Washington Wizards vs. Indiana Pacers Pick & Prediction DECEMBER 15th 2023

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The Indiana Pacers continue a lengthy road trip Friday night when they visit the Washington Wizards.

Indiana played its fourth straight game away from Indianapolis — including its NBA in-season tournament games in Las Vegas — with a 140-126 loss at Milwaukee on Wednesday.

The Pacers surrendered a Bucks’ franchise-record 64 points to Giannis Antetokounmpo in the loss, which marked the fourth time this season that Indiana has allowed at least 140 points in game.

Milwaukee’s highest-scoring quarter came in the fourth with 39 points. Much of that came as Pacers coach Rick Carlisle opted to play his bench players.

“I decided to get some of our depth guys into the game, give them an opportunity to compete. Very proud of how they went in there. Bruce Brown led that group,” Carlisle said.

Brown has been a starter throughout the season for Indiana and is averaging 12.3 points per game. He logged minutes with the reserves, however, as they led a late surge from down as many as 22 points.

Five Pacers came off the bench to score at least eight points. Bennedict Mathurin recorded 14 on a 10-of-10 night at the free-throw line and Aaron Nesmith finished with 12. T.J. McConnell and Isaiah Jackson each scored nine points and rookie Ben Sheppard added eight.

Fellow rookie Oscar Tshiebwe scored his first career point and grabbed a rebound in the loss.

Scoring depth has allowed Indiana to compile the NBA’s most prolific offense so far this season, with seven Pacers averaging at least 11.2 points while appearing in at least 20 games.

Tyrese Haliburton, who is averaging a team-high 26.1 points per game and NBA-leading 12.0 assists, leads the way for an offense scoring a league-best 128.4 points per contest.

Indiana’s potent production has helped offset the team yielding the second-highest point total at 125.5 per game. The only team allowing more this season is the Pacers’ opponent on Friday.

The Wizards are giving up 127.0 points per game with the NBA’s highest opponent field-goal percentage (50.6).

Washington’s losing skid reached six games on Wednesday in a 142-122 setback against the New Orleans Pelicans.

The loss marked the fifth game in which the Wizards surrendered at least 142 points. The series of games includes a 143-120 setback to Indiana in the season opener on Oct. 25.

While the Wizards have struggled defensively, they ranked 10th in the league for scoring offense at 115.9 points per game entering play on Thursday.

Kyle Kuzma leads six Wizards averaging in double-figures scoring at 23.0 points per game.

Rookie Bilal Coulibaly, who averages 9.2 points per game, rides a streak of five straight double-figure scoring games into Friday’s matchup.

Coulibaly is coming off the second-highest scoring performance of his career with 16 points on Wednesday in which he shot 4-of-6 from 3-point range.

“It’s something that he’s worked quite a bit,” Washington coach Wes Unseld Jr. said of Coulibaly’s 3-point shooting. “He also knows to get to the right spot. He finds those corners and feels very comfortable there.”

–Field Level Media

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