for this game

Pacers take playoff push to Washington

Feb 22, 2011 - 3:42 PM (Sports Network) - The Indiana Pacers hope a second-half surge will catapult them to the playoffs, as they pay a visit to the Washington Wizards tonight at the Verizon Center.

Indiana is 24-30 on the season and sits just one game ahead Charlotte for the eighth and final postseason spot in the Eastern Conference. It is 7-3 under interim head coach Frank Vogel, who took over for Jim O'Brien on Jan. 31 after he was fired in the wake of a 17-27 start. O'Brien left the team with a 121-169 record during a four-year span while the club hasn't reached the playoffs since the 2005-06 season.

The Pacers look to stop a two-game slide and previously took the court in a 115-109 overtime loss against the Detroit Pistons at The Palace on Feb. 16. They were outscored, 11-5, in the extra period and got 29 points from Roy Hibbert. Danny Granger ended with 28 points in defeat.

"I knew the risk of restructuring our offense and neglecting the defensive work that we needed to be a good defensive team, and I knew it was going to bite us sometime," Vogel said. "And it reared its ugly head tonight."

Josh McRoberts registered 15 points and 12 rebounds for the Pacers. Indiana is 9-18 outside of Conseco Fieldhouse and has averaged 107.3 ppg under Vogel.

Washington has alternated wins and losses over its last five games, and headed to the All-Star break with a 101-76 loss in Orlando on Feb. 16.

Rookie John Wall finished with 27 points and five boards, while Andray Blatche totaled 15 points and nine rebounds for the lowly Wizards, who were coming off a win at Cleveland that halted a 26-game road losing streak. Magic All-Star Dwight Howard had 32 points and 10 boards to power his team.

"He just took over the game and got his team a big lead," Wall said of Howard.

Wall leads all Eastern Conference rookies in scoring (15.0 ppg) and assists (6.6 apg) this month, and is averaging 17.5 points, 8.0 assists and 5.0 rebounds in two games versus Indiana this season. He earned MVP honors for the Rookies in a win over the Sophomores during All-Star weekend, posting 12 points and a Rookie-Sophomore game record 22 assists.

Wizards guard Nick Young did not play against Orlando because of a knee injury and is questionable for Tuesday. Forwards Rashard Lewis (knee) and Al Thornton (finger) are also questionable. Washington is 14-13 as the host this season.

The 2010-11 season series between Indiana and Washington is tied at a game apiece, with each team prevailing as the host. The Pacers have lost two straight and six of eight visits to DC.

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    MattDOOM777 Added 5 roots

    Pacers 113, Wizards 96  FinalFeb 23 12:46 PM

  • INDIANA: 113

    Feb 22 9:33 PM

  • INDIANA: 90
    End of 3rd

    Feb 22 8:59 PM

  • INDIANA: 58

    Feb 22 8:13 PM

  • INDIANA: 25
    End of 1st

    Feb 22 7:39 PM

  • INDIANA: 0
    1st Quarter - 12:00

    Feb 22 7:12 PM
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    RUWTbot Added 19 roots

    Pacers vs. WizardsAug 11 6:02 AM