Fast forward to the fourth quarter and the Wizards had blown the lead as the Pacers were just a possession away from tying the game up.
But the Wizards buckled down and struck back and bested the Pacers by seven points, winning 97-90 on the backs of John Wall and Nene who scored 18 and 17 points respectively in the Wizards win. Kevin Seraphin led the attack off the bench as the young big scored 13 points to go along with six rebounds.
Here's what we learned:
1. Randy Wittman is still trying to figure out the rotation.
Glen Rice Jr. (who, according to the post game show on CSN, exchanged not so good words with Wittman during the pregame) , DeJuan Blair and Drew Gooden all received DNP's tonight, despite all of them seeing action against the Raptors on Friday. On Wednesday when the Wizards faced the Pacers at home, Blair and Rasual Butler both received DNP's while Kris Humphries played less than two minutes.
What gives? Sure, everyone can't play on every night, but Wittman needs to find some consistency in his rotation. I suppose now, early in the season is a good time to figure this thing out, but the Wizards spent nearly $6 million this off-season to acquire both Humphries and Blair and it would be money wasted to not get both of them involved.
The good news is that while Blair sat on the bench, Humphries played and had a positive impact on the floor. He finished the game with seven points, nine rebounds, three assists and a block in 19 minutes of action. Humphries had a decent game against the Raptors too and seems to be establishing himself as the best off-the-bench-big.
Oh, and Butler had a good game too, scoring nine points in the second quarter.
2. The Wizards blew a really big lead thanks to turnovers.
This game looked like a cake walk in the first half. At the end of the first quarter the Wizards led by 18 points and had zero turnovers. At one point that lead grew to 22 points, but by the fourth quarter the Pacers were surging back and cut the lead down to a possession because of the 14 turnovers the Wizards had given up, the majority of those coming off of offensive fouls.
3. John Wall answered the bell.
Wall led the Wizards in scoring with 18 points, six of which he scored in the fourth quarter. Wall also did a nice job of moving the ball and getting his teammates involved, despite notching just four assists on the stat sheet. Wall also dominated his one-on-one match-up with Donald Sloan, holding the Pacers' point guard to 13 points on 4 of 10 shooting.
He also did things like this:
What we didn't learn: What's up with The Truth?
When the Wizards signed Pierce this off-season fans looked to him as the veteran leader, someone they could count on in crunch time and someone that could make a big contribution on offense and defense. I gave Pierce a pass on Wednesday night against the Pacers, but it's time to tell it like it is: Pierce has been awful.
Tonight he was 2 of 13 from the floor and 0 for 5 from three-point land. In his last five games besides his 17-point outburst against the Knicks, Pierce has registered more shots than points scored. He is currently averaging 9.6 points and 4.8 rebounds per game while shooting an abysmal .250 from the floor through the Wizards last five games.