Pacers at Wizards

Game Recap: Wizards 154, Pacers 141

Russell Westbrook recorded 14 points, a career-high 21 rebounds and a career-high tying 24 assists for the Wizards as they defeated the Pacers, 154-141. This is Westbrooks 32nd triple-double of the se

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Game Recap: Wizards 154, Pacers 141

Russell Westbrook recorded 14 points, a career-high 21 rebounds and a career-high tying 24 assists for the Wizards as they defeated the Pacers, 154-141. This is Westbrooks 32nd triple-double of the se
May 3, 2021  |  00:02

Postgame: Pacers Locker Room – May 3, 2021

May 3, 2021 – Nate Bjorkgren, Caris LeVert, and Domantas Sabonis speak with the media following Indiana's 154-141 loss to the Washington Wizards.
May 3, 2021  |  01:12

Caris LeVert (33 points) Highlights vs. Washington Wizards

Caris LeVert (33 points) Highlights vs. Washington Wizards, 05/03/2021
May 3, 2021  |  00:02

Domantas Sabonis (32 points) Highlights vs. Washington Wizards

Domantas Sabonis (32 points) Highlights vs. Washington Wizards, 05/03/2021
May 3, 2021  |  00:02

Holiday Knocks Down a Three

May 3, 2021 - T.J. McConnell grabs the loose ball and passes to Aaron Holiday for a clutch three.
May 3, 2021  |  00:11

Holiday Spins Inside

May 3, 2021 - Aaron Holiday drives in the paint for a bucket.
May 3, 2021  |  00:13

Sumner Recovers for Three

May 3, 2021 - Edmond Sumner gets the offensive rebound and cans the three.
May 3, 2021  |  00:06

Sabonis Give-and-Go

May 3, 2021 - Caris LeVert dishes to Domantas Sabonis for a strong finish.
May 3, 2021  |  00:04

Sabonis Pounds It Down

Justin Holiday sets up Domantas Sabonis for a big slam
May 3, 2021  |  00:07

Brissett with a Splash

May 3, 2021 - Oshae Brissett lets it fly for three.
May 3, 2021  |  00:05

McConnell Beats the Clock

T.J. McConnell nails a bucket right as the clock expires
May 3, 2021  |  00:06

Sumner One-Hand Dunk

May 3, 2021 - Edmond Sumner makes a big slam look easy.
May 3, 2021  |  00:06

Game Rewind: Pacers 141, Wizards 154

Monday, May 3, 2021 at 7:00 PM ET at Capital One Arena
by Brendan Rourke
Pacers.com Contributor

Game Recap

On Saturday, the Pacers recorded a franchise-high 152 points in a blowout win against the Oklahoma City Thunder. They had hopes of using that momentum tonight against the Washington Wizards with playoff implications on the line.

However, the tables were turned on Indiana Monday night. The Wizards (30-35) erupted for 96 points in the paint en route to defeating the Pacers (30-34), 154-141, inside Capital One Arena. Nine Wizards finished in double figures, as Rui Hachimura and Bradley Beal notched 27 and 26 apiece. Russell Westbrook also added another video game-esque triple-double, finishing with 14 points, 21 rebounds, and 24 assists. The elite guard has a combined 45 assists over his last two contests against the Pacers.

"They were attacking the paint at will," coach Nate Bjorkgren said of the poor defensive performance. "Our initial defense wasn't very good to start the game. When a team feels the lane wide open and the alleyways to the rim (are) wide open, they're going to keep attacking."

That completely covered up Caris LeVert's game-high 33-point performance for Indiana. Domantas Sabonis also had a strong showing, tallying a massive 32-point, 20 rebounds double-double. But the Blue & Gold simply had no defensive answer near the rim. After tonight, they find themselves just 0.5 games ahead of Washington — current owners of the final playoff play-in spot.

PLAYOFF PICTURE: Tracking the Latest Standings, Remaining Schedules, and More »

It was a battle between the big men early in the first quarter, as Sabonis and Alex Len were the primary scorers for the squads. Sabonis tallied eight of the first 14 Indiana points. However, Len started a tic better, using his seven-foot frame to record nine of the first 18 for Washington and give the hosts an early advantage.

The Wizards extended the lead to as many as seven before the Pacers closed the gap to one possession. Trailing 25-19 at the 5:56 mark, Doug McDermott, Sabonis, and LeVert all connected on shots in the paint to trim the Wizards' lead to 27-25 with 4:47 to go.

But the Blue & Gold could not take over Washington in the frame. Taking advantage of Indiana's missing post players, Washington tallied six of its final nine first-quarter points down low. But the active play of T.J. McConnell kept Indiana close. The reserve guard drilled his patented turnaround jumper with 0.6 seconds showing to cut the deficit to 36-31 before the buzzer.

