Bradley Beal (who else?) led the way for Washington tonight to the tune of 30 points and Thomas Bryant chipped in with 20 but it wouldn’t be enough as the Pacers scorched the nets, shooting 47 percent and would take down the Wizards, 121-106.
Washington actually started this game hot, connecting on five of their first six shots to take an early lead. After a subsequent cold streak from the Wiz, the reserves checked in and provided a spark for Washington. Three-pointers from Davis Bertans, C.J. Miles, and Mo Wagner towards the end of the first quarter kept this one close, as the teams would be tied up at 26 after the first quarter.
After a fairly decent first quarter effort defensively for the Wizards, that would all change in the second quarter. The Wizards had no answer for the Indiana bench and specifically, Doug McDermott who had 17 first half points. Washington’s defense was non-existent in the second quarter evidenced as they surrendered 44 points in the second period and trailed 70-62 at halftime.
Indiana would blow this game open in the third quarter. A 22-2 run early in the period put the Pacers up 92-67 and they barely had to break a sweat the rest of the way.
Bradley Beal sliced his way to the hole midway through the fourth quarter for a layup and the foul to cut the lead to 10, 108-98, but that’s the closest the Wizards would get in their attempt at a comeback.
Indiana’s bench out duels Washington’s
The difference in this one starting in the first half was the Pacers bench. Doug McDermott caught fire in the first half to the tune of 17 points on 6-8 shooting by the break. Washington inexplicably went under screens, lost McDermott in their zone defense, and lost him in transition.
But it wasn’t just McDermott who feasted on the Wizards poor defense. Rookie Goga Bitadze was a perfect 3-3 from the field for 11 points as the Indiana bench outscored Washington’s 39-24 in the first half.
39 Pacers reserve points was a season-high for Indiana bench points in a game - and they achieved it in the first half.
Washington’s bench actually outscored Indiana’s 46-43 on the night but the damage in the first half was too much to overcome.
It’s all fun and games until a team that averages 105 points per game scores 70 points on you in the first half and 121 for the game.
It’s just a matter of time before Troy Brown Jr. enters the starting lineup
Isaac Bonga played alright at times this season. But if feels like his playing time might be coming to an end soon. Troy Brown Jr. was inserted for Bonga just five minutes into the game as he picked up two early fouls. In the second half, Brown came in for Bonga after just two minutes.
Brown looks to still be on a minutes restriction as he just logged just 17 minutes for the game. But at this point, starting Bonga seems like nothing more than a formality and he’s likely to see his minutes disappear as Brown and C.J. Miles get closer and closer to full health.
Rui Hachimura looked like a rookie tonight
Rui Hachimura, who’s looked like a seasoned veteran over the first few games (sans the Minnesota game) had his first real deer in the headlights performance tonight as he missed all five shot attempts and was held scoreless in 20 minutes of play.
Next Up: The Wizards look to get back on track as they take on the Cleveland Cavaliers on Friday.