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Washington Wizards' John Wall, Bradley Beal overwhelm Indiana Pacers

By Jeff Washburn, The Sports Xchange   |   Jan. 16, 2016 at 12:39 AM

INDIANAPOLIS -- When guards John Wall and Bradley Beal are at or near the top of their game, so are the Washington Wizards.

That was exactly the case Friday night when Wall contributed 28 points, seven rebounds and eight assists and Beal added 22 points, five rebounds and an assist in an emphatic 118-104 victory over the Indiana Pacers in Bankers Life Fieldhouse.

The Wizards (19-19), who matched their season scoring high in their fourth consecutive victory, shot 52 percent from the field (51 of 98), outrebounded the Pacers 54-35 and had a 65-36 scoring advantage from non-starters.

Wall and Beal combined to make 21 of 36 shots from the field, including 5 of 10 from 3-point range.

"We were more aggressive on defense than the last time we played them," Wall said of a 17-point loss to Indiana in November in the Verizon Center. "We also got to the rim, got a lot of rebounds and hit shots that we should make.

"The other thing was that guys took good shots. When we lost a few in a row, we weren't doing that. We also got some great play from our bench."

Non-starters Gary Neal and DeJuan Blair each added 12 points for the Wizards, and Ramon Sessions had 10 points and five assists. The Wizards non-starters were a collective 30 of 51 from the field.

"We played good defense, which led to a lot of our offense," Indianapolis native and Washington coach Randy Wittman said. "The play we got off the bench was fantastic. Bradley really got going, and as he usually does, John ran the team and got the ball where it needed to be.

"With us, we have played better lately, but we have to keep battling and building momentum."

Indiana (22-18) lost its second in a row and fell to 3-15 in games in which the opponent scores at least 100 points. The Pacers now embark on a four-game West Coast road trip that includes a game at Golden State.

Forward Paul George scored 21 points, and guard George Hill added 19 for the Pacers. Guard Monta Ellis had 17, forward Lavoy Allen came off the bench for 15 and rookie center Myles Turner had 10 points.

Indiana made only 3 of 17 shots from 3-point range after hitting a franchise record 19 in the November victory at Washington.

"They took 18 more shots than we did and we didn't honor the defensive glass at all," Pacers coach Frank Vogel said. "We didn't pursue the ball. Our transition defense wasn't good, and our offense was out of sync. They were more desperate than we were, and we haven't had great success against small lineups."

Sessions scored a layup off a steal with 7:31 remaining, pushing Washington into a commanding 100-81 advantage. The Wizards led 109-91 with 3:13 to play.

Another Wall field goal gave Washington an 83-67 lead with 3:18 to play in the third quarter. Neal's 3-pointer with six seconds remaining in the quarter extended the Wizards' lead to 88-72 through 36 minutes.

Washington enjoyed a 46-28 rebounding advantage entering the fourth quarter.

Wall scored 10 points during the first 4:26 of the third quarter, helping the Wizards increase their lead to 73-58, prompting a Pacers timeout.

Washington outscored Indiana 35-19 in the second quarter, making 15 of 24 shots from the field (62.5 percent) in the quarter for a 59-46 halftime lead.

"It was just a poor effort, a poor effort at both ends of the floor," George said. "Washington took the fight to us. It was like they were comfortable from the get-go.

"You can't let a team get comfortable, especially when it's the point guard who is their best player and most dominant player. John Wall is a player who makes his teammates better."

NOTES: The Wizards played without C Marcin Gortat (sore left knee) and F Kris Humphries (sore right knee). ... The Pacers were without G Rodney Stuckey, who will miss at least the next two weeks with a sprained and bruised right foot. ... Indiana started its small lineup against Washington with 6-foot-6 C.J. Miles at forward in place of 6-9 Lavoy Allen, who usually starts against opponents with large front lines. ... Washington came in with a three-game winning streak. It was 9-8 on the road and 9-11 at home. ... Indiana was coming off a loss on Wednesday at Boston and continues to struggle in close games, including an 0-4 mark in overtime games. ... Pacers G George Hill was ranked 14th in the NBA in 3-point shooting at a career-high 42.6 percent. ... Washington was ranked fourth in forcing opponent turnovers (16.8). Indiana was fifth at 16.7. ... The Wizards are fifth in NBA assists at 23.8 per game. ... The Pacers made a franchise-record 19 shots from 3-point range in a 123-106 win over Washington on Nov. 24, 2015, in Washington, D.C.

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