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(Monday, November 19th)
Final Score: Indiana 96, Washington 89
Washington, DC (Sports Network) - David West racked up 30 points and the Indiana Pacers kept the Washington Wizards winless on the season by holding on for a 96-89 victory at the Verizon Center.
Roy Hibbert amassed 20 points and 12 rebounds to help the Pacers halt a six- game road losing streak and hand the Wizards their first 0-9 start in franchise history, though they had to fend off a furious late rally to prevail.
Washington cut a 20-point third-quarter deficit to one with 3 1/2 minutes to play, but ultimately fell short in large part due to West, who put up 20 of his points in the second half and made several big baskets down the stretch.
"I thought the guys did a good job executing down the stretch, just making play after play," said West. "I thought Roy's block on the defensive end was huge for us. Obviously our defense held up."
Bradley Beal finished with 18 points, 17 of which came over the final two quarters, and Kevin Seraphin added 13 points for the Wizards, who also couldn't overcome a 35.6 percent shooting display from the field.
The Pacers owned a 50-41 halftime lead and appeared to break the game open in the third quarter, using a 10-0 spurt to build a seemingly comfortable 69-49 advantage with five minutes to go in the session. The Wizards, though, closed out the stanza with a flourish to place the outcome back in question.
Washington ended the quarter with an 18-2 flurry, with Beal sparking the comeback attempt by pouring in nine of those points. The rookie drained a 24- footer to bring the Wizards within 69-65 with 1:15 left, and the teams would trade baskets to keep it a four-point contest entering the final 12 minutes.
Indiana temporarily stopped the surge, with West's tip-in with 5:28 remaining putting the Pacers up 86-79, but the Wizards answered with six consecutive points over the next two minutes and moved within one on a running jumper from Chris Singleton.
West, who went 10-of-14 from the field and 10-of-10 from the free throw line, then knocked home a pair of clutch shots, the first an outside jumper following a Pacers' timeout and the next a 21-footer that extended the margin to 90-85 with two minutes on the clock.
Washington would pull within three again in the final moments, with Beal sinking a pair of foul shots with 56.5 seconds left. West scored again on the other end, however, to thwart any remaining comeback hopes.
The Wizards' season-long offensive struggles carried over into the game's initial stages, as Washington misfired on 14 of its first 16 shot attempts and trailed 26-7 with under three minutes to play in the opening quarter.
Paul George scored five points as Indiana sped out to a 15-4 lead over the first five minutes, and an 11-1 run capped by Gerald Green's jumper later on accounted for Washington's sizeable early deficit.
"It was the same story," said Seraphin. "In the beginning of the game we have a bad start and then we have to fight all game to come back. But that's difficult, because this is the NBA. That's a league with no mercy."
The Wizards would close the gap with a stronger second quarter, however. Washington outscored the Pacers by a 13-4 count over a stretch of four-plus minutes during the period, with A.J. Price dropping in six points during that stretch to trim the deficit to 36-26 with 5:32 left in the half.
Washington got to within seven points on two occasions before the break.
The Pacers have now won eight straight times in the series, with four of those meetings taking place in the Verizon Center ... Beal, who entered the game ranked second in the NBA in free-throw percentage (.952), made good on 7-of-9 attempts from the charity stripe ... Indiana committed 21 turnovers on the night that led to 18 Washington points and finished just 3-of-19 from 3-point range.
11/19 23:28:22 ET