Seven Pacers players score in double-figures led by Myles Turner with 18 points as Indiana downed a tired Washington squad, 105-89 on Sunday.
Only four Wizards players cracked double-figures in the game, led by Markieff Morris with 16 off the bench, but it wouldn’t be nearly enough as this one had ‘schedule loss’ written all over it after their thrilling triple overtime win over the Suns on Saturday evening.
The Wizards played about as well as one would hope to start this game. Even though the Wizards turned the ball over six times in the opening period and shot just 8-for-18 from the field, they found themselves down just two points one quarter.
After a John Wall turnover, it looked like the Pacers might open the floodgates up in this one as the ball found it’s way to Bojan Bogdanovic in the corner for a three-pointer giving Indiana a 44-32 lead. But Washington had an answer. Back-to-back threes from Morris and Jeff Green trimmed the Pacers lead to six and the Wizards were able to get as close as three after Thomas Bryant converted an and-one opportunity.
Indiana would counter with a 7-0 run of their own to take a 53-43 lead into halftime.
You usually don’t see fatigue in teams on the second half of a back-to-back until the second half — and that was the case for Washington. After hanging around, the Pacers ripped off a 16-1 extended run to open the game up 76-57 in the third quarter.
The deficit would be too much to overcome as Scott Brooks emptied the bench for the entire fourth quarter to close this one out as Washington was held to a season-low 89 points in the loss.
Wizards fall apart in the third quarter
The Wizards did a good job hanging around in this one during the first half, which was really all you could ask for from a team playing the second half of a back-to-back in less than 24 hours. Once the adrenaline wore off and the dead legs kicked in, Washington’s chance of sneaking away with a victory went out the window.
Washington was only able to muster 18 points in the third quarter as they were outscored 31-18 in the period.
However, the highlight of the period came on a basket that didn’t count. Bradley Beal stole the ball from a Pacers player, passed it off to Trevor Ariza who found a streaking Green for a monstrous dunk over Victor Oladipo.
Did Jeff Green try to kill Victor Oladipo? pic.twitter.com/tfWJjOvsYe— NBC Sports Wizards (@NBCSWizards) December 23, 2018
This basket was waived off due to an offensive foul, but that doesn’t take away from how spectacular this dunk was.
Turnovers haunt the Wizards
The Wizards were in the giving spirit as they coughed the ball up 22 times, equaling the number they gave up the night before. John Wall was the main culprit with seven turnovers on the evening, including six in the first half.
No turnover is good, however the ones the Wizards committed tonight would rank lowest on the totem pole. Too many times, guys would try to thread the needle after driving into a crowded lane or they’d turn it over attempting to save a loose ball heading out of bounds only to lead to transition opportunities for the Pacers.
The first half would have been a whole lot closer however the Wizards committed 13 turnovers leading to 20 Indiana points. Nine second-half turnovers added insult to injury as you aren’t going to win many games when committing 22 turnovers.
Washington gets nothing from their backcourt
Bradley Beal played over 50 minutes last night and you could tell. He looked gassed from the get-go and as a result, was only able to muster up seven points on 2-for-11 shooting in just 23 minutes of action.
John Wall on the other hand, was playing like a guy on the second half of a back-to-back, except he didn’t play last night due to flu-like symptoms that seemed to still be affecting his play. His numbers were equally as bad as he also only scored seven points and turned the ball over seven times.
The Wizards aren’t going to be competitive in games when these guys only combine for 14 points.
Next up: Washington returns to action on Wednesday as they travel to Detroit to face the Pistons at 7 pm Eastern Time.