Despite battling back from a 17-point hole, the Washington Wizards (4-26) never once enjoyed a lead against Paul George and the Indiana Pacers (19-13) in their 89-81 loss at Bankers Life Fieldhouse Wednesday night.
George’s 29 points fell just four shy of the 33 posted by the Wizards’ entire starting five. He also tallied 14 rebounds and three assists on the night against a Wizards roster that has managed only one road win thus far this season.
Both Garrett Temple and Martell Webster failed to score a single point in 22 and 14 minutes of play respectively. Even more, not a single member of Washington’s starting lineup obtained a plus/minus in the positive range.
Despite the gruesome box score figures, it should be noted the Wizards showed resolve.
Jordan Crawford posted 20 points, seven assists and four rebounds against the Pacers and kicked off Washington’s 7-0 run to start the second quarter.
From then on, the Wizards held within eight points of the Pacers until just under four minutes before the half. Then, George answered for Indiana with his own personal 7-0 rout to give the Pacers a 10-point lead before Crawford’s layup made it 47-39 Indiana.
Neither team scored in the final 2:55 seconds of the quarter, which featured its fair share of turnovers and yet another offensive goaltending turnover by the Wizards.
Within the first four minutes of the third quarter, Bradley Beal’s layup pulled the Wizards within two points of catching the Pacers, but Washington closed out the quarter down 67-58.
Washington trailed by as many as 13 points well into the fourth quarter, until Shelvin Mack’s driving layup with 7:22 remaining sparked an unprecedented rally by the Wizards.
Crawford’s three free throws and Nene’s shot in the paint trimmed Washington’s deficit to 81-73.
With little over a minute to go, Beal started his own eight-point run, complete with a 28-foot three pointer to make it 85-81 Pacers.
However, the Pacers were perfect from the line in the final seconds of the game, as Indiana closed the book on the Wizards with a final score of 89-81.