Sharp-shooting Wizards score 80 in half, rout Pacers 127-113
WASHINGTON (AP) — Bradley Beal scored 32 points, Kristaps Porzingis and Monte Morris added 17 apiece and the Washington Wizards shot 70% from the field through the first three quarters of their 127-113 rout of the Indiana Pacers on Saturday night.
Washington led 80-57 after its highest-scoring half of the season. The Wizards gave up the first 10 points of the third quarter, bringing back memories of a couple recent games in which they blew 20-point leads, but they steadied themselves quickly and led 104-88 heading into the fourth.
Washington was able to substitute liberally toward the end — 13 players appeared for the Wizards — and a late slide dropped their final shooting percentage down to 64%, still easily a season best.
Tyrese Haliburton scored 21 points and Myles Turner had 20 for Indiana, which has lost 15 of its last 17.
Washington, which entered a half-game behind Chicago for ninth place in the Eastern Conference, is without Kyle Kuzma because of a sprained left ankle.
The Wizards had 18 turnovers to Indiana’s eight and allowed 27 second-chance points, but none of that made much difference with Washington shooting such an incredible percentage. The Wizards shot 73% from 2-point range, 46% from 3 and 86% on free throws.
The Wizards went 15 of 20 from the field in the first quarter — including 12 of 13 inside the arc — and led 37-29. It took a little while before Washington really broke the game open, but an 18-4 run late in the first half made it 80-55.
The Wizards have won two in a row following a three-game losing streak in which they led by at least 20 in losses to Portland and Brooklyn.
Often when a team shoots an unusually high percentage early, it regresses dramatically at some point, but the Wizards shot 75% in the first quarter, 71% in the second and 62% in the third. They finally dipped to 48% in the fourth, missing their final four attempts of the game.
Pacers: George Hill and Jordan Nwora, acquired Thursday from Milwaukee in a trade, are expected to suit up for the Pacers next week. … Daniel Theis (right knee) did not play.
Wizards: Daniel Gafford scored 13 points on 6-of-6 shooting. … Before Saturday, Washington’s top shooting percentage this season was 58% at Philadelphia on Nov. 2.
Pacers: Host Utah on Monday night.
Wizards: At Golden State on Monday night.
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