The Washington Wizards are on the verge of franchise futility and look to avoid an 0-9 start for the first time in history Monday versus the Indiana Pacers in D.C.
The Wizards became the second team in NBA history to begin back-to-back seasons with 0-8 starts after Saturday's 83-76 loss versus Utah. Jordan Crawford scored 20 points and had eight assists, and Trevor Ariza had 16 points, nine rebounds and three steals for Washington, the only winless team remaining in the NBA.
"It is just discouraging that we can't break through," said Wizards coach Randy Wittman. "We have to find a way. I am going to continue to look for different combinations, and play different guys together and see trying to get into a little bit of a rhythm."
Emeka Okafor had eight points and game-high 14 rebounds in defeat.
Washington has scored 76 points in two of the last three games and is averaging a league low 86.6 ppg.
The Wizards are 0-3 at the Verizon Center this season and have lost all six of their encounters with teams from the Eastern Conference. They're still playing without point guard John Wall, who's resting a balky knee.
A.J. Price had eight points versus Utah and is 16 shy of 1,000 in his career.
Since winning its season opener at Toronto, Indiana has lost six in a row on a the road and hope to have some success Monday against the winless Wizards.
The Pacers are averaging 84.8 ppg during the road slide and suffered an 88-76 loss at New York on Sunday. Paul George led the Pacers with 20 points, while David West added 14 points and seven rebounds for Indiana, which has lost three of four games to fall to 4-7 on the season.
"We gotta get more shots," George said. "We gotta get better looks, more attempts and take care of the ball."
George is the only Pacer to score in double figures in every game this season.
Three of Indiana's last six road losses have been decided by three points or less.
The Pacers recently defeated Washington, 89-85, back on Nov. 10, as George posted 20 points and seven rebounds to lead the way. Indiana has won seven straight, 11 of 13 and 14 of the previous 19 meetings with the Wizards, losers of three in a row as the host in this series.
Indiana and Washington will meet again on January 2nd and April 6th.
Crawford owns career averages of 17.8 points and 2.5 assists per game in six career matchups with the Pacers.