Pacers are getting points from quite a few players
The Indiana Pacers and Washington Wizards have turned things around after rough starts thanks to contributions from up and down their lineups.
Indiana goes for a third straight victory Tuesday night when it opens a stretch of five of six on the road against a Washington team riding a three-game winning streak.
The Pacers opened with three losses in a row but have since gone 8-2. They’re coming off consecutive easy wins, 122-85 at Philadelphia on Wednesday and 123-86 over visiting Milwaukee on Saturday.
Paul George has led the way with 24.8 points per game this season, but he has three teammates averaging in double figures – C.J. Miles (14.3), George Hill (14.0) and Monta Ellis (12.7).
However, Indiana got solid performances from other players in the back-to-back wins. Chase Budinger, Jordan Hill and Glen Robinson III combined for 34 points against the 76ers and then totaled 50 on Saturday.
Jordan Hill had a season-high 20 points off the bench against the Bucks and fellow reserve Robinson finished with a career-best 17 while going 4 for 4 from 3-point range. Indiana went 15 for 30 from beyond the arc and is among the NBA leaders in 3-point shooting at 38.8 percent.
"We’re playing good," George said. "We’re just learning and we’re really far from where we started. Everything is starting to come together and we’re getting a better feel for one another."
The same can be said for the Wizards, whose three-game win streak has come after a stretch of four losses in five contests. Washington (6-4) won 97-95 at Detroit on Saturday behind 51 points from its bench.
Otto Porter paced the starters with 17 points but Marcin Gortat was a minus-22, Bradley Beal and John Wall were both minus-20 and Kris Humphries went scoreless. Nene had 18 points on 9-of-10 shooting and was a plus-24 off the bench, while Ramon Sessions had 14 points and nine assists and was plus-22.
"I thought our bench saved the day twice," coach Randy Wittman said. "In an 82-game season, that’s what it takes. Our bench won’t always play like that, and the starters will save the day, but tonight, it was the bench."
Washington’s bench is averaging 42.3 points during the win streak after contributing 32.1 per game in the first seven. Indiana’s reserves averaged 28.1 in the first 11 before upping that mark to 47.5 in the last two.
Pacers coach Frank Vogel knows his team is going to need that to continue during this road-heavy part of the schedule that includes four games out west. Indiana has alternated losses and wins in its first six away from home.
"We have a heckuva tough stretch coming up," he told the Pacers’ official website. "We can’t get ahead of ourselves and start feeling good about ourselves. There’s a lot to adjust to and implement, and see how it works against the heavyweights."
Including the 2014 playoffs, Indiana has won four of five in Washington. George Hill scored 29 and made a running finger roll with three seconds left as the Pacers won 103-101 in the last matchup there March 25.
Hill, though, has missed the last three games with an upper respiratory infection. Vogel said Hill could have played in case of an emergency Saturday.
- Bradley Beal
- C.J. Miles
- Chase Budinger
- FOX Sports Indiana
- George Hill
- Indiana Pacers
- John Wall
- Kris Humphries
- Marcin Gortat
- Monta Ellis
- Otto Porter
- Paul George
- Ramon Sessions
- Washington Wizards