Sports

Struggling teams battle in DC when Wiz host Indy

(SportsNetwork.com) - The Indiana Pacers are playing themselves out of postseason contention and look to stop a six-game slide Wednesday against the Washington Wizards at the Verizon Center.

Indiana's current woes comes on the heels of a seven-game win streak and has the team one game out of a playoff spot.

The Pacers' struggles continued with a 110-100 loss to the Houston Rockets on Monday, as James Harden lit up the hosts for 44 points. C.J. Watson led the Pacers with 23 points off the bench, George Hill netted 20 points and Roy Hibbert recorded a double-double of 18 points and 10 rebounds.

Houston finished the game 35-for-37 from the foul line and tied an NBA record with their 51st game with 10 or more 3-point field goals with 13.

"Individually, we're not playing well enough and as a group we're not playing well enough," Pacers forward David West said.

Indiana has lost two in a row on the road and will visit the Milwaukee Bucks Thursday night. It is 12-22 away from Indy this season.

Pacers forward Paul George is slowly getting back to playing shape after suffering a gruesome leg fracture last summer for Team USA. George is expected to make his season debut soon.

Indiana guard Rodney Stuckey (calf) is questionable against the Wizards and did not play Monday. He is posting an average of 12.9 points per game.

The Wizards will play five straight in the nation's capital versus Indiana, Charlotte, Houston, Philadelphia and New York. They are 25-10 at home.

Washington, though, has lost three in a row following a five-game winning streak and closed out a four-game (1-3) western jaunt with Monday's embarrassing 107-76 setback to the NBA-best Golden State Warriors.

Bradley Beal, Ramon Sessions and Kevin Seraphin scored 12 points apiece and John Wall collected 11 points, five assists and five rebounds. The Wizards shot a paltry 33.3 percent from the floor and were hammered on the boards to the tune of 62-38.

Golden State held the Wizards to a season-low eight points in the third quarter and 27 points in the second half.

"It was like we were playing in mud, walking up and down," Wizards coach Randy Wittman told NBA.com afterward.

On a positive note for Washington, Wall became the first player in franchise history to have at least 700 assists in consecutive seasons since Rod Strickland during the 1996-97 and 1997-98 campaigns.

The Wizards have taken the first two matchups with the Pacers this season and the two clubs are slated to meet again April 14 in Indy. Washington is 3-1 in the past four games in this series.