|Date of game: 11/5/2014
Recap: Washington vs. Indiana
Washington, DC (SportsNetwork.com) - Indiana and Washington sported different lineups Wednesday than the ones they trotted out during last season's Eastern Conference semifinals.
But the Wizards have their star.
The Pacers do not.
John Wall had 31 points, 10 assists, six rebounds and three steals as Washington defeated short-handed Indiana 96-94 in overtime on Wednesday night.
The Pacers led 88-87 in the extra session before Wall netted six straight points during the middle stages of the frame and the Wizards hung on down the stretch.
"I was just being aggressive, taking shots that were there," Wall said.
Trailing 96-94 in the closing seconds, Roy Hibbert missed a left wing 3- pointer and Chris Copeland's putback was off the mark for Indiana, which was without Paul George, George Hill, C.J. Watson, David West and Rodney Stuckey. Lance Stephenson, of course, left Indiana for Charlotte in the offseason.
"I saw the ball come to me, so I had to shoot it," Hibbert said. "I can't wait until everybody gets healthy."
Garrett Temple hit four 3-pointers and netted 16 points to go with seven rebounds and Marcin Gortat posted 14 points and 10 boards for Washington, which is still without the blossoming Bradley Beal. The Wizards signed Paul Pierce to be their small forward in place of Trevor Ariza.
The Pacers won last year's semifinal in six games.
Donald Sloan, who tallied a career-high 31 points to go with seven assists and six rebounds, netted the final seven Indiana points in regulation to force overtime.
Copeland supplied 19 points and 12 rebounds off the bench and Solomon Hill provided 14 points and eight rebounds for the 1-4 Pacers, who are off to their worst start since the 1996-97 squad began 1-5.
Gortat split a pair of foul shots with 2:06 remaining in the fourth before Sloan drove in for consecutive layups to tie the score.
Pierce sunk two free throws at the other end and Sloan drove into the paint before contorting his body and getting his layup to drop with 6.9 seconds left.
Pierce's right wing triple at the buzzer clanked off the back of the rim.
Wall nailed two straight pull-up jumpers from the top of the key, then stole the ball away from Sloan prior to driving in for an up-and-under layup to stake Washington to a 93-88 lead in overtime.
Earlier, the game was tied 24-24 after a quarter of play, but a 16-2 Washington run in the second helped it build a 46-41 cushion heading into the break.
The Wizards took a 66-61 margin into the fourth.Game Notes
The Wizards played 12 overtime games last season, tied for the fifth most in
league history. They were 4-8 ... The Pacers outrebounded the Wizards, 57-43
... Washington was 21-of-23 from the foul line.