On a night when the Washington Wizards celebrated the 35th anniversary of the franchise’s only championship, John Wall played like someone who might someday carry on that legacy, scoring 37 points in a display of speed and flair Saturday to lead the Washington Wizards to a 104-85 victory over the Indiana Pacers.
Wall made 16 of 25 shots, throwing his palms up after making an improbable 14-foot sideways runner and flexing his muscles to the fans on the first row after banking in a fast-break layup. He even blocked a layup attempt by Roy Hibbert, the 6-foot-4 point guard rising to swat the ball away from the 7-foot-2 Pacers center.
Wall also had five assists, four rebounds and two blocks for the lottery-bound Wizards, who have won nine straight at home and are 18-4 at the Verizon Center this season when he’s on the floor.
They were especially motivated to put on a good show Saturday night, with Wes Unseld, Elvin Hayes and the other members of the 1978 team on hand for a halftime celebration in which a new, larger banner was raised and the franchise, at least one more time, was again known as the Bullets…
Hibbert had 25 points and 10 rebounds for the Pacers, who went cold at the start of the second half. The Wizards took a 51-48 halftime lead and turned it into 63-48, with Wall scoring half of the points in the 12-0 run while Indiana was going 4:15 without a point. The Pacers didn’t get closer than seven the rest of the game.
— Reported by Joseph White of the Associated Press