. It snapped a seven-game losing streak for the Pacers.
Despite being a disappointing loss on all fronts, there were some things that could be taken as positives from the game as the team moves forward. Most notably is the fight the team showed late in the game. After trailing by 13 late in the third quarter, the Wizards rallied to make it a one-point game with just over five minutes left in the contest.
Naturally, the Wizards went right back to playing poor basketball right when they got within striking distance. The loss drops them to 1-2 in the season series against the Pacers.
Another positive that can be picked from a bad overall performance was the team’s three-point shooting in this one. The Wizards connected on 17-37 (45.9 percent) of their shots from behind the arc. They’ve rarely been able to eclipse the 35 percent mark recently, so 45.9 percent is a big deal for the group.
Wizards Stud: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope Gets Going
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope went off for a season-high 27 points, which led the Wizards in the scoring department. He shot 9-18 from the field, including 5-8 from behind the arc and 4-4 from the charity stripe.
It’s his fourth straight game in double figures but the only one of those in which he eclipsed the 20 point mark. He did the heavy lifting in the fourth quarter, where he scored 13 of his 27 points.
In his 34 minutes, KCP also tallied three of the Wizards seven steals on the night. He was responsible for injecting the burst of energy that led the Wizards late rally to cut the Pacers lead down to one. Ultimately he needed some help that didn’t arrive.
Kyle Kuzma came in second for the Wizards stud against the Pacers, finishing with 26 points, 15 rebounds and 6 assists. While his numbers certainly jump off the board more than KCP’s, he did it on 9-27 shooting from the field.
Kuzma was good in this one, but KCP stepped up from his recent production a lot more. Kuz also shot just 1-8 from the field in the fourth quarter, when KCP needed some offensive help.
Wizards Dud: Thomas Bryant Falters Yet Again
You’ve heard this one before and likely will again moving forward. Wizards center Thomas Bryant had a dud performance both in the box score and in terms of his on-court impact. Bryant once again was the starting center but shouldn’t be for very long as Daniel Gafford will be returning sometime soon.
Not to mention the eventual debit of Kristaps Porzingis, who will be starting at center or in a very tall Wizards frontcourt. Bryant didn’t do much of anything against the Pacers, including the things he is capable of doing at a fairly decent level.
The Wizards big man scored four points in 24 minutes and added 7 rebounds and one blocked shot. Most nights he needs to be productive offensively in order to be a positive contributor, something he was not tonight.
Add in the fact that he played a part in the Pacers’ domination in the paint and you have what is an easy call as the teams dud performance of the night. The Pacers scored 74 (74!) points in the paint as the Wizards showed no intention of stopping them inside.
Blaming it all on Bryant would be fooling but without doing much offensively he needs to at least make a presence on the other end in order to help the team. The defense must be better on all levels but Bryant missed an opportunity to help cover for some of the Wizards flaws in the loss to the Pacers.