Wrapping up the “regular season” portion of the NBA 2K23 Summer League with a loss, the Indiana Pacers will head into the consolation games at 2-2 following a blowout L against the Washington Wizards. The Summer Pacers entered the game with a shot at a spot in Sunday’s championship game, but that possibility faded fairly quickly following a fast start.
Indiana needed to win tonight’s game by 15 or more to leapfrog Portland for the #2 spot and appeared well on their way when they scored the first eight points of the game behind five points and a steal from Aaron Nesmith. After holding that advantage to go up 12-4, things began to get extremely tough for the Pacers, mustering up just five points in the final five minutes as Washington slowly closed the gap.
The Wizards took the lead for good in the second and though Indiana did manage to hang within striking distance, the closest they would get was three points four minutes into the third, trailing 55-52. At that point, Washington slammed the door shut, using an 18-2 run to go up by 19, coasting to the win.
The Pacers entered tonight’s game resting Bennedict Mathurin, Terry Taylor, and Isaiah Jackson, setting up Nesmith, Andrew Nembhard, and Kendall Brown to lead the way for the blue and gold. The trio would do just that, with Nesmith and Brown leading Indiana in scoring and Nembhard piecing together a solid game as a point guard, dishing nine assists, scoring seven and pulling in six rebounds for good measure.
Nesmith got a bulk of the offensive looks, getting 18 attempts, but struggled to find his shot against an impressive Wizards defense, making just five. He finished with 12 points and four steals, flashing some nice moments within some of those struggles while committing six fouls.
Brown meanwhile did show quite a bit, playing very well as a ballhandler and finishing with a team high 14 on an efficient 6-10 night. Brown also had a pair of blocks and a steal. He joined Simi Shittu as the lone Pacers to record a block, sending away two of his own, recovering into a particularly nice stuff midway through the second.
Shittu finished with eight, joining Nate Hilton as the two Pacers to come without a field goal of double figures. The blowout allowed the Summer Pacers to run 12 deep, allowing all 12 players to record a basket. Among the starters, Gabe York had seven, hitting an impressive three late in the first half in a two-for-one situation, dishing a pair of assists.
Off the bench, Fanbo Zeng scored seven, hitting his first three of the Summer League while working his way to the line for five attempts, hitting four. Bennie Boatwright also had a three, scoring seven. The Pacers as a team were just 6-31 overall, which was a small issue when the Wizards began piling it on in the third.
David DiLeo got his first run of the Summer League, scoring three points on an impressive and-one take, while Jermaine Samuels and Eli Brooks each got on the board with four and two points respectively.
The Pacers will tip off one more time in Vegas, either tomorrow or Sunday as they take part in the consolation games. The exact time has yet to be determined, so be sure to free up your weekend entirely as not to miss whenever the Summer Pacers do take the court!