Any success the Pacers have this season is built on a strong foundation at the defensive end, so after a frustrating loss in Atlanta while chasing around power forwards and centers lobbing up three-pointers, the Blue and Gold returned home and dialed in a classic defensive effort in beating the Wizards, 93-66.
"You want to see a team come out and play as hard as any on the defensive end, come see this team play," Frank Vogel said following the game. Vogel effusive in his praise of the Pacers following the game despite their early struggles to put the ball in the basket.
The offense actually produced quite a bit of good shots for the Pacers, but it took awhile for those shots to start falling. No matter, the defense was there to hold the Wiz to 66 points, the lowest point total for any team this year. Eventually the O produced over 90 points for the first time in four games with efficient scoring nights from David West (20 points) and C.J. Watson (16) points leading the way.
So the Pacers finished a demanding stretch of five games in seven days on a positive tip and 4-1 record to earn three full days of rest at home. Paul George had a huge impact on the win despite making just 2 of 14 shots, but he was looking forward to resting his body since Vogel won't let him get up some shots on Saturday anyway.
"Tomorrow, Coach is locking the whole gym down on us," George said. "Which is smart because guys would be in here tomorrow, me included. So it is good that I'll get tomorrow off and really try to take advantage of it."
The Pacers picked up a full game on the Miami Heat by the end of the night as Miami lost their second consecutive game in New York, dropping a double-OT to the Nets on Friday after tripping over the Knicks on Thursday. Overall, a quality night for the Pacers.
Check out the links: