Just like when the Miami Heat, Portland Trail Blazers, Oklahoma City Thunder, Chicago Bulls and San Antonio Spurs came to Verizon Center this season, the Wizards put on a performance to give the near-sellout crowd of 19,708 hope Friday night. The Wizards (37-35) dominated the East's best team in the Indiana Pacers to end a two-game losing streak behind a spirited defensive effort. In the first two meetings this season, both played in Indiana, the Wizards were held to 73 and 66 points. The latter was their lowest total points for a game in a decade. This time, the Pacers (52-21) never led. John Wall orchestrated the perfect floor game, distributing the ball to get everyone involved and spearheading an effort defensively to force seven first-quarter turnovers for a team that only averaged 15 per game. The Pacers ended with 17 that led to 21 points for the Wizards. Wall finished with 20 points, eight assists and two steals. Four other players scored in double figures for Washington, with Marcin Gortat at 17 points and 12 rebounds, Trevor Ariza 11 points and Al Harrington and Martell Webster coming off the bench to add 12 and 11. The Wizards only led 24-21 after the first quarter, but a 17-4 run in the second created a 41-25 lead. And they were able to pull away despite Ariza and Bradley Beal combining to shoot just 4-for-25. Ariza's defense, and the help he received from the likes of Gortat in the post, frustrated Paul George who was held to 19 points on 6-for-22 shooting to lead Indiana.
Wizards take down struggling Pacers
CSN Washington | Mar 29