Pacers sharp early in 127-117 victory over Wizards

WASHINGTON (AP) — Tyrese Haliburton had 25 points and 12 assists, Myles Turner added 27 points and the Indiana Pacers beat the Washington Wizards 127-117 on Friday night.

Assistant Lloyd Pierce was coaching the Pacers because Rick Carlisle had a previously scheduled event recognizing his daughter as cheer captain on her senior night. Buddy Hield scored 25 points for Indiana, which led by as many as 20 points in both the second and third quarters.

“My plan wasn’t to do anything different with Coach out,” Pierce said. “It was to basically say the same message, empower the guys to do it with more freedom and confidence, and we have to turn around and try to do it again.”

Indiana wasted little time pulling away. A 22-2 run in the first quarter gave the Pacers a 30-15 lead. It was 36-28 after one following a long 3-pointer at the buzzer by Washington’s Kyle Kuzma, but the Pacers kept right on rolling in the second. A run of eight straight points made it 70-50, and Indiana led 75-60 at halftime.

A 3-pointer by Haliburton put Indiana ahead 80-60 early in the third before the Wizards began chipping away. They produced enough defensive stops that the lead was down to seven in the final minute of the quarter after a 3 by Anthony Gill. The Pacers led 101-90 heading into the fourth.

Indiana would push the lead back to 17 before another Washington rally. A 3-pointer by Bradley Beal made it 114-108. Hield then responded with a turnaround and a 3 to put the Pacers back up by double digits.

Beal led the Wizards (3-2) with 31 points but finished with only four assists, snapping a streak of 21 games in which he had at least five. Kristaps Porzingis scored 22 points.

“We underestimated them. We came out overconfident maybe that we were going to get it done,” Porzingis said. “Against a team like that, once they start shooting, it’s tough. And then of course second half, we gave what we had and that was better. … But still, it’s hard to play uphill like that.”

STEP FORWARD

Turner was in just his second game back from an ankle injury. He scored only five points on Wednesday in a loss to the Chicago Bulls.

This time he had 10 rebounds and five blocks in addition to all his scoring. He opened the game with a 3-pointer.

“We came out, Myles hits the first 3, which is good for any team when you see that first one go down,” Pierce said. “And then it got our defense going.”

The Pacers made eight 3s in the first quarter.

TIP-INS

Pacers: Daniel Theis (right knee soreness) did not play. … All five Indiana starters had at least 15 points.

Wizards: Washington is without Corey Kispert (left ankle sprain) and Delon Wright (right hamstring strain). … Monte Morris had 12 assists. … Kuzma scored 18 points with nine rebounds. … Daniel Gafford had 10 points in 14:56.

UP NEXT

Pacers: At Brooklyn on Saturday night.

Wizards: At Boston on Sunday night.

___

Follow Noah Trister at https://twitter.com/noahtrister

___

More AP NBA: https://apnews.com/NBA and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.