Countdown to Tipoff: Pacers vs. Wizards
SCOUTING THE PACERS: After being outplayed by the Wizards' JaVale McGee in a 104-90 loss in Washington Wednesday, Roy Hibbert was so frustrated he said he should be "in the damn D-League." Hibbert had five points and five fouls in his Washington homecoming but gets another shot at McGee and the Wizards this afternoon in Conseco Fieldhouse. Aside from a better effort from Hibbert, Indiana could use more offense from Danny Granger. The team's leading scorer at 21.1 points per game, Granger shot 7 of 18 on Wednesday and was held to 15 points for a second straight game. Indiana is 13-7 when Granger scores 18 points or more and 0-9 when he's been healthy and scored 17 or fewer. The Pacers (13-17) are glad this the final game of December. They're 4-10 this month and 11-34 the last three years, the worst mark in the NBA.
SCOUTING THE WIZARDS: The Wizards, losers in each of their first 15 road games and a franchise-record 16 straight dating to last season, try to finally end the drought in the conclusion of this back-to-back set at Conseco Fieldhouse. Washington (8-22) has been extremely competitive at the Verizon Center, where it's 8-7 and has lost just once by double digits. The Wizards hosted the Pacers on Wednesday without coach Flip Saunders, who left the team to be with his ailing mother, but they played one of their better second halves of the season in his absence. Washington outscored Indiana 60-46 to break open a game that was tied at halftime, putting six players in double figures. A 32-point fourth quarter - highlighted by 10 from Andray Blatche - was particularly impressive. The Wizards had averaged a league-worst 19.0 points in the final 12 minutes of their previous seven games. Saunders' status for Friday's rematch is uncertain - assistant Randy Wittman coached the team in his place - and it's also unclear if guard Kirk Hinrich will be available after leaving Wednesday's game with a bruised left thigh. Hinrich averaged 16.8 points and 7.8 assists in his previous five games before the injury. The Wizards figure to need all the help they can get at Indiana. No team has started a season 0-16 on the road since the 2001-02 Chicago Bulls lost their first 18 away from home.
INJURY REPORT: The Pacers are healthy. For the Wizards, Kirk Hinrich (bruised thigh) and Yi Jianlian (knee) are questionable.
TICKETS: Buy now
BROADCAST INFO: This game will not be televised locally. The radio broadcast is anchored by the flagship of the Pacers' network, WIBC 93 FM, featuring Mark Boyle and Bob "Slick" Leonard, with Kevin Lee handling the sideline and pre-game duties.
CHAT: You can chat live with other fans around the country during the game.