The Wizards held off a undermanned yet feisty Indiana Pacers squad to move to 4-1 on the season. For those who like offense, turn your head. This was a very sluggish game for both squads coming off a back to back as the Wizards shot 37% and the Pacers 39% respectively from the floor. John Wall had his best game of the season as his final stat line was 31 points, 10 assists, and 6 rebounds.
The Wizards tried to get both Nene and Gortat involved early after quiet nights from the bigs in New York. Fast break points were pivotal for the Wizards as John Wall looked to push the ball early and often in the first quarter. He found Garret Temple in the corner for a 3 and aggressively took the ball to the hoop for a layup on a different fast break possession.
Indiana was able to keep the game close thanks to the play of Donald Sloan and Chris Copeland. The two combined for 50 of the team’s 94 points. Copeland, known as a shooter, had the greenest of green lights and was letting shots fly all night. He looked to take advantage of a slower Paul Pierce who was guarding him for the majority of the evening. Donald Sloan on the other hand, it didn’t matter who was guarding him. Sloan had 31 points with 4 three pointers. The Wizards couldn’t do much to stop him.
It looked like the Wizards were going to blow this game open when they closed the first half on a 18-6 run and stretched the lead to 12 midway through the 3rd quarter. A 4:30 minute field goal drought allowed Indiana to get back in the game. The Wizards found themselves in foul trouble early into the 4th quarter which allowed Indiana to stick around. The Wizards drew up a perfect end of game play as both defenders followed John Wall as he drove and kicked the ball out to Paul Pierce who missed the shot.
In Overtime, John Wall was a star, where he scored 7 points. He hit crucial back to back jumpers and then received a pass from Garret Temple on the break for an easy layup to stretch the Wizards’ lead out to 6. Once again, the tandem of Chris Copeland and Donald Sloan kept the Pacers hanging in there. John Wall got fouled while driving to the hole and stretched the lead to 2 with 12 seconds remaining. The Pacers oddly drew up a play for Roy Hibbert to shoot a 3. Shot missed, game over. Wizards move to 4-1, best record since 2007.