Regular Season Series (Game 3 of 4)

Series starts 1/22

Game 1: Saturday, January 22nd
Game 2: Monday, February 7th
Game 3: Sunday, April 3rd
Game 4: Friday, April 8th

Pacers 79

(38-34, 17-20 away)

Wizards 76

(41-31, 25-10 home)

    1:00 PM ET, April 3, 2005

    Verizon Center, Washington, DC

    1 2 3 4 T
    IND 16 13 24 2679
    WSH 11 18 30 1776

    Top Performers

    Ind: A. Johnson 15 Pts, 2 Reb, 6 Ast, 1 Stl

    WSH: G. Arenas 22 Pts, 7 Reb, 4 Ast, 1 Stl

    Indiana hits 5-of-6 from beyond arc in last period

    WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Indiana Pacers needed a late surge to keep their momentum going.

    Stephen Jackson and Anthony Johnson each scored 15 points to lead the Pacers to a 79-76 victory over the Washington Wizards on Sunday afternoon.

    The Pacers made three treys during a big 16-2 run in the fourth. Johnson capped the spurt with four free throws to make it 77-71, but Larry Hughes pulled the Wizards to 77-73 on a breakaway dunk with 1:05 remaining.

    Nonetheless, Indiana was able to hold off the rally for its third straight win and seventh in the last 10 games.

    "I think the first team that showed a sign of energy was going to win that game," said Jackson, who savored the victory despite shooting 0-for-9 from 3-point range. "We knew we had to make the first run and keep it, and we were able to do that."

    Washington cut the lead to 77-74 when Damone Brown made the first of two free throws with 36.7 seconds left. Reggie Miller, who finished with 12 points, made two free throws with 33.7 seconds remaining to give the Pacers a 79-74 lead.

    Gilbert Arenas' layup pulled the Wizards to 79-76 with 28.1 seconds left. Brown missed a potential tying 3-pointer at the buzzer.

    "I looked at all the options and I was open, so I took it," Brown said. "The shot felt good."

    Though the Pacers were outscored 36-18 in the paint, they found a way to win.

    "Right now, every game for us is a playoff-type atmosphere," Miller said. "We're trying to obviously better ourselves and move up in the standings. We're doing a lot of scoreboard watching as well, but we've got to continue to win ballgames and get better."

    Arenas had 22 points to lead the Wizards. Larry Hughes added 12 points and eight rebounds, and Kwame Brown had 12 points and eight boards.

    "He was really hurting today," Wizards coach Eddie Jordan said of Hughes, who has a sprained left elbow. "He is a warrior and he thought that he could play. I had to make a judgment call whether he was helping us or hurting us. He tied us for (team-high) rebounds with one arm."

    Hughes, who shot 0-for-7 in the first half, made his first field goal midway through the third quarter on a tip-in of Arenas' missed layup that gave the Wizards a 45-37 lead. Hughes, the league leader in steals, started the play with a steal.

    "It's sore," Hughes said of his elbow. "It bothered me, and I knew it would, so I was prepared to play through the pain. ... I'll be ready to play the next game."

    The loss denied the Wizards a chance to secure their first winning season since 1997-98 when they went 42-40. The setback also put Eddie Jordan's 100th career victory on hold and dropped Washington into a tie with Chicago for fourth place in the Eastern Conference playoff chase.

    "There are 10 games left and there is a lot of talk about the homecourt fourth seed, but we are really just playing to win," Hughes said.

    The Wizards built a 13-point lead in the third quarter but James Jones pulled the Pacers to 59-53 on a 3-pointer late in the period.

    Indiana's Eddie Gill opened the fourth quarter with back-to-back 3-pointers that cut Washington's lead to 61-59.

    The teams struggled to an ugly 29-29 halftime tie. It was the Wizards' lowest scoring half of the season, beating the mark of 30 points scored at Cleveland on Jan. 24. The Wizards missed 17 of their first 21 shots and shot 20 percent in the first quarter. Their 11 first-quarter points matched a season-low set Nov. 13, 2004, against Cleveland.

    Game notes

    Washington reserve guard Anthony Peeler missed the game with a sore right knee. ... Indiana guard Fred Jones missed the game because of a sore back. ... The Wizards, who drew only four sellout crowds at home last year, had their 10th sellout crowd of 20,173 this season. ... Etan Thomas broke the nail on his left thumb with 3:13 remaining in the third quarter and returned to the game with 6:23 left.<

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 79 76
    FGM-FGA 27-76 (.355) 26-73 (.356)
    3PM-3PA 7-27 (.259) 3-12 (.250)
    FTM-FTA 18-19 (.947) 21-31 (.677)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 8-43 12-44
    Assists 20 14
    Turnovers 13 12
    Steals 4 9
    Blocks 4 5
    Fast Break Points 3 10
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 23 (2/0) 19 (0/0)
    Largest Lead 9 13

    Top Performers

    Anthony Johnson Johnson
    Points: 15
    Reb: 2
    Ast: 6
    Stl: 1
    Blk: 0
    Gilbert Arenas Arenas
    Points: 22
    Reb: 7
    Ast: 4
    Stl: 1
    Blk: 0