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Pacers hand Wizards 13th straight loss

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Danny Granger scored 31 points to help the Indiana Pacers beat the Washington Wizards 99-82 on Wednesday night and extend Washington's losing streak to a franchise record-tying 13 games.

Andray Blatche started for the Wizards a night after he was benched for most of the game following a spat with coach Flip Saunders. He finished with 21 points in 39 minutes.

The Wizards last lost 13 straight in 1995. They can set a record for futility Friday at Charlotte.

It was Granger's third straight game with at least 30 points. Josh McRoberts had 14 points and a career-high 12 rebounds for the Pacers, who have won four in a row overall and six straight at home.

James Singleton added 19 points and a career-high 21 rebounds for Washington.

Blatche scored 12 points in the first quarter, but cooled off after that.

The night before, he did not return after the first 7 1/2 minutes of the 95-86 overtime loss to the Bobcats because Saunders said Blatche didn't want to listen when he tried to talk to the forward about playing better defense.

Indiana led 49-42 at halftime and shot 49 percent before the break, despite making 1 of 12 3-pointers.

The Pacers opened the second half with back-to-back 3s by Murphy and Earl Watson to go up 55-42. A putback by McRoberts gave Indiana a 63-46 lead and caused the Wizards to call timeout midway through the third quarter. Washington made just 2 of its first 12 shots in the second half.

The Pacers pushed the lead to 20 on a 3-pointer by Granger with three minutes left in the quarter. Indiana led 74-58 at the end of the period.

Washington made a final surge early in the fourth quarter. A 3-pointer by Blatche cut Indiana's lead to 81-71 before Granger took over. He took a handoff after throwing an inbounds pass, drove hard into the lane and clutched in midair before hammering down a one-handed dunk. He made a 3-pointer on the next possession to push the lead back to 15.

NOTES: McRoberts started for just the third time this season. He played in place of C Roy Hibbert, who sat out with a sprained jawbone after taking a hit Tuesday against Detroit. ... The Pacers made just 8 of 15 free throws in the first quarter, and three of those were by A.J. Price in the closing seconds of the first quarter after he was fouled on a desperation 3-pointer. ... Saunders was issued a technical foul for arguing with officials with 53 seconds left in the first half. ... Pacers F Mike Dunleavy sprained his right ankle in the third quarter and did not return.