“Wizards End 6-Game Losing Streak with Win Against Pacers” – a unique title for NBA fans.
WASHINGTON — Kyle Kuzma scored 31 points, Jordan Poole added 30 and Tyus Jones had his second career triple-double to help the Washington Wizards snap a six-game losing streak with a 137-123 victory over the Indiana Pacers on Friday night. The Wizards won for only the second time in their last 17 games, and the other victory in that span was against a Detroit team that is now up to 22 straight losses. Corey Kispert added 23 points for Washington. Tyrese Haliburton had 19 points and 11 assists for Indiana before leaving with a left knee contusion. Coach Rick Carlisle said his status for Saturday night’s game is uncertain. The Pacers looked out of sync offensively after scoring 143 points in its previous meeting with Washington in the season opener in October. The Pacers shot just 45% from the field in this rematch while the Wizards finished at 57% and 13 of 27 from 3-point range. “Somebody has a triple-double, usually means people are making shots. JP had eight assists,” Kuzma said. “The ball was popping. Everybody touched it and had opportunities to score.” Washington trailed by eight in the second quarter before going on a 15-0 run. The Wizards were up 69-55 at halftime after outscoring Indiana 39-18 in the period. “We made a lot of mistakes and we had turnovers. We missed shots, we didn’t defend well,” Carlisle said. “It turned into a barrage in the second quarter. Not a whole lot better in the third.” The Wizards stayed in control the rest of the way. A reverse dunk on an alley-oop by Daniel Gafford made it 81-62, and Washington led by as many as 24 points. There haven’t been many positive signs for the Wizards this season, but rookie Bilal Coulibaly has shown promise of late. He scored 17 points against the Pacers, including a one-handed dunk in the first quarter. Indiana and Washington entered the game ranked 1-2 in the NBA in pace, but only the Wizards were able to put up big scoring numbers. Isaiah Jackson led the Pacers with 20 points. “We had a great focus, attention to detail on Haliburton tonight,” Kuzma said. “Trying to force him left, all over the floor.” It’s been a busy month for Indiana, which went to Las Vegas for the final two games of the NBA In-Season Tournament, then had four more games away from home on the schedule. The Pacers won at Milwaukee and at Detroit, then lost at Milwaukee and to the Wizards. The trip has one more game.
“You suck it up, you make a bazillion dollars in per diem, and you have fun. You compete,” Carlisle said. “It’s not rocket science. If you don’t like it, go do something else. I love it.”
Pacers: At Minnesota on Saturday night.
Wizards: At Phoenix on Sunday night.