Pacers edge Wizards on Young’s last-second runner

Thaddeus Young makes the game-winning shot for the Pacers. (Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports)
Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

INDIANAPOLIS — Indiana’s final offensive possession didn’t go according to plan, though the Pacers won’t complain.

Paul George was supposed to get the ball with the game tied at 105 and 4.6 seconds left. Instead, it was Thaddeus Young who popped up to the top of the key to take Jeff Teague’s inbound pass.

Young squared up his defender, Markieff Morris, drove to the left side of the lane and tossed in a runner with 0.9 seconds remaining to give the Pacers a 107-105 victory over the Washington Wizards on Monday night.

“The plan was to get the ball to Paul for the last shot and they denied him,” Pacers coach Nate McMillan said. “Thad came to the ball and we wanted to attack the basket. Thad did what he was supposed to do. He put his head down and attacked the basket. When the game is on the line, you want to get the ball to your best player to get a shot or get a shot for an open teammate.”

George scored 27 and finished with nine rebounds. Teague added 23 points to go along with his 10 assists, but the Pacers needed the last of Young’s 12 points after the Wizards scored seven straight to tie it. Young also added 11 rebounds.

Bradley Beal missed a potential winning 3-pointer at the buzzer and scored 22 points.

Marcin Gortat finished with 21 points and 13 rebounds, John Wall added 19 points and 10 assists, and Otto Porter Jr. scored 17 points and grabbed nine rebounds.

Myles Turner finished with eight rebounds to go along with his 20 points and five blocks, including an emphatic rejection in the third quarter that sent Wall’s layup into the third row of the crowd. Turner fouled out of the game with a little less than two minutes remaining.

George’s jumper with 2 minutes to play gave Indiana a 105-98 lead, before the Wizards fought back with a 7-0 scoring run, tying the game on Beal’s jumper with 15 seconds to go. The back-and-forth scoring was a common theme during the final quarter, and one the Pacers outlasted.

“We all stuck together and continued to play hard, continued to play through adversity,” Young said. “We had an answer for each and every time they scored.”

The start of the game had a different theme, though. The Wizards stormed out to a 12-1 lead that forced the Pacers to call timeout less than three minutes into the game. Wall and Beal each scored 10 points in the first quarter. Indiana tied it at 57 at halftime.

The Pacers led 88-79 at the end of the third quarter, but the Wizards’ 9-0 run to start the fourth tied it at 88, setting up the final nine minutes.

“This (loss) was a little more frustrating,” Wall said. “We got stops when we needed to, we executed our offense down the stretch, and we also kept the ball out of their best player’s hands.”

 

TIP-INS:

Pacers: Six players scored in double figures. … Young recorded his fourth double-double of the season. … Turner’s five blocked shots were one fewer than the Wizards had as an entire team. … Monday was the seventh time this season Turner scored 20 or more points.

Wizards: Nine of Gortat’s 13 rebounds came on the defensive end. … Gortat has 15 double-doubles this season, tying Wall for the team lead. … Beal led the Wizards in scoring for the 10th time this season.

UP NEXT:

Pacers: Travel to New York on Tuesday.

Wizards: Visit Chicago on Wednesday.