The Washington Wizards are one of two winless teams in the NBA and hope to find some success Saturday against the Indiana Pacers.
The Wizards, who lost their first eight games last season, dropped a 101-91 decision last night versus the Milwaukee Bucks at the Verizon Center. Rookie Bradley Beal led the Wizards with 22 points and Trevor Ariza finished with 15 for Washington, which shot 43.6 percent from the floor and converted 21 Milwaukee turnovers into 28 points.
Trevor Booker and Emeka Okafor both had 11 points in defeat.
"We just have to keep plugging and emphasizing the positives," Wizards coach Randy Wittman said. "We're going to get both of these groups (the offense and defense) playing well together."
Washington opened the game on a 12-0 run, but a subsequent surge by the Bucks ended any hopes of a first win of the season. The Wizards were 0-5 in both 2007 and 2008, and will begin a three-game road trip tonight against Indiana, Charlotte and Dallas.
The Wizards are still without John Wall (knee) and Nene (foot).
Detroit (0-6) is the other winless team in the league and plays at Houston Saturday night.
Indiana will try to put the brakes on a three-game losing streak when they open a quick homestand versus Washington and Toronto.
In Friday's 96-94 loss at Minnesota in the finale of a three-game trek, Chase Budinger put the Timberwolves ahead for good with a late layup and the Pacers fell to 2-4 on the season. George Hill scored a game-high 29 points and buried a 3-pointer to tie the game at 94-94.
However, Budinger's basket proved to be the difference.
"We played hard, but we let it slip away," said Hill. "But that is expected out of a young team. We just have to get better at finishing games."
David West had 19 points and 13 rebounds for Indiana, which shot 44 percent and got 11 points from Paul George. Roy Hibbert netted 10 in the loss and Indiana couldn't take advantage of a Minnesota team playing without Kevin Love and Ricky Rubio.
The Pacers, of course, are playing without star forward Danny Granger because of a knee problem and he is supposed to miss at least three months.
Indiana won all three meetings with Washington last season and is unbeaten in the last six matchups between the teams. The Wizards have lost eight in a row and 10 of 13 trips to Indy.