Pacers at Wizards

Game Recap: Wizards 132, Pacers 124

Russell Westbrook (35 points, 14 rebounds, season-high 21 assists) became the first player in NBA History to record 35+ points, 10+ rebounds and 20+ assists in a game as the Wizards defeated the Pacer

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Game Recap: Wizards 132, Pacers 124

Russell Westbrook (35 points, 14 rebounds, season-high 21 assists) became the first player in NBA History to record 35+ points, 10+ rebounds and 20+ assists in a game as the Wizards defeated the Pacer
Mar 29, 2021  |  00:02

Postgame: Pacers Locker Room – March 29, 2021

March 29, 2021 - Nate Bjorkgren, Malcolm Brogdon, Domantas Sabonis, and T.J. McConnell speak with the media following Indiana's 132-124 loss in Washington.
Mar 29, 2021  |  02:22

Turner Strong Dunk

Caris LeVert passes to Myles Turner for a strong dunk.
Mar 29, 2021  |  00:04

Sumner Goes Coast to Coast

Sumner grabs the ball and drives down the lane for the basket
Mar 29, 2021  |  00:09

Sabonis Big Dunk

T.J. McConnell Finds Domantas Sabonis for a two-handed slam
Mar 29, 2021  |  00:09

Holiday Step Back

Justin Holiday steps back for three
Mar 29, 2021  |  00:08

Goga Slams It Home

T.J. McConnell sets up Goga Bitadze for a powerful dunk
Mar 29, 2021  |  00:08

Lamb Charges the Basket

Jeremy Lamb pushes past the defense for a bucket
Mar 29, 2021  |  00:04

Brogdon Drains the Three

Malcolm Brogdon hits his second three of the quarter
Mar 29, 2021  |  00:04

Game Rewind: Pacers 124, Wizards 132

Monday, March 29, 2021 at 7:00 PM ET at Capital One Arena
by Brendan Rourke
Pacers.com Contributor

Game Recap

Winners of four of their last five, Indiana had high hopes of notching another road win against the struggling Washington Wizards during its road-heavy month of March.

However, despite the absence of the NBA's leading scorer Bradley Beal, Washington (17-28) sent Indiana (21-24) home with a 132-124 defeat after rattling off a 22-6 run over the final 5:47 of the game. Russell Westbrook carried the load for the Wizards, finishing the night with a monster 35-point, 14-rebound, 21-assist triple-double. Former Gonzaga forward Rui Hachimura added 26 on 12-of-24 shooting for the hosts.

Westbrook's video game-like statline overshadowed outstanding 35 and 26-point nights from Pacers' starters Domantas Sabonis and Malcolm Brogdon. Unfortunately for the duo, no other Indiana player managed to find their stroke for the majority of the night. Myles Turner (11 points, five rebounds, four blocks) and Justin Holiday (10 points, four rebounds, two steals) were the lone other players to finish in double figures.

"I just thought it was a little bit of a sluggish start," coach Nate Bjorkgren said. "Usually, our bounce and activity (are) there for longer stretches. And today, it wasn't."

Brogdon's response to the outing was much shorter, knowing the squad has little room for error down the stretch.

"(We were) not good enough," he said. "They played harder. They made more shots and got more stops."

The veteran point guard tried his best to keep Indiana afloat during the stagnant start. Starting the game with a pair of triples, he finished the frame with a game-high 11 first-quarter points.

Later, a 9-2 run over a 2:36 span, including six straight, snatched an 18-12 Pacers advantage with 4:55 to go. Sabonis muscled an and-one layup, while Brogdon and Justin Holiday found treys during the spree.

But Washington kept on fighting, replying with six straight to tie the score at 18 apiece on Daniel Gafford's putback slam with 3:06 remaining.

With the play still feeling sluggish, coach Bjorkgren began substituting in Indiana's energetic bench. Both T.J. McConnell and Jeremy Lamb provided immediate impact by finding success in the paint. Fighting on the offensive glass, Lamb’s tip layup with 7.4 seconds to go snagged a 28-24 Indiana lead after one quarter of play.

The second units of each squad produced a back-and-forth affair early in the second as Indiana managed to cling to a slim lead. With 9:36 to play, McConnell bounced a pass to a cutting Goga Bitadze for a massive flush to keep Indiana ahead, 36-32.

But the Blue & Gold could not find a way to extend the lead further over the next few minutes. Consecutive 3-point shots from Chandler Hutchison and Westbrook soon tied the bout at 42. A third triple, a snipe from two-way player Garrison Matthews, grabbed a 47-44 Wizards lead with 6:18 left.

