Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Pacers Blow By Wizards

After dropping the ball at home on New Year's Day against the Mavs, the Wizards were back on the road Wednesday night to square off with the 18-13 Pacers in Indiana. The Pacers had been without their leading scorer from last year, Danny Granger, for the entire season. The forward is not expected to return until later this month. In his absence, Indiana had been relying heavily on forward David West who had been averaging just over 20 points and 6 rebounds per game, George Hill, who'd also been putting up solid numbers with 15 points and 5 assists a game, and forward Paul George, who'd been averaging just over 16.5 points per game to go along with just over 7 boards.

The Wizards received big time contributions in the loss against Dallas the previous night from both Bradley Beal who had 22 points and Emeka Okafor who put up 14 points and 11 rebounds.

The Wizards fell behind 12-2 with 8:50 left in the 1st quarter, trailing 31-18 going into the 2nd, and shooting 33 percent from the field. Indiana had already been to the foul line 11 times by the end of the 1st. The Wizards went on an 18-7 run to start the 2nd quarter to pull to within 6, and make it 31-25, but Indiana retained an 8 point lead 47-39 going into the half.

Pacers forward Paul George is defended by Wizards guard Jordan Crawford

Washington then got off to a quick start in the 3rd quarter pulling to within 2 at 51-49 with 8:20 left in the period, but Indiana increased their lead to 67-58, despite Jordan Crawford hitting a long 3-pointer at the buzzer to keep the Wizards within single digits going into the 4th. Indiana widened the margin to start the final quarter, making it 77-64 with 8:12 remaining, but the Wizards climbed back at the end of the game behind back-to-back 3-pointers from Bradley Beal, cutting the Indiana lead to 85-81 with 34 seconds left. D.J. Augustin then knocked down 4 free throws to finish off a season high 18 point game, and the Pacers held on for an 89-81 victory behind Paul George, who ended the night with 29 points and 14 rebounds. Jordan Crawford led the Wizards with 20 points and 7 assists in the loss.