Pacers seek league-best 15th win, host Wiz
(SportsNetwork.com) - Before the NBA-best Indiana Pacers set forth on a challenging five-game western trek, they will welcome the Washington Wizards to Bankers Life Fieldhouse Friday night.
The Pacers will begin their road trip Sunday against the Los Angeles Clippers, Portland Trail Blazers, Utah Jazz, San Antonio Spurs and Oklahoma City Thunder, and have won five in a row since the only loss of the season Nov. 16 at Chicago. They have an NBA-leading 14-1 mark and just handed the Charlotte Bobcats a 99-74 setback on Wednesday.
C.J. Watson scored 15 of his team-high 18 points in the fourth quarter, Paul George and Lance Stephenson each had 15 points and Roy Hibbert chipped in 14 points with 10 rebounds for the Pacers. Watson sank 6-of-7 3-pointers off the bench.
"I'm very proud of the effort," said Pacers head coach Frank Vogel. "C.J. Watson was the star of the game tonight. His performance off the bench hitting six 3s really broke open the game."
Indiana prevailed despite making just 38.1 percent for the game and had a 57-43 advantage on the glass.
The Pacers are 8-0 at home and 11-1 in conference action.
Washington has won three in a row and five of six games, including Wednesday's 100-92 overtime triumph at Milwaukee.
Marcin Gortat scored six of his game-high 25 points in overtime and ended 11- of-12 from the field, while John Wall finished with 19 points with six assists and five steals. Martell Webster netted 18 points for Washington, which played its second straight game without leading scorer Bradley Beal (leg). Beal is out indefinitely and averaging 20.6 ppg.
"Tonight we came out slow and sluggish, and that's unacceptable," Webster said of the Wizard's slow start. "We can't do that."
The Wizards still shot 50 percent for the game.
Washington will return to the nation's capital after Friday's game and will start a four-game homestand Saturday versus Atlanta, Orlando, Milwaukee and Denver. The Wizards are 3-6 on the road as opposed to a 4-2 record in D.C.
Wizards forward Al Harrington (knee) is questionable at Indiana and last played Nov. 12 at Dallas.
Indiana took three of four meetings with Washington last season and sports a 15-5 ledger in the previous 20 matchups. The Wizards have struggled in Indy lately, losing 10 in a row and 12 of 15 contests there.
11/29 10:23:17 ET