With the half winding down, Indiana finally broke through the deficit behind Turner’s first swat of the game on the defensive end. Turner slapped Hachimura's layup off the glass and into Caris LeVert’s hands. Then, as Brogdon surveyed the court, he found Sabonis for an easy hook to tie the score at 57 with 26.3 seconds to go. The All-Star added a single free throw with 0.2 seconds remaining to give the Blue & Gold a 58-57 edge at the break.

However, Indiana stumbled out of the gate once again. Two turnovers and a misfire in the first three possessions led to seven consecutive points for the Wizards and a 64-58 lead at the 10:38 mark.

Thankfully, the duo of Brogdon and Sabonis continued to find success on the offensive end to keep it close. Both players nailed a 3-pointer, then Sabonis closed the gap to 68-66 on a pair of free throws in just over a minute of action. With 8:50 to play, Turner's first bucket of the game, an and-one finish in the paint, regained a one-point Indiana lead.

Over the next several minutes, the squads remained in a tight battle. After Indiana earned a 75-73 lead, Westbrook and Hachimura helped Washington to three-point leads twice. With 4:10 to go, McConnell picked off a Hutchison pass and found Sabonis for an easy layup to tie the score at 80. Later, both Brogdon and McConnell found the big man for easy buckets to capture an 85-82 Pacers lead with 3:01 remaining.

Down the stretch, Indiana extended its lead to 91-86 behind a wide-open 3-point shot from Bitadze with 1:10 left. However, the Wizards outscored the Pacers 9-1, including a buzzer-beating three from Raul Neto, to take a 95-92 lead into the final frame.

For the first time in the game, someone other than Sabonis and Brogdon found their stroke on the offensive end. Two big 3-pointers from Turner in the first 1:36 of the frame quickly earned a 100-98 lead for the Pacers. However, the lead was short-lived, as Westbrook added to his monster night. The crafty guard recorded five straight points, then dished out his 19th assist to Hutchison for a triple to give Washington a 106-104 lead with 9:10 remaining. To make matters worse, Lamb then left the floor after hurting his foot. He was diagnosed with a right toe sprain and did not return to action.

But Sabonis and the squad kept on fighting.

Down 110-108, the big man hit 1-of-2 free throws to bring Indiana to within one. After McConnell missed a jumper, he snagged an offensive rebound and connected on a 13-foot, step-back jumper to give Indiana a 111-110 lead with 7:07 to go. After a Washington turnover, Justin Holiday knocked in a baseline triple through a foul to extend the lead to four. Edmond Sumner then sped coast-to-coast for a reverse layup to cap an 8-0 run for the Blue & Gold.

However, Indiana's lead was once again a short one. After Sumner's layup with 5:47 to go, the Pacers failed to score for the next 3:15. Meanwhile, Westbrook and the Wizards continued to pile on the points. His 3-pointer from the right wing with 44.8 seconds left extended Washington's lead to 128-120 and deflated Indiana's sails for good.

The Blue & Gold hope to bounce back against the Miami Heat at home on Wednesday night in what could be Victor Oladipo's first game with his new team.

Inside the Numbers

Sabonis and Brogdon finished a combined 20-of-36 (55.5 percent) from the floor while the rest of the club shot just 24-of-57 (42.1 percent).

Indiana lost the battle of the boards tonight, 55-37.

Washington finished with 74 points in the paint – a season-high for a Pacers opponent.

You Can Quote Me On That

"When a guy has it going like that, obviously (it's) pretty tough to stop. I think we just can't lose focus on (the defensive) end. I think there were a couple of possessions where he missed a few. But they got second-chance points. That's on us as guards going in to get the rebounds and blocking people out, and helping the big fellas out." –McConnell on Westbrook's performance and what went awry defensively

"I missed being home. It's definitely a lot better, and I'm excited to be there for more than a couple nights. We have to take care of business at home, though. That's most important." –Sabonis on ending the Pacers' road-heavy month of March and their upcoming stretch of home games

"He seemed up and in good spirits. I haven't talked to him about it. But, he was up and walking." –McConnell on Lamb's posture in the locker room after he suffered his injury

Stat of the Night

After limiting the Dallas Mavericks to just 94 points on 39-of-95 (41.1 percent) shooting on Friday night, Indiana surrendered 132 points to the Wizards on 55-of-99 (55.6 percent) shooting tonight.

Noteworthy

  • Indiana has not won three games in a row since starting the season 3-0.
  • The loss snapped a three-game Pacers win streak against the Wizards.
  • The Pacers fall to 9-22 on the season when shooting under 50 percent on field goals.

Up Next

The Pacers return home to welcome Victor Oladipo and the Miami Heat to Bankers Life Fieldhouse on Wednesday, March 31 at 7:00 PM ET.

Tickets

A limited number of tickets for all upcoming Pacers home games from March 17 - April 21 are now on sale. Tickets for the final nine regular season home games will go on sale on Monday, April 19. Single Game Tickets »   Health & Safety Guidelines »





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