It was a buzzkill that put the brakes on to the bubbling optimism that followed Washington's first three-game win streak since 2008. But in hindsight, it shouldn't have been that hard to see, given that the Pacers are hoping to wrap up a playoff spot, while the Wizards have been mostly awful on the road this season.
It's not that the effort wasn't there for Washington, which shot more free throws than Indiana and hung with them on the boards. But the defense. Oh, the defense. The Wizards allowed the Pacers to shoot 59.5 percent from the field and 54.2 percent from three. Indiana had 32 assists compared to 10 for Washington.
The newly dubbed Big Three turned in decent stat lines in their own right. Jordan Crawford led Washington with 29 points, but it took a 9-for-23 shooting night to accomplish that. Andray Blatche notched another double-double with 23 points and 10 rebounds, and John Wall 19 points nine rebounds and four assists.