Pacers, 124, Wizards, 115
The Wizards scored 115 points, with 39 in the fourth quarter, and had just eight turnovers. But they lost to the Indiana Pacers on Sunday because poor ball movement and porous defense. How the Wizards were able to reach triple digits in scoring with just 10 assists is rather perplexing. Interim Coach Ed Tapscott blamed "my-turn basketball" for the astounding statistic.
"You know what my-turn basketball is? My-turn to shoot," Tapscott said. "That really disappointed me."
Javaris Crittenton scored a season-high 19 points with three assists in a career-high 43 minutes and agreed with Tapscott assessment. "We didn't move the ball like we should have," said Crittenton, who will be the only point guard on the roster on nights when Gilbert Arenas is unable to play. "We didn't move the ball well at all and we also didn't get a lot of makes off the pass."
Crittenton seems to be getting more and more confident each game. This is the second time this week that he set a new season-high, after scoring 18 points against Chicago last Monday. He still tries to make the fancy pass over the most effective one, but he's showing some promise. He made a great play at the end of the first quarter, when got the ball with 4.5 seconds remaining, raced up the floor and nailed an off-balanced three-pointer with T.J. Ford and Danny Granger defending. Antawn Jamison and Caron Butler also appear to be taking a liking to him.
When I reminded Tapscott that Crittenton was his only effective ball-handler with Arenas, Mike James and Juan Dixon out, he replied: "He's not the only guy who is supposed to pass the ball," Tapscott said.
Andray Blatche led the Wizards with 12 points in the first half, extending his string of consecutive games of scoring 10 or more points to eight. But Blatche missed all four of his shots in five minutes of action the third quarter and didn't play at all in the fourth, with Tapscott even calling on Oleksiy Pecherov. Pecherov, by the way, is looking incredibly flustered on the bench with his lack of playing time.
The Wizards should be thankful that they were able to get to the foul line as often as they did. Brendan Haywood was having fun on the bench, joking with former Georgetown center Roy Hibbert, who picked up three fouls in little over seven minutes in the third period. Haywood kept yelling, "Stop fouling, Roy!" Haywood got his wish when Hibbert fouled out in the period -- much to Haywood's surprise. "Did he just foul out?" Haywood asked when Hibbert went to the bench for good with 4:46 left in the third quarter. Hibbert had an impressive 12 points and eight rebounds in just 16 minutes for the Pacers.
The Wizards shot 45 free throws -- 24 more than their opponents -- which can be explained this way: if you don't contest shots and give them open looks, chances are you won't commit many fouls. The Wizards were often caught switching with their big men on pick-and-roll, which opened up the floor for Jarrett Jack or T.J. Ford to penetrate to the basket for either layups or scoring opportunities for their teammates. The Pacers shot 51.6 percent
"It was about stops," Butler said, explaining the loss. And the Wizards didn't get many.
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