Posted April 06, 2013 on
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The Indiana Pacers' five-game winning streak came to end Friday, but they'll get a chance to get back on track against a team they've beaten in nine straight meetings.
The Washington Wizards they'll face Saturday night, though, are hardly the same club they last saw three months ago.
The Pacers try again to clinch their first Central Division title in nine years Saturday night, but to do so they'll have to end the Wizards' eight-game home winning streak.
Indiana (48-28) had won eight of nine heading into Friday's visit from Oklahoma City, but it failed to take advantage of a chance to claim its first Central crown since 2003-04. The Pacers trailed by one at the half and five after three quarters, but were outscored 25-8 in the final 12 minutes in a 97-75 loss to a Thunder team that arrived in Indianapolis at 4 a.m.
"Our goal above all else was to win the division, so we have to regroup tonight, prepare tomorrow for Washington, which has been playing tough at home, and go out and try to clinch this thing," forward David West said.
Chicago won Friday to keep its slim Central hopes alive, but Indiana doesn't have to wait long to get another shot to close it out. It's on to the nation's capital to face the Wizards, whom the Pacers have held to 85.0 points per game in three victories this season.
Two of those came in November and the other Jan. 2, 10 days before John Wall made his season debut. Since Wall came back, Washington is 23-19 - the Eastern Conference's fifth-best record - and a remarkable 17-4 at the Verizon Center.
The Wizards (28-47) have won by an average of 12.2 points during their win streak on their home floor, shooting a stunning 50.4 percent from 3-point range during a stretch in which Wall has averaged 23.8 points and 8.6 assists.
They haven't won nine straight at home since a 10-game run Dec. 13, 2006-Jan. 20, 2007.
Washington wasn't nearly that sharp Wednesday in Toronto, shooting 20.0 percent after halftime and blowing an 11-point cushion in an 88-78 loss.
"We did not come out with any focus," coach Randy Wittman said. "To be up 11 at halftime and then go through the motions in those first three minutes, let them back in it. We need that killer instinct, and we have not shown it."
The Wizards will need a little extra focus with Bradley Beal officially done for the season with a right leg injury, and Martell Webster had been providing some key minutes of late. But after averaging 17.6 points in 10 games March 9-29, he's totaled 17 in his last three.
The Pacers had hit triple digits in each game of their winning streak prior to Friday, when they shot a season-worst 2 of 21 from beyond the arc. Paul George missed all six of his attempts from 3, finishing with eight points.
George had 29 points and 14 rebounds in an 89-81 win over Washington in January, and the Pacers' ability to dominate the boards has played a key role in this series. Indiana has a plus-8.3 rebound margin against the Wizards in 2012-13, outscoring them by an average of 9.3 points in the paint.
BEST OF MAXIM
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -- Kevin Durant overcame a bruised left calf to score 34 points and Russell Westbrook added 24 points, leading the Oklahoma City Thunder to a 97-75 victory over the Indiana Pacers on Friday.
Oklahoma City (56-20) has won three straight to move into a tie with San Antonio for the top seed in the Western Conference.
The win capped an impressive back-to-back sweep...
In a show of bitterness, the Boston Celtics Jordan Crawford gave the Boston Globe a really hard time when Baxter Holmes attempted to interview him about facing his previous team the Washington Wizards on Sunday.
When the subject was brought up to Crawford after practice on Saturday he responded by saying ‘who?’
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The post Jordan Crawford...
Saturday, April 6th, 2013
7:00 PM ET
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Steve Buckhantz and Phil Chenier
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Dave Johnson and Glenn Consor
Pacers Projected Starting Lineup
Ouch. That's all I can say after the Oklahoma City Thunder pounded the Pacers 97-74 in Indiana. The game was kinda close for two-and-a-half quarters, though the Thunder seemed in charge all the way. In the end, despite Roy Hibbert's 22 and 8, it came down to the fact that OKC had superstars Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, while the Pacers simple had three regular All...
A full recovery is expected and Danny Granger is expected for the start of the 2013 training camp.
Washington Wizards star guard John Wall has been on fire as of late. After scoring 37 points to lead the Wizards to a 104-85 over the Indiana Pacers, Wall talked about his confidence and some of the emotion he shows while he’s on the court. Wall believes “When you’re feeling good, you’re playing good” and it [...]
On a night when the Washington Wizards celebrated the 35th anniversary of the franchise's only championship, John Wall played like someone who might someday carry on that legacy, scoring 37 points in a display of speed and flair Saturday to lead the Washington Wizards to a 104-85 victory over the Indiana Pacers.
Wall made 16 of 25 shots, throwing his palms up after making an...
A night after superstars Kevin Durant and Russell Westbook handed their asses to them in Indiana, the Pacers suffered their second straight blowout defeat tonight at the hands of the lowly Washington Wizards, powered by their own superstar John Wall.
Wall had 37 points, including 26 in a blistering first half, but it was the second half when the Wizards blew the game open en...
I managed to catch Washington Wizards Head Coach Randy Wittman’s post game press conference after the team’s win over the Indiana Pacers. Coach Wittman talked about the teams game plan and aggressiveness against Paul George and David West. Specifically the defense on George, holding the first time All-Star to 0-8 from the field with only two points. [...]
4/6/2013 - Verizon Center, Washington, DC
ESPN Boxscore - NBA.com Game Highlights
The Wizards had a great start offensively, lead by John Wall who began the game shooting 7-for-8 for 15 points by the end of the 1st quarter and went psycho after that. He finished with 37 points, five assists and four rebounds. And mind you, this was all against...
Crawford did play for the Wizards! Here is proof!Jordan Crawford was traded to the Celtics at the trade deadline for an injured Leandro Barbosa and Jason Collins. Crawford has given the Celtics some offense off the bench has been the gunner Boston’s offense has desperately needed with their injury ravished line-up. Sure he is reckless, as he makes both Doc and the opposing...