NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Saturday, April 6th (All times Eastern)
Indiana Pacers (48-28) at Washington Wizards (28-47), 7 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Indiana Pacers aim to bounce back from a tough loss when they invade the Verizon Center Saturday in a showdown with the Washington Wizards.
Indiana had a five-game winning streak stopped with Friday night's 97-75 loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder as Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook combined for 58 points.
"They (Durant and Westbrook) burned us tonight," Indiana coach Frank Vogel said. "We had a tough night offensively."
Indiana was led by Roy Hibbert's 22 points and eight boards. David West scored 17 points and George Hill added 10 in the loss.
The Pacers are nearing a Central Division title -- their first since 2003-04 -- and lead Chicago by 5 1/2 games with six to go. The Bulls are idle Saturday.
Indiana is third in the East standings -- 1 1/2 games behind the sizzling New York Knicks -- and 19-19 away from home. The Pacers have won four in a row as the visitor.
The Wizards lost a two-game winning streak on Wednesday when they fell 88-78 to the Toronto Raptors at Air Canada Centre. The Wizards have now dropped four in a row on the road, but have been brilliant at home.
Washington has won eight in a row at home, dating back to a March 3 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers. The last time the Wizards ripped off nine straight wins in D.C. was during a 10-game run back in 2006-07.
Against the Raptors, the Wizards shot a dismal 32 percent from the floor and 26 percent from long range. The Wizards only managed 14 assists as a team on Wednesday.
"We had no pace to the game," Wizards coach Randy Wittman said. "We had no movement, which was disappointing because we haven't been playing that way."
Only three Washington players scored in double figures and two starters -- Martell Webster and Garrett Temple -- combined for four points.
John Wall continued his solid play of late with 20 points, five assists and five rebounds. Emeka Okafor netted 17 and Nene chipped in 12 points. Wall is averaging 22.3 ppg since March 1.
Bradley Beal, who is third in rookie scoring, will miss the remainder of the season with a stress injury in his right fibula. He will resume basketball activities in about six weeks.
The Pacers have won all three matchups this season with Washington, nine straight overall and 13 of 15 in this series. Indiana has taken four in a row in the nation's capital.
04/06 10:23:13 ET