A tale of two halves. That’s the best way to put it.
The Wizards connected on their first seven field goal attempts, and all of them were assisted. Eventually, the Wizards’ lead became 22 in the second quarter, and it was Washington that looked like the team headed to the playoffs, not Indiana.
The Pacers were held to 31 first-half points, and the Wizards led by twenty at the half.
Our Washington Wizards were on their way to a two-game winning streak.
Then the second half brought us back to a sad reality.
The third quarter has been a sore spot for the Wizards this season, and it was again tonight. Remember that 20-point halftime lead? It dwindled down to as low at six points in the third quarter. Luckily, Washington was able to enter the fourth quarter with a nine point cushion. All the ball movement that we fell in love with was gone just as quick as it arrived.
Fast forward to the closing minutes and it was the Wizards’ inability to grab a defensive rebound, a lazy inbounds pass, and too many John Wall dribbles that clinched the eventual 85 to 83 win for the Pacers.
The Wizards were just one second too late.
Now here’s a few Bullets Points:
- Chris Singleton regained his relevance. He tied his career-high with 16 points (3-4 on 3-pointers) and also added two steals. He had a hard time defending Danny Granger in the third quarter, but it was still a good night for the rookie.
- Tonight wasn’t the encore the Wizards were hoping for from Nene. After having 22 points and 10 rebounds vs. the Nets, he only had 6 points and 5 rebounds tonight. One of the big reasons the Pacers were able to emerge victorious was Roy Hibbert having his way with Nene down the stretch. Hibbert got off his jump hook whenever he wanted, and Nene had no answer.
- It was a very Jordan Crawford type night for Jordan Crawford. He came out on fire and finished with 21 points. However, we still endured plenty of his patented heat checks — evidenced by his 2/9 shooting night from three-point range. We all get frustrated by them, but he’s really the only source of perimeter scoring in the current starting line-up.
- There was no bailout coming from Roger Mason tonight. He missed all five of his shot attempts.
- And yes, of course, the last 9.5 seconds of the game. Trailing by two, with the ball, John Wall received the inbounds pass. After the game Wall said the play was designed for Jordan Crawford, but that never happened. Instead, Wall dribbled around aimlessly for the entirety of the game clock. He ended up shooting a floater — and making it — but it was clearly after the clock had expired.
Up next for the Wizards (11-34) is a Saturday night home game vs. the Atlanta Hawks at the Verizon Center. The two teams played each other last Friday, when the Wizards were did in by a dreadful third quarter, much like tonight.
Hopefully we see a different outcome Saturday night.