Inquirer Daily News

Pacers search for success versus Wizards

(SportsNetwork.com) - The Indiana Pacers had a three-game winning streak halted last time out, so they'll be looking to reclaim some momentum Friday night when they host the Washington Wizards at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.

The Pacers fell to the Atlanta Hawks Tuesday night, 97-87, in Atlanta.

Paul George was the lone bright spot offensively for Indiana, which played without starting shooting guard Lance Stephenson, who missed the tilt with a right knee contusion. George tallied 28 points and 12 boards in the setback. Danny Granger, making his first start since May, 2012, added 14 points.

"Give the Hawks credit," said Indiana head coach Frank Vogel. "They played a better basketball game than us."

The Pacers were demolished in the first quarter to the tune of 25-12.

"It was unrecoverable. It pretty much decided the game," said Vogel. "We were climbing uphill the rest of the way."

Indiana committed 20 turnovers and went to the foul line a season-low nine times.

Stephenson is listed as questionable for Friday night.

The Wizards have won two in a row since a three-game losing streak, all of which occurred in D.C. The last two victories came on the road, where the Wiz have actually taken three straight.

On Wednesday, Trevor Ariza scored 21 points to go along with 10 rebounds as Washington continued its recent success on the road with a 102-96 win over the New Orleans Pelicans.

John Wall and Bradley Beal finished with 20 and 17 points, respectively, in helping Washington win for the sixth time in its last seven road tilts.

Marcin Gortat registered a double-double with 11 points and 14 rebounds. Nene and Jan Vesely also scored in double figures for the second unit.

"We played with a sense of urgency," said Wall. "We (are) all committing on the defensive end and it's helping us all out."

The Wizards have allowed an average of 89.5 points per game during this winning streak to further illustrate Wall's point.

Washington will play six of its next seven in the nation's capital.

The Pacers beat the Wizards by 20 in Indianapolis on Nov. 29 and have won 10 of the last 11 meetings between the two teams. Indiana has taken 11 straight at home and the last time the Wizards won on the road in this series was April 18, 2007.

01/10 10:52:14 ET