Friday, January 10, 2014 at 7:00 PM ET at Bankers Life Fieldhouse
Game Rewind: Pacers 93, Wizards 66
Scott Agness | January 10, 2014
Defending is what the Pacers do best, better than any team in the NBA. Coming off a loss in Atlanta, the team was locked in and communicated well in holding down the Washington Wizards. Tied at the end of the first, the Pacers (29-7) dominated the final three quarters in their 93-66 drumming of the Wizards (16-18) Friday night at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
Yet again before the game, Pacers coach Frank Vogel reminded his team of what John Wall can do by showing them video of Wall dropping 37 points against the Pacers in a late-season game last season. He also pointed out that the Wizards are 6-1 in their last seen road games.
Unlike the two teams' last meeting in November, the Wizards also had a healthy Bradley Beal and Nene this time around. It didn’t matter, though, as the Pacers’ length bothered Washington and held them to 66 points, the lowest output this season of any team in the entire league.
Never mind the fact that Paul George was just 2-for-14 from the floor. He pulled down a season-high 14 rebounds, had six assists and helped contain the Wizards’ wings. And it wasn’t just him. It was a complete team effort. Indiana protected the rim, played excellent help defense, and boxed out.
Two nights after managing just 12 first-quarter points, the Pacers improved on that number against the Wizards, scoring 18, led by David West. With a protective glove on his right hand, West made all four of his field goal attempts in the quarter including a putback slam that even had Vogel smiling. After the Pacers went on a 12-2 run, the Wizards used a 10-2 run of their own to even things up. As neither team shot above 33 percent, the game was knotted at 18 after the first 12 minutes.
The Pacers’ offensive movement and spacing improved in the second quarter and as a result, the Pacers shot 67 percent from the field in the quarter. Even Roy Hibbert was feeling it, draining his second 3-pointer of the season when left wide-open in the corner. Seeing their 7-foot-2 center sink a trey brought the entire bench to its feet. The Pacers outscored the Wizards by eight in the frame for a 45-37 lead at recess.
It was all Indiana after that. They began the second half on an 11-3 run and kept the Wizards to 5-of-20 in the third quarter. Over the final 24 minutes, the Pacers outscored the Wizards 48 to 29.
C.J. Watson gave the team big minutes. He, along with George Hill, contained Wall, who averages 20 points per game, to 13 in 39 minutes. He didn’t misses on the other end, going 6-for-6 and finished with 16 points, two shy of his season-high.
The Pacers intend to take it easy over the weekend, as they have three days between games. Next week they have three contests on the docket — all at home.
Inside the Numbers
David West led the Pacers with 20 points, his best scoring output in almost a month. Roy Hibbert had 12 points and Luis Scola added 10 off the bench.
With 11 points and 10 rebounds, Lance Stephenson recorded his eighth double-double of the season.
Paul George scored in double figures in each of the first 35 games. Not tonight. He finished with a season-low eight points.
Bradley Beal, who didn’t play in their first meeting, scored a team-high 17 points for the Wizards and Nene contributed 12.
For the eighth time in their last 11 games, the Pacers held their opponent below 90 points. They are 20-0 this season when not allowing 90.
The inside game was all Indiana. They outscored the Wizards 38-18 in the paint and had a 61-41 rebounding advantage.
“That was just a sensational defensive effort by out team. I couldn’t be more proud of our guys’ work ethic on the defensive end. Our fans should be really proud. You want to see a team come out and play as hard as any team you’ve ever seen on the defensive end, come out and watch our basketball team.” – Frank Vogel
“You look at David West’s numbers and it looks like he’s having an OK season. That son of a gun could average 20 & 10 if he wanted to, but he’s leading our team in sacrifice and team play.” - Frank Vogel
“We’re trying to win and we’re trying to win big so you just want to be part of a winning situation and we’ve been able to win.” – David West on sacrificing his offensive production most nights
“That’s what we do. It was fun. We felt like it was a drill we call, ‘the no-paint drill.’ We were just making sure nobody got into the paint and to one shot. They didn’t have many offensive rebounds.” – Roy Hibbert
“David West has always been our backbone, someone that we always rely on late in a game. I just thought he did a great job of looking for his. I think sometimes he’s looking to be a facilitator and most of the time we need him to be a scorer for us.” – Paul George
“I’m more pleased with the communication, togetherness that we have on the defensive end, and everybody sacrificing (themselves) for the betterment of the team. Everybody is focusing on one common goal and that’s to try to be the best defensive team that we can possibly be.” – George Hill
“I just tried to be out there and be aggressive. I kind of felt sluggish with the five games in seven nights but I just wanted to start early on defense and just get my legs a little bit.” – C.J. Watson
Stat of the Game
The 66 points Indiana allowed is the lowest total since they held Toronto to 64 on April 2, 2004.
- The Pacers have won 12 straight home games against the Wizards and 15 of the last 18 overall meetings in the series.
- In the first quarter, Frank Vogel received a technical foul, his fourth of the season. Lance Stephenson was given his sixth of the season in the third period.
- Injuries kept Ex-Pacers forward Al Harrington (right knee surgery) and rookie Glen Rice, Jr. (fractured right wrist) off the floor for the Wizards.