Pacers pound Wizards behind Granger, DanielsDec 16, 2008 - 4:33 AM By Tim Hipps PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer
WASHINGTON (Ticker) -- In a defenseless struggle between two struggling teams, Danny Granger had the all-around game the Indiana Pacers needed to end a six-game losing streak with a 118-98 victory over the Washington Wizards on Monday.
Granger had 27 points, nine rebounds, five assists and five steals to lead five Pacers in double-figures for their first victory since a 118-117 home win over the Los Angeles Lakers on December 2.
"Yeah, those are nice numbers but I'm really happy that we got the win," Granger said. "We've been struggling and we really needed this for the team and for our confidence. Up until two games ago, we had the toughest schedule in the NBA. It's been rough, but now the schedule gets a little bit easier, and we've got to take advantage of it."
Only Oklahoma City (2-23) has fewer victories than Washington (4-18).
"We both were two struggling teams, and I'm just glad we came out on top," Granger said. "Now we go home for two games and we've got to take care of that."
The Pacers (8-16) return home to face Golden State (7-17) on Wednesday and the LA Clippers (6--17) on Friday.
Marquis Daniels added 20 points, eight rebounds and seven assists for the Pacers, whose 118 points matched their season-high in regulation established during that victory over the Lakers.
"If we're scoring a lot of points, we're usually going to have a good chance of winning the game," Granger said. "If we're slowing it down and we're under 100, it's not good for us."
The Wizards have yielded 100 or more points in four of their last five games and 13 times all told this season.
"It's our defense killing us," said Wizards forward Antawn Jamison, who had 26 points and a season-high 15 rebounds. "They shot what, 47 percent, but add about 23 offensive rebounds and so forth. They kept us on second-chance opportunities, penetrating into the teeth of the defense and then kicking out for open jumpshots.
"It seemed like we were on roller skates all night, moving from one side to the other, trying to figure out what was going on. We've just got to talk and help each other out. We know what we're supposed to do, we're just not getting it done out there."
T.J. Ford and Jarrett Jack scored 16 points apiece for the Pacers, who got 12 from Rasho Nesterovic.
"It's been awhile, but we understood that we had to stay with it," said Ford, who added five rebounds and five assists. "They were a team that didn't give up. They made a run and made the game close. We had a big lead going into halftime, but we were able to sustain it and make plays going down the stretch and get a win. Now we've just got to move forward and get back into the mix."
Ford's pull-up jumper off the glass as the shot clock expired gave the Pacers a 106-92 lead with 4:12 left that sent the Wizards faithful filing for the exits. Those who remained resorted to booing the home team.
"It's embarrassing when you get booed at home in front of your crowd and that's something that we don't ever want to happen again," Jamison said.
Caron Butler had 26 points, eight rebounds and five assists for the Wizards, who lost their third straight. Andray Blatche added 19 points for Washington.
Butler's layup pulled the Wizards within 76-75 with 3:38 remaining in the third quarter.
After Butler's 3-pointer tied it at 83-83, Granger answered with a dunk and Ford added a layup that gave Indiana an 87-83 lead after three.
"The Wizards came back and tied it up, but our guys just hung tough," Pacers coach Jim O'Brien said. "It shows how active we were defensively. Danny had 16 deflections tonight. Between Danny, Jarrett and Marquis, they had 35 deflections. They really defended at a high level and we did what we had to do to win."
Ford scored the last four points of the second quarter and the Pacers closed the half with a 9-2 run for a 62-48 lead at the break.
Daniels had eight points and Granger added seven as the Pacers shot 54 percent in the first quarter and led 33-27 after one.
WASHINGTON 98 FINAL
Dec 15 9:23 PM
WASHINGTON 83 END, 3RD QTR
Dec 15 8:51 PM
WASHINGTON 48 HALFTIME
Dec 15 8:08 PM
WASHINGTON 27 END, 1ST QTR
Dec 15 7:37 PM
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