Playing without their starting backcourt, the Pacers (30-25) did not have enough firepower to hang with the Wizards, falling to Washington (31-22) on Monday night at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, 111-102. The loss snapped a six-game winning streak for Indiana on its home floor.
Two hours before tipoff, the team announced that starting point guard Darren Collison needs arthroscopic surgery on his left knee and will be out two to three weeks. Pacers head coach Nate McMillan then revealed minutes later that All-Star shooting guard Victor Oladipo was also out Monday due to illness.
The shorthanded Pacers got off to another slow start on Monday, missing on their first six field goal attempts and falling into an early 10-2 hole. The Wizards got 10 points from All-Star guard Bradley Beal in the first quarter, led by as many as nine in the period, and took a 28-23 lead into the second quarter.
Indiana moved in front early in the second, scoring the first six points of the frame. After a couple lead changes, Washington retook control with a 22-5 run over a five-minute stretch to take a 55-39 lead.
The Pacers made a much-needed surge to close the first half, reeling off nine unanswered points to trim their deficit to single digits.
The Wizards led 58-49 at halftime and the Pacers hung around in the early part of the third quarter. Third-year guard Joe Young started the second half and provided a nice offensive spark, knocking down a couple 3-pointers, to keep the home team within striking distance.
"I thought he did a good job," Pacers head coach Nate McMillan said. "We wanted to get some ball movement and get some pressure on the ball, so we changed the lineup to try to get him on the ball. I thought he came in and did a nice job for us, bringing some energy, making some shots and defending."
But Washington strung together another run, with Marcin Gortat and Otto Porter Jr. combining for nine unanswered points to give the visitors a 79-62 lead with 4:18 remaining in the frame.
Once again, the Pacers made a small charge at the end of the quarter. This time, Bojan Bogdanovic raced down the court and buried a buzzer-beating 3-pointer from the left corner to make it an 86-74 game heading into the fourth quarter.
Bogdanovic made another big shot in the opening minute of the fourth, converting a four-point play that made it a 10-point game. The Croatian later knocked down his fifth 3-pointer of the night with 7:22 to play to trim the deficit to 95-87.
That would be the closest the Pacers got, however, as the Wizards executed well enough down the stretch to thwart any hopes of a comeback.
"They didn't win this game, we lost this game with too many turnovers and too many easy points for them," Bogdanovic said.
Bogdanovic led all scorers with a season-high 29 points, going 9-for-15 from the field and 5-for-7 from 3-point range. After enduring a prolonged shooting slump for December and most of January, Bogdanovic has averaged 21.8 points and made 14-of-26 shots from beyond the arc over his last four contests.
"The last couple of games, I've seen those balls go in," Bogdanovic said. "So it's easier for me to play and to be aggressive."
Young made 5-of-8 3-pointers and added 17 points, while Domantas Sabonis chipped in 15 points for Indiana. Lance Stephenson was the only other Pacers player in double figures. The mercurial guard racked up 13 points, nine rebounds, and six assists, but made just 4-of-14 shots (1-of-7 from 3-point range) and committed six turnovers.
Beal led Washington with 21 points on 9-of-15 shooting. Kelly Oubre Jr. added 15 points and seven rebounds off the bench for the Wizards, who had eight players score in double figures.
Even without All-Star guard John Wall (out approximately two months after undergoing knee surgery), Washington has won five straight games and moved into a virtual tie for third place in the Eastern Conference standings with Cleveland.
The Pacers will hit the road for their next two games, playing in New Orleans on Wednesday and in Boston on Friday before returning to Bankers Life Fieldhouse to host the New York Knicks on Sunday evening.
Inside the Numbers
Indiana is now 0-6 on the season when Oladipo does not play and 30-19 when he does.
Young set a new career high by making five threes on Monday. His previous career best was three, set this season against Minnesota on Dec. 31.
Aside from Bogdanovic, the Pacers' four other starters (Stephenson, Cory Joseph, Myles Turner, and Thaddeus Young) went 11-for-36 from the field (30.6 percent) and 2-for-12 from 3-point range (16.7 percent).
Former Pacers center Ian Mahinmi tallied 12 points for Washington on 4-of-4 shooting (4-of-5 from the free throw line), seven rebounds, and two steals in 24:22 off the bench before fouling out in the closing minutes.
Markieff Morris collected his fourth double-double of the season for the Wizards, finishing with 11 points and 10 boards.
You Can Quote Me On That
"Just no sharpness. As far as executing, too many turnovers, really loose with the ball. I think in the first half we gave up 10 turnovers and they scored just about every time off of our turnovers. They had 22 points off of turnovers in that first half. Just no sharpness on either end of the floor." -McMillan
"Vic is our go-to guy and you know it's going to be tough without going to (him and Collison). They play heavy minutes and it's two less players in the rotation." -Bogdanovic on playing without two starters
"We wanted to win. It's a team game. Credit my teammates for finding me and getting me open and my preparation, the coaches, Al (Jefferson) and the vets getting me ready, keeping me positive to go out there and perform when I have to." -Joe Young
"I thought we played a solid basketball game. It was, I would call it, a good professional win. They made some runs. We countered with some solid play. We defended, got some big stops when we needed to." -Wizards head coach Scott Brooks
"Our defense, I think we had seven or eight stops in a row at one point, against one of the best teams in the league when they get out in transition. But like I said, we have to take it one game at a time and continue to play the way we've been playing." -Beal
Stat of the Night
The Pacers had only 15 turnovers to Washington's 13, but the Wizards took advantage of those mistakes, outscoring Indiana 30-11 in points off turnovers.
Monday's game was the first meeting this season between the Pacers and the Wizards and their only regular season game at The Fieldhouse. They play twice more in Washington on March 4 and March 17.
Washington has now won four straight games against the Pacers, dating back to last season.
Pacers two-way player Ben Moore rejoined the team on Monday and played 6:23 off the bench, collecting one rebound. It was Moore's second career NBA game.
The Pacers travel to New Orleans for their second and final meeting of the season with Anthony Davis and the Pelicans on Wednesday night at 8:00 PM ET.
The Pacers are back at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on Sunday, Feb. 11, when they will host All-Star Kristaps Porzingis and the New York Knicks for a Hickory Night game at 5:00 PM ET. Legendary coach Tony Hinkle is the Hickory Night honoree and will be remembered in a special halftime ceremony.
Pacers Team Store Game Night Special
Pacers Heavy Washed Hat - $12. The Game Night Special can be purchased at the Pacers Team Store on game day, as well as online from 10:00 AM-Midnight.