The Indiana Pacers are blazing hot.
They entered the night with a 14-1 mark that was the best in the NBA (including an 8-0 record in their home building), and kept that momentum going in a 93-73 win over the Washington Wizards. The Pacers reminded everyone of how scary their defense can be in this game, holding the Wizards to just 40% from the field and 33% from beyond the arc, but it was their dominant effort on the glass that led to the victory.
Lance Stephenson had an amazing game (highlighted by this absolutely ridiculous pass), but his 11 rebounds helped to key a 49-37 margin on the glass that allowed Indy to attempt 14 more shots than Washington. Stephenson also added 10 assists on the night, notching an unlikely double-double, and he was flanked by 23 pts, 4 rebounds, 4 assists, and 4 steals from Paul George, and a 13-point, 8-rebound effort from Roy Hibbert.
On the Washington side, it was a night to forget. All-Star candidate John Wall had an “off” night with a 4-for-14 shooting performance, and the Wizards failed to notch a single fast break point against the impeccable transition defense of the East-leading Pacers.
With the win, Indiana advances to 15-1 on the year, and they have looked nearly flawless in amassing that mark. The world champion Miami Heat are looming in the Eastern Conference, but Indy has the inside track toward the #1 seed in the East, and that could be enormous when the playoffs roll around in the Spring.