene contributed 16 points and Bradley Beal had 14, including their last eight points of the game.
The Pacers scored 13 points off 11 offensive rebounds and held the Wizards to just two second chance points, the fewest of any Pacers’ opponent this season.
The Pacers were 10-of-20 from the floor in the first quarter (50 percent). In the final three quarters, they went 19-for-57 (33 percent).
“We’re happy to get a win. It wasn’t pretty. It wasn’t a blowout ... all three games we played them this year have been a game in the fourth quarter. They kept fighting and our guys—it’s not always pretty—but they find a way to win.” – Frank Vogel on tonight’s win
“Paul George is becoming a beast of a player on both ends of the court. He’s probably the best wing defender in the NBA ... it was a dominant performance by him at both ends.” – Frank Vogel on Paul George
“We didn’t do a good enough job executing. Luckily, we made enough shots obviously but we didn't do a good job at all executing. We let them pressure us and get us out of stuff. When we play tough teams that’s not going to fly.” – Paul George
Stat of the Game
The Pacers outscored the Wizards 26-8 at the charity stripe, going 26-for-31. George and Augustin combined to shoot 17-for-18.
- The Pacers have now won nine in a row over the Wizards, the longest active streak vs. any NBA opponent.
- Indiana’s six-game home winning streak is its longest since an eight-game streak in 2009-10.
- George Hill sat out his second-consecutive game with a sprained right groin.
- The Pacers improve to 6-2 in games played on Wednesdays.
The Pacers battle the Celtics for the first time this season on Friday in Boston (8 PM EST).
Next Home Game
Saturday, Jan. 5th at 7:00 PM EST vs. the Milwaukee Bucks. Buy Tickets »