INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Myles Turner held his ground Monday night.
And with one quick swat of the basketball, he saved the Indiana Pacers.
The young center scored a season-high 26 points, made two 3-pointers, grabbed 12 rebounds and blocked Kelly Oubre Jr.’s driving layup with 4:16 left to help the Pacers steady themselves long enough to hold on for a 109-101 victory after Washington nearly erased a 25-point second-half deficit.
“Myles did a hell of a job controlling the paint for us and he altered a lot of shots,” Thaddeus Young said after finishing with 14 points and 12 rebounds. “We need to thank him tonight, he’s our hero.”
It will go down as the best all-around game of Turner’s four-year career.
He was 11 of 16 from the field and finished with five blocks — three on successive Wizards’ possessions that helped Indiana take control late in the first half. The last one prevented Washington from taking its first lead since the second quarter.
After the block, Darren Collison made a 3-pointer to give Indiana a four-point cushion, and Washington never got another shot to take the lead.
Collison finished with 10 points and 17 assists, his highest single-game total with Indiana. Bojan Bogdanovic added 22 points as Indiana extended its season-best winning streak to four.
“We could not get a key shot to fall during that last stretch,” Wizards coach Scott Brooks said. “We competed, we just came up short.”
Bradley Beal scored 30 points and Oubre had a season-high 23 for the Wizards, who played without injured All-Star John Wall.
Beal certainly tried to make up for Wall’s absence after Indiana built a seemingly safe 87-62 lead with 4:05 left in the third. He scored five of the first nine points in a 13-0 run to close out the quarter and his steal to open the fourth helped the Wizards run off the first six points of the fourth to make it 87-81.
Beal’s two free throws with 4:45 left capped an 8-0 run, and after an offensive foul on Tyreke Evans gave the ball back to the Wizards, Oubre drove into the lane where he was met by Turner who redirected the shot — and the game.
“At the end of last year, they said ‘the offense is going to come but we need you to be the best defensive player in the NBA,’” Turner said. “I really took that to heart and worked my butt off this summer and whipped myself into shape to be able to do so.”
Wizards: Beal scored 19 points in the second half and reached the 20-point mark for the 20th time this season. ... Otto Porter Jr. left midway through the first quarter with a bruised knee and did not return. ... Thomas Bryant, who attended Indiana University, had 10 points.
Pacers: Turner has recorded double-doubles in four of the last six games. ... Bogdanovic topped the 20-point mark for the eighth time in 14 games. ... Collison had 31 assists without a turnover over a three-game stretch before committing three turnovers in the final six minutes.
Two days after scoring a career-low one point at Cleveland, Wall sat out with bone spurs in his left heel.
It’s not clear when he’ll be back.
Before the game, coach Scott Brooks said Wall felt better Monday than Sunday and went through his normal pregame routine.
“He ran pretty well,” Brooks said. “But we still have a few more days before we have to make our next decision.”
ON THE MEND?
Indiana guard Victor Oladipo missed his 11th consecutive game with a sore right knee, but he also may be returning soon.
Coach Nate McMillan said the All-Star participated in four-on-four drills Monday and could practice Tuesday.
“It’s possible,” McMillan said. “Things are getting better.”
Indiana is 7-4 without Oladipo. Last season, he the Pacers were 0-6 without their top player.
Wizards: After a four-game road trip, Washington heads home to face Boston on Wednesday.
Pacers: Indiana will seek its fourth straight home win over Milwaukee on Wednesday.
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