Regular Season Series (Game 4 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

Wizards 83

(41-34, 16-23 away)

Pacers 93

(41-34, 23-14 home)

    Coverage: FSMW

    7:00 PM ET, April 8, 2005

    Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, IN

    1 2 3 4 T
    WSH 21 23 15 2483
    IND 29 15 23 2693

    Top Performers

    WSH: L. Hughes 24 Pts, 9 Reb, 1 Ast, 1 Blk

    Ind: A. Johnson 14 Pts, 4 Reb, 5 Ast, 3 Stl

    Indy ties Washington for East's fifth spot

    INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -- Reggie Miller is having the most fun of his 18-year NBA career.

    Miller scored 18 points Friday night to lead the Pacers to their season-high sixth straight win, 93-83 over the Washington Wizards.

    "This is probably the funnest I've had," said the 39-year-old Miller, who will retire after this season. "This team is showing great signs of life right now."

    Indiana moved into a tie with Washington for fifth place in the Eastern Conference. Both teams are two games behind fourth-place Chicago, which beat New York on Friday.

    During their current winning streak, the Pacers have four victories over three Eastern Conference teams -- two against Washington, and one each against Miami and Cleveland -- that are still in playoff picture.

    "All year we've found ways to kind of hang around, but now we're finding ways to win games against playoff-caliber teams," Miller said.

    Stephen Jackson had 17 points and seven rebounds, and Anthony Johnson added 14 points for the Pacers, who have won seven of their last eight games at home.

    "I think our confidence is sky-high," Johnson said. "Now when we go out there, we expect not only to win, but to dominate and win convincingly."

    Larry Hughes had 24 points and nine rebounds, and Kwame Brown scored 16 points for the Wizards, who lost their fourth straight game.

    "God works in mysterious ways," said Gilbert Arenas, who finished with 14 points. "He's had us at (the fourth-seed) all year, but now he's knocked us back a little bit, maybe trying to see what we're made of."

    The Pacers and Wizards were tied at 44-all at halftime, before Indiana began to pull away in the third quarter with the help of Miller's shooting and passing. The veteran guard had assists on consecutive baskets by Jeff Foster and Eddie Gill, then hit a runner to give the Pacers a 65-54 lead.

    Washington responded with five straight points to cut the deficit to 65-59 with 37 seconds left, but Gill stopped the rally with two free throws to end the third.

    The closest the Wizards got in the fourth quarter was 71-66 with 9:40 left. The Pacers then went on a 10-2 run, started by James Jones' 3-pointer, to open an 81-68 lead with under seven minutes left.

    "The key for us is to stay hungry," Pacers coach Rick Carlisle said. "We've got to make sure winning doesn't soften us up."

    The Pacers led 29-21 after the first quarter on Jones' 3-pointer to close out the period.

    Washington scored nine of the first 10 points of the second quarter to tie the score at 30. The Pacers regained the lead and stretched it to 40-34 with 3:35 left, before the Wizards hit four straight free throws to tie it at 44-all at the break.

    "We lost our composure when the game got physical," Wizards coach Eddie Jordan said. "They hit us with hard screens and bodied up on us and we just didn't respond."

    Game notes

    Miller missed his first free-throw attempt to snap his streak of 60 in a row. Miller set the Indiana franchise record of 61 straight earlier this season. ... Antawn Jamison missed the game with tendinitis in his right knee. ... Indiana and Washington split the season series 2-2. ... The Wizards begin a five-game home stretch Saturday against Philadelphia. ... The Pacers are 4-0 in April.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 83 93
    FGM-FGA 31-79 (.392) 29-70 (.414)
    3PM-3PA 4-13 (.308) 7-19 (.368)
    FTM-FTA 17-23 (.739) 28-32 (.875)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 17-42 8-36
    Assists 11 13
    Turnovers 15 11
    Steals 5 7
    Blocks 4 3
    Fast Break Points 10 6
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 23 (1/0) 26 (0/0)
    Largest Lead 3 14

    Top Performers

    Larry Hughes Hughes
    Points: 24
    Reb: 9
    Ast: 1
    Stl: 0
    Blk: 1
    Anthony Johnson Johnson
    Points: 14
    Reb: 4
    Ast: 5
    Stl: 3
    Blk: 0