Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

West, Hibbert Lead Pacers over Winless Wizards

Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

West, Hibbert Lead Pacers over Winless Wizards

Article excerpt

WASHINGTON - There were boos early and at the end for the winless Washington Wizards, who dropped to a franchise-worst 0-9 with a 96- 89 loss to the Indiana Pacers on Monday night. Indiana's David West scored 13 of his season-best 30 points in the fourth quarter, and Roy Hibbert broke out of a slump with 20 points and 12 rebounds.

Still without point guard John Wall, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2010 NBA draft, and starting center Nene - and no one seems to be sure when either injured player will make his season debut - the Wizards are the only team in the NBA without a victory. They started 0-8 a year ago, the club's previous worst opening to a season.

They were led Monday by rookie Bradley Beal's 18 points, 17 coming in the second half.

Jordan Crawford scored 11 on 2-for-12 shooting for Washington.

Jeered by the announced crowd of 14,426 in the opening minutes and at the closing buzzer, the Wizards actually earned a standing ovation at the end of the third quarter after whittling a 20-point deficit to 71-67 on Shaun Livingston's jumper entering the fourth.

Washington went on an 18-2 run to close the third, including 16 points in a row, with Beal scoring nine.

And when Chris Singleton made a jumper while getting fouled with 3 minutes left in the game, Washington suddenly was within 86- 85. Alas, Singleton failed to convert the three-point play, missing the free throw that would have tied the score, and West's jumper at the other end put the Pacers back up by three.

As West's shot went through the net, Wizards coach Randy Wittman raised his arms then put his hands atop his head in a resigned pose. Moments later, Wittman called time out after West sank yet another jumper to make it 90-85.

Before the game, Wittman - with hands stuffed in his pants pockets and the hint of a smile across his face - spoke earnestly about what it's going to take for his struggling team to get better, including lineup changes.

"Hey, when you're 0-8, you're trying a lot of different things," he said. …

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