Both squads started hot in the second, trading points on six consecutive possessions. Indiana finally broke the flow with back-to-back treys from Oshae Brissett and Edmond Sumner to trim Washington's lead to 45-43 with 9:25 remaining.

But once again, Indiana failed to get over the hump. Despite solid offensive play, the defense continued to have problems near the rim. The Wizards found 14 of their next 17 points in the paint, extending their lead to 62-54 on center Daniel Gafford's and-one layup with 4:46 to go.

Washington soon stretched its lead to double digits, 69-58, behind a run of seven unanswered over a 45-second span. Sabonis' dunk with 2:59 to go stopped the run briefly, but the hosts kept on driving. Hachimura's alley-oop slam soon gave the Wizards a 76-60 lead. They would hold on to a 16-point margin as the first half closed (82-66). The 82 first-half points surrendered by Indiana were the second-most given up in a half this season.

The Wizards widened the margin to 94-74 with 9:09 left in the third after consecutive buckets from Hachimura. It continued to get worse from there, as they appeared to have nearly free reign of the paint. A barrage of dunks and layups followed over the next several minutes, and the Pacers soon found themselves down 105-82 with 5:11 to go in the frame.

The Pacers turned things around for a brief moment starting at the 4:22 mark. The squad rattled off a 10-2 run, including eight unanswered, to trim Washington's lead to 107-92 with 2:45 left.

But the Blue & Gold struggled to contain the Wizards as the third came to a close. After McConnell's three from the right baseline cut the lead to 14, Washington used three triples in the final two minutes, including Chandler Hutchison's wide-open look from the right side, to regain a 122-100 lead. A bucket by Aaron Holiday in the closing second stopped the bleeding. But the squad found themselves down 20 heading into the final frame.

A brief 7-2 Pacers spree early in the fourth brought the squad back to within 125-109 with 9:37 to go. However, two more buckets in the paint from Beal and Hutchison pushed Washington's lead back to 20 once more.

Indiana gave it one more push midway through the frame. After an 11-footer from Hachimura gave Washington a 136-117 lead, the Pacers managed a 10-4 run, including threes from Sabonis and Aaron Holiday, over a 2:04 span to trim the lead to 140-127 with 5:15 to go. Justin Holiday had a chance to cut the lead to 10, but his 3-point attempt was too long. Westbrook and Hachimura then responded with consecutive buckets to end the run and deflate Indiana's sails for good. The squad never cut the lead to single digits over the final 4:04.

The Pacers hope to rebound against the Sacramento Kings on Wednesday at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.

Inside the Numbers

Coming into the game, the Pacers led the league in fastbreak points per game (17.4). Tonight, they were limited to just four points in transition.

Washington shot 63-of-103 (61.2 percent) from the floor — a season-high for a Pacers opponent.

Domantas Sabonis was one rebound shy of hauling in 20 rebounds in a game for the second time this season. He grabbed 22 against the Phoenix Suns on Jan. 9.

You Can Quote Me On That

"I noticed they were jamming the outlet passes a little bit...I think they were doing that kind of early. I think part of it was we weren't getting any stops. So we were taking the ball out of bounds as opposed to getting it off the rim. It was a mixture." –LeVert on the lack of fastbreak points for the Pacers tonight

"I have to do more. We have to play harder. We have to coach better. There's a number of things. We're all in this together. I'll tell you that." –Bjorkgren on what needs to change for the defense to succeed

"It's amazing. It just shows you the preparation that goes into every night. Bringing that energy and showing up every night is really hard as a guard — getting rebounds, setting your teammates up, and scoring as well. There's a lot of pressure on him to perform every night and he comes out and does it." –Sabonis on Westbrook closing in on Oscar Robertson's career triple-double record

Stat of the Night

Washington's 154 points fell just one point shy of tying the all-time high for an opponent's scoring performance against Indiana and were the most ever by a Pacers opponent in regulation.

Noteworthy

  • Washington's win tonight ensures an advantage in the head-to-head tiebreaker over Indiana.
  • Edmond Sumner left early in the third quarter with a knee contusion and did not return to action.
  • For the first time this season, eight Pacers players finished in double figures in a game.

Up Next

Te Pacers return home to tip off a three-game homestand when they welcome the Sacramento Kings to Bankers Life Fieldhouse on Wednesday, May 5 at 8:00 PM ET.

Tickets

A limited number of tickets for all remaining Pacers home games are now on sale. Single Game Tickets »   Health & Safety Guidelines »





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