For the first time this season, the Indiana Pacers played a full 48 minutes, picking up their first road win against the Washington Wizards. The Pacers led nearly the entire way, coming up with a response to everything Washington threw at them, getting big time vet performances from Myles Turner and Buddy Hield along the way.
Turner got the action started with a three pointer, but it appeared to be the same as it ever was when the Wizards completed a four point play to go up 13-8 on a Hield technical. Indiana’s answer to that involved a lot of threes, with Tyrese Haliburton and Aaron Nesmith regaining the lead for Indiana and Hield drilling four to blow the game wide open.
Indiana shot 8-14 from three in the first quarter, using those to go on a 22-2 run that put them ahead by 15. The Wizards found life at the end of the quarter, drawing the Pacers into a number of fouls and getting a deep buzzer beater from Kyle Kuzma to cut the lead to eight after one.
Bennedict Mathurin stopped that comeback in its tracks to open the second quarter, hitting his lone three of the game as the Pacers inched their lead up to 20 in the late stages of the second quarter, making their first 20 free throws as a team in that time. The Wizards would again stage a late quarter comeback, cutting the lead to 14, but back to back buckets from Mathurin, set up beautifully by Haliburton, kept the game in double figures at the break, Indiana scoring 75 points.
Tyrese Haliburton gets creative on the dime to Benn Mathurin— NBA (@NBA) October 29, 2022
HALFTIME on ESPN pic.twitter.com/g3dhMUuKAw
In the third, Indiana kept the game at arm’s length until another late flurry by Washington made it a seven point game in the final minute. Mathurin and Turner worked their way to the line, making it a double figure game heading into the final quarter. Turner led the way in the fourth, scoring the first nine of the quarter.
When Turner was subbed out of the game, the Wizards made their push, scoring seven straight to cut the lead to six. The starters returned out of a timeout, leading to seven points for Indiana, five courtesy of Hield to sink a relatively early dagger in on Washington, improving to 2-4 on the season.
Turner led the way with 27, putting together one of his most complete games in quite some time, completing a double double with 10 rebounds, blocking five shots, impressively one might add.
With Turner looking more like himself towards the end of the game against Chicago, it was great to see him really step into a big time performance especially with the second unit struggling tonight, particularly that of Isaiah Jackson. Jackson had no rhythm tonight, going scoreless in 12 minutes with two blocks and three turnovers.
The bench scored just 20 points, far and away a season low, led by Mathurin with 11. Whereas Mathurin’s been scoring loudly this season, he was much more understated tonight, looking for his places to attack. He shot 4-11 on the night and got to the free throw line just one, finishing with two assists.
For the starting unit however, it was a total effort. Not only did Turner have a big night, but so too did Hield and Haliburton. Each finished with 25 points, with Hield hitting five threes on 10-17 shooting while Haliburton finessed his way to 9-16 shooting (3-6 from three) and 12 assists, helping bring Indiana’s total to 30 as a team.
The Pacers shot 33 free throws, led by Turner who was a perfect 10-10. Indiana didn’t miss their first free throw until the late stages of the second quarter when Jalen Smith missed the front end of a two shot trip. He would be perfect the rest of the way, however, going 7-8 in total and scoring 15 points on 4-6 shooting with seven boards. Aaron Nesmith also scored 15, hitting a pair of threes and going 5-7 himself at the line.
Indiana not only shot over 90% from the line (30-33), they were over 50% from deep, shooting 15-28. It was the first 50/50/90 game for Indiana since January 2020, a win over Golden State in which they only took 13 free throws. As with their first home win, it was good to get off the schneid on the road, especially with two games against the Brooklyn Nets coming up tomorrow night and on Monday.