Friday, March 28, 2014 at 7:00 PM ET at Verizon Center
Game Rewind: Pacers 78, Wizards 91
Scott Agness | March 28
Coming off a big win over the Miami Heat on Wednesday, the Pacers had hoped to bottle up that positive energy and take it on the road. Their league-leading defense is there, but their offense has vanished over the last two weeks.
In our Nation’s Capital Friday night, the Pacers (52-21) failed to reach the 80-point mark for the third time in four games and never led in a 91-78 loss to the Washington Wizards (37-35
Indiana bounced back from a brutal start to the game at the Verizon Center, where they turned it over on four of their first six possessions and David West was whistled for two offensive fouls not four minutes in. Head coach Frank Vogel then called a much-needed timeout to regroup. Luis Scola picked up some slack, with eight points in the opening quarter. Wizards guard John Wall, who had a total of 21 points in their other two meetings this season, had 10 points in the first 12 minutes and the Pacers were down by three.
The Pacers managed just four points in the first 6:37 of the second quarter, missing on nine of their first 10 shots. Meanwhile, the Wizards ran out ahead by 16 via a 15-2 run, including 10 straight coming from reserve Al Harrington, who was drafted by the Pacers in 1998. The Pacers answered with a 12-0 run and were very fortunate to head into the half trailing by just seven, 44-37, after shooting 31 percent and committing 10 turnovers.
In the third period, there were opportunities for the Pacers to gain some ground. They cut the deficit to six four times in the period but turnovers, along with poor shots, held them back. Over the final 4:43, the Wizards outscored the Pacers 17-5 with Trevor Ariza scoring all 11 of his points in the quarter.
The Wizards’ lead grew to 21 before Indiana took another dent out of it. They used a 14-4 run with just over four minutes to play to make it a 10-point game, but then the Wizards scored seven straight and put the game away.
With less than 10 games remaining, the Pacers need to play with the focus we saw against the Heat earlier in the week. After a Miami win on Friday, the Pacers’ lead is now just two games. Every game from here on out is important, and thus needs to be played with the urgency that it requires. Indiana is in Cleveland on Sunday for the front end of their final back-to-back of the year.
Inside the Numbers
The Pacers had four players in double figures, paced by Paul George’s 19 points, along with nine rebounds. Lance Stephenson recorded his 19th double-double on the season, with 13 points and 14 rebounds, which equals his career high. Luis Scola added 10 points, his 17th game this season in double figures, and three rebounds off the bench in less than 14 minutes.
John Wall scored a game-high 20 points and dished out eight assists in the win. Center Marcin Gortat had his way inside, scoring 17 points and 12 rebounds.
Shooting 2-for-13, the Pacers were outscored by 15 points beyond the arc.
Ball movement and sharing remains a problem for the Pacers. With 13 assists in this one, they’ve had tallied 13 assists or less in three of their last four games — seven below their season average.
The Pacers are 0-4 this season when held below 80 points.
“Just a poor shooting night from a number of different guys. … We have to keep improving our offensive execution, create open shots and then we've gotta make shots.” – Frank Vogel
“I don’t know if we were ready to play or not. The thing is, they beat us pretty well and we need this game as much as we needed last game. We have such a great opportunity right now and we’re letting it slip because of these type of games. It’s been happening way too often.” – Luis Scola
“We’re at the point where we … get up for the Miami’s or get up for the Chicago Bulls and then come out and lay donuts against the Wizards and these other teams. … I just don’t know if we’re handling success and being out front the right way.” – David West
Stat of the Game
The Pacers shot 35 percent from the field, the seventh time in the last eight games they’ve been held below 40 percent.
- The Pacers have lost their last two games in D.C.
- It was Military Appreciation Night at the Verizon Center.
Sunday, March 30 at Cleveland – 3 p.m. EST. Game Preview »