SportsWilliam J. Ford

Wizards Hold Off Pacers for 2nd Straight Win

Markieff Morris scored a season-high 26 points and pulled down 10 rebounds, and John Wall continued his torrid February with his sixth straight double-double as the equally hot Washington Wizards held off the Indiana Pacers 112-107 Friday at Verizon Center in northwest D.C.

The Wizards (32-21) won their second straight game and began another home-court streak after an epic loss Monday to the Cleveland Cavaliers snapped a 17-game run at Verizon Center. The team has won 23 home games so far this season, already surpassing last year’s total of 22.

Wall, headed for his fourth straight All-Star Game appearance this month, scored 26 points and dished out 14 assists.

Pacers All-Star forward Paul George led all scorers with 31 points, but Wall kept the Pacers at bay down the stretch, scoring eight of Washington’s last nine points.

Indiana shot 58 percent from the floor and scored 32 points in the second quarter, but the Wizards’ defense clamped down after halftime, holding the Pacers to 22 points on 9-for-22 shooting in the third.

Washington Wizards forward Markieff Morris speaks to the media after a 112-107 victory over the Indiana Pacers at Verizon Center in D.C. on Feb. 10. (William J. Ford/The Washington Informer)
Washington Wizards forward Markieff Morris speaks to the media after a 112-107 victory over the Indiana Pacers at Verizon Center in D.C. on Feb. 10. (William J. Ford/The Washington Informer)

“We had to clean that up. That’s much better in the second half,” said Morris, who returned to the lineup after missing Wednesday game’s against the Brooklyn Nets with a calf injury. “It felt good. I had three to four days off. I made some shots.”

Even with George shooting above 50 percent, the Pacers only shot 4-of-21 beyond the arc, though their bench kept them in the game, outscoring the Wizards reserves 40-18.

Former Wizards big man Kevin Seraphin enjoyed his return to the District with 16 points and seven rebounds in 24 minutes off the Pacers bench.

“It’s a good thing when you start from the bench because technically, you can see what is missing on the court,” he said. “I was like, ‘you know what, let me bring some energy … and bring some buckets.’ It’s really important for me to be ready every time they call my name.”

The Wizards have three remaining home games this month, including a Feb. 28 showdown with Prince George’s County native Kevin Durant and the Golden State Warriors.

However, 12 of the 18 games in March will be on the road.

“March is a big month. We have a lot of road games,” said Wizards head coach Scott Brooks. “We are just focused on playing well, hopefully we get another good night come Monday against [the Oklahoma City Thunder].”

Washington is now three games ahead of the Pacers (29-24) in the Eastern Conference standings and lead the season series 2-1. The Wizards travel to Indiana Thursday for their last game before the All-Star break.

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William J. Ford – Washington Informer Staff Writer

I decided I wanted to become a better writer while attending Bowie State University and figured that writing for the school newspaper would help. I’m not sure how much it helped, but I enjoyed it so much I decided to keep on doing it, which I still thoroughly enjoy 20 years later. If I weren’t a journalist, I would coach youth basketball. Actually, I still play basketball, or at least try to play, once a week. My kryptonite is peanut butter. What makes me happy – seeing my son and two godchildren grow up. On the other hand, a bad call made by an official during a football or basketball game makes me throw up my hands and scream. Favorite foods include pancakes and scrambled eggs which I could eat 24-7. The strangest thing that’s ever happened to me, or more accurately the most painful, was when I was hit by a car on Lancaster Avenue in Philadelphia. If I had the power or money to change the world, I’d make sure everyone had three meals a day. And while I don’t have a motto or favorite quote, I continue to laugh which keeps me from driving myself crazy. You can reach me several ways: Twitter @jabariwill, Instagram will_iam.ford2281 or e-mail, wford@washingtoninformer.com

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