West has 20 points, leads Pacers past Wizards
(Photo by Ron Hoskins/NBAE via Getty Images)
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) The Indiana Pacers, the best home team in the NBA, faced little challenge from the Washington Wizards, who were trying for their longest road winning streak in more than five years.
"This was a sensational defensive effort," Indiana coach Frank Vogel said. "You want to see a team come out and play as hard as any on the defensive end, come see this team play."
Indiana (29-7) used an 11-3 run in the third quarter to create separation from Washington. Two field goals from West capped off the swing, which put the Pacers up 56-40.
Trying for their first four-game win streak on the road since February 2008, the Wizards (16-18) stumbled at the foul line. They finished 9 of 23 on free throws, hitting just five of their first 14.
"I thought we did a great job moving the ball early in the game and sticking with it," John Wall said. "But you can't stay in the game when you are missing free throws like we were."
Washington lost to the Pacers for the 11th time in 12 tries and haven't won at Indiana since April 18, 2007.
Indiana remains the NBA's best home team at 17-1 at Banker's Life Fieldhouse, including seven in a row.
Paul George of the Pacers and Wall of Wizards each opened 1 of 8 from the field. George finished with eight points on 2-of-14 shooting and Wall had 13 points.
"We knew they would be tough to beat," West said. "They came out strong and we countered."
Wall's struggles in Indiana continued. He shot four 4 of 15 from the field Friday and is 8 for 29 in his past two games here.
Washington was led by Bradley Beal with 17 points.
The Pacers overcame a 37-of-83 shooting night with a 6-of-13 performance from the 3-point range. Washington finished 26 of 81 from the field.
The Pacers outrebounded Washington 61-41. They were led by George, who had 14 rebounds, and Lance Stephenson, who had 10.
Watson entered with about nine minutes remaining in the second quarter to score five quick points. His 3-pointer pushed Indiana's lead to 31-26 with 6:32 left in the quarter.
Nene came off the bench in the first half for Washington to tally eight points and four rebounds. He finished with 12 points.
Watson again provided a spark for Indiana in the second half. He scored 11 of his 16 in the fourth quarter and finished 6 of 6 from the field.
The Wizards got within 10 after Wall's dunk with 10:04 left in the game, but Indiana used a 10-0 run to seal.
"We didn't give ourselves a chance in the second half to win the game," Washington coach Randy Wittman said. "It boils down to your top players making plays to win in a game like this. That's all it is."
Updated January 10, 2014