After what looked like an easy blowout win in the making, the Wizards had to hang on to beat the Pacers 97-90 and go 3-1 in a 5 day stretch. The Wizards started out hot, particularly Nene who scored 15 of his 17 points in the first quarter. It was clear that the Wizards were trying to get the big men involved and get them involved early. In addition to getting the bigs going, the Wizards shot the ball very nicely and held a 32-14 lead at the end of the first.
When the bench came in in the second quarter, the Wizards didn’t miss a beat. They actually stretched the lead to 22 with some nice play from Kris Humphries and Kevin Seraphin. Kris had 7 points and 9 rebounds, most of which were in the 2nd quarter. Kevin had 13 on 6-8 shooting from the field including a monstrous put back dunk. Things were clear sailing as the Wizards raced into halftime up 19, 55-34.
But the 3rd quarter happened and the Pacers would not lay down. A combination of turnovers, poor shooting, lackadaisical passes combined with improved shooting from the Pacers was recipe to turn this game around. The third quarter is usually the Wizards best quarter but not tonight. In addition, the Wizards ended up with 14 turnovers, most of which occurred in the 4th. Rasuel Butler had a very nice game against his former team. Apparently Glen Rice had some choice words for Randy Wittman the night before in Toronto that he didn’t appreciate so Bulter seized the opportunity coming off the bench and scoring 9 points.
A key stretch in the 4th quarter solidified the win. 3 straight buckets from Kevin Seraphin to start the quarter, a drive and kick from Nene, and a John Wall floater ballooned the lead to 9 and the Pacers never got closer than 5. Paul Pierce hit 4 free throws at the end of the game to clinch it. Wizards improve to 5-2 and begin a long home stand.