Forty! Yeah, Paul George is back — and Pacers beat Wizards 123-106
WASHINGTON — Indiana forward Paul George thinks his team doesn’t get enough attention.
With more nights like Tuesday, the Pacers will.
George scored a season-high 40 points and made seven 3-pointers, part of a franchise-record 19 by the Pacers in a 123-106 victory over the Washington Wizards.
C.J. Miles added 32 points, his most since joining the Pacers before the start of last season, as Indiana won for the ninth time in 11 games following an 0-3 start.
"We always get overlooked," George said. "We’re still getting used to the system, but now we’re flowing."
Miles was 8 of 9 from beyond the arc, and George also missed only once from deep as the Pacers tied their season scoring high set Saturday against Milwaukee.
Indiana finished 73.1 percent (19 of 26) from 3-point range, crushing its previous season high of 44.4 percent (12 of 27).
"First time I’ve seen something like that," said George, smiling and shaking his head.
Said frustrated Wizards guard Bradley Beal: "When I’m standing this close to you and you’re still making shots, I mean, what else do you want us to do?"
Gary Neal scored 23 points off the bench for the Wizards, whose three-game winning streak was snapped.
Beal added 20 points and John Wall scored 18 for Washington, which has lost five of its six games when it allows more than 110 points.
"We have to let this one go," said Wizards coach Randy Wittman, who at times this season has criticized his team’s defense. "I thought our guys played hard, I don’t have a problem with that. We just ran into a hot team shooting the ball."
Even with George and Miles combining to shoot a perfect 9 of 9 beyond the arc before halftime, the Wizards remained close for much of the first half and even led for stretches of the second quarter before the Pacers pulled away.
Miles finally missed his first 3-point attempt midway through the third, but answered with his seventh and longest of the game to beat the shot clock and make it 81-74.
George’s turnaround jumper later in the quarter pushed it to 86-77, and then his pull-up 3 from the left wing made it 91-81, the first double-digit lead for either team.
"We’ve been talking about making people try and pick their poison," Miles said of his partnership with George. "There’s a lot of space out there when he does what he does. I just try and move in the gaps and find spaces and be aggressive when I get my chances."
The Pacers nearly matched last season’s New Orleans Pelicans, who made 15 of 20 3-point attempts in a game in November 2014. That’s the highest 3-point team percentage in the last five seasons with at least 20 attempts, according to STATS.
"Honestly, I was seeing it as each individual play," said Pacers coach Frank Vogel. "I didn’t really have perspective of it until the end of the game."
Washington’s first of four games in five days marks its busiest five-day stretch of the season. The Wizards also play three sets of back-to-back games in the first 12 days of December.
"It’s not tough at all," Wittman said. "You make it tough mentally if you think that way."
Pacers: G George Hill scored 14 points in 32 minutes in his return after missing three games with an upper respiratory infection. … Indiana’s stretch of six consecutive 3s made to start the game ended when Hill’s 28-footer at the first-quarter buzzer rimmed out … With Hill’s return, Indiana’s most-used starting five improved to 5-2.
Wizards: None of Washington’s starters began the second quarter. The Wizards’ second group outscored the Pacers 16-10 to take a 47-43 lead before Beal returned with 6:15 left in the half. . C Nene (sore calf) scored 11 points in 23 minutes after missing practice on Monday.
Pacers: Host Chicago on Friday.
Wizards: Visit Charlotte on Wednesday night.