By: Ryan Fowler
Headline Graphic Credit: Darrell Owens-LMS Network
INDIANAPOLIS– Myles Turner held his ground Monday night. And with one quick swat of the basketball, he saved the Indiana Pacers.
The young center scored a season-high 26 points, made two 3-pointers, grabbed 12 rebounds and blocked Kelly Oubre Jr.’s driving layup with 4:16 left to help the Pacers steady themselves long enough to hold on for a 109-101 victory after Washington nearly erased a 25-point second-half deficit.
”Myles did a hell of a job controlling the paint for us and he altered a lot of shots,” Thaddeus Young said after finishing with 14 points and 12 rebounds.
It will go down as the best all-around game of Turner’s four-year career. He was 11 of 16 from the field and finished with five blocks – three on successive Wizards’ possessions that helped Indiana take control late in the first half. The last one prevented Washington from taking its first lead since the second quarter. After the block, Darren Collison made a 3-pointer to give Indiana a four-point cushion, and Washington never got another shot to take the lead.
Collison finished with 10 points and 17 assists, his highest single-game total with Indiana. Bojan Bogdanovic added 22 points as Indiana extended its season-best winning streak to four.
”We could not get a key shot to fall during that last stretch,” Wizards coach Scott Brooks said. Bradley Beal scored 30 points and Oubre had a season-high 23 for the Wizards, who played without injured All-Star guard John Wall. Beal certainly tried to make up for Wall’s absence after Indiana built a seemingly safe 87-62 lead with 4:05 left in the third. He scored five of the first nine points in a 13-0 run to close out the quarter and his steal to open the fourth helped the Wizards run off the first six points of the fourth to make it 87-81. Beal’s two free throws with 4:45 left capped an 8-0 run, and after an offensive foul on Tyreke Evans gave the ball back to the Wizards, Oubre drove into the lane where he was met by Turner who redirected the shot – and the game.
BEYOND THE ARC
Wizards: Beal scored 19 points in the second half and reached the 20-point mark for the 20th time this season..Otto Porter Jr. left midway through the first quarter with a bruised knee and did not return. … Thomas Bryant, who attended nearby Indiana University, had 10 points.
Pacers: Turner has recorded double-doubles in four of the last six games…Collison had 31 assists without a turnover over a three-game stretch before committing three turnovers in the final six minutes of tonight’s game.
Two days after scoring a career-low one point at Cleveland, Wall sat out with bone spurs in his left heel. Before the game, Coach Scott Brooks said Wall felt better today than Sunday and went through his normal pregame routine.
”He ran pretty well,” Brooks said. ”But we still have a few more days before we have to make our next decision.”
Indiana guard Victor Oladipo missed his 11th consecutive game with a sore right knee, but he may be returning soon. Coach Nate McMillan said the All-Star shooting guardparticipated in four-on-four drills Monday and could practice Tuesday.
Indiana is 7-4 without Oladipo.
Wizards: After a four-game road trip, Washington heads home to face Boston on Wednesday (Dec 12).
Pacers: Indiana will seek its fourth straight home win over Milwaukee on Wednesday (Dec. 12)