There was very little from the Indiana Pacers tonight to give the home crowd confidence in the blue and gold, as the Washington Wizards did everything the Pacers lacked, cruising to a win over Indiana. The Pacers opened the game with three straight turnovers and no energy, but managed to make a game of it late in the first by holding a 27-24 lead.
But it was the Wizards that blew the game open in the second, using a 15-2 run to start the second quarter to go up double figures, and the Pacers were never able to really challenge after that. The Wizards made shots all night, shooting 52%, and when they didn't hit those shots, they were there to corral the rebound, pulling in 17 offensive boards, outrebounding Indiana by 19. Washington made 11 three pointers as well, seven of those from their bench, which outpaced Indiana's woeful 3-17 from deep.
The double figure outings from Bradley Beal (22 points, 4-7 from three), Gary Neal (12), and DeJuan Blair (12) were the perfect compliment for John Wall, who killed the Pacers with 28 points on 12-21 shooting while dishing eight assists to go with seven rebounds. Lavoy Allen had a bench high 15 points, but aside from Myles Turner providing the Pacers some much needed energy in the first quarter, the rest of the bench provided no boost.
Neither did C.J. Miles, who had just four points, not proving any sort of x-factor for the Pacers with desperate need of one. Paul George led the Pacers with 21 points, but at just 6-19 shooting, was far from efficient. George left the game early in the fourth with a calf strain, but would return. George Hill with 19 points and eight rebounds and Monta Ellis with 17 points gave Indiana some scoring, but neither made much of a difference in the game.
The Pacers got by early with great effort and overachieving play, but roster deficiencies bled through at points in November, raising concerns about where the Pacers would be when the season got a little long in the tooth, when the effort isn't there on those random January nights, and tonight the answer was a blowout loss at home. As well, the team appears to lack confidence on both sides of the floor, which isn't a good thing with a four-game West Coast trip opening up at the Denver Nuggets on Sunday.