INDIANAPOLIS: Thaddeus Young’s short jump shot with one second left on the clock lifted the Indiana Pacers to a 107-105 win over the Washington Wizards on Monday.
“I just made a play, that was the biggest thing,” Young said of his jumper from 10 feet. “My teammates put me in a position to make that play by having a lot of guys on the court that could space the court out.”
Washington’s Bradley Beal missed a potential game-winning three-pointer at the buzzer in front of a crowd of 18,100 at Bankers Life Fieldhouse arena.
Paul George led the Pacers with 27 points and teammate Jeff Teague added 23. Myles Turner fouled out with 20 points and eight rebounds.
“They switched out and denied Paul,” Pacers coach Nate McMillan said.
“Thaddeus did what he was supposed to do and come to the ball. With four seconds to go you want to attack the basket. It was the right thing instead of just settling for the hero long jump shot.
“He put his head down and attacked the basket. It was an aggressive move by Thaddeus.”
Beal, who hit both two free throws to narrow the Pacers’ lead to 105-103 with 50 seconds left, had tied the score by hitting a jumper with 15 seconds left.
Marcin Gortat tallied 21 points and 13 rebounds for the Wizards (12-15). Teammate John Wall delivered 19 points.
Washington erased a deficit by scoring the first nine points of the fourth quarter to tie it 88-88. George’s basket made it 90-88 and halted the Wizards’ run.
Elsewhere, Dennis Schroder and Paul Millsap combined to score 61 points in leading the Atlanta Hawks to a 110-108 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder at the Chesapeake Energy Arena.
Schroder scored 31 points on 10 of 16 shooting to go along with eight assists. Millsap poured in 30 points, 11 rebounds and hit three of five from beyond the arc.
Thabo Sefolosha added 15 points as the Hawks raised their record to 14-14.
Oklahoma City was led by Russell Westbrook, who had a game high 46 points. He also racked up 11 rebounds and seven assists.
In Minneapolis, the Minnesota Timberwolves held onto a late advantage to escape with a 115-108 win over the Phoenix Suns at the Target Center.
The win for the Timberwolves came two days after they let a 12-point lead slip away with just over two minutes to play against Houston. The Rockets eventually won that game in overtime.
On Monday, Wolves center Karl-Anthony Towns scored 28 points and grabbed 15 boards for his 18th double-double of the season—and his eighth straight.
Canada’s Andrew Wiggins had 26 points in the win, and Zach LaVine chipped in 23.
In Chicago, Rajon Rondo narrowly missed a triple-double with 10 points, 14 assists and eight rebounds, and the Chicago Bulls rolled to a 113-82 win over the Detroit Pistons.
Clippers’ Griffin to have knee surgery
Los Angeles Clippers player Blake Griffin will undergo surgery on his right knee this week and is expected to be sidelined until at least January.
The Clippers announced Monday that the arthroscopic procedure would remove loose material from his knee and added the 27-year-old Griffin is expected to miss three to six weeks.
Griffin has struggled recently with left calf and knee soreness. He played 38 minutes in the Clippers’ 117-110 loss to the Washington Wizards on Sunday, posting 26 points, seven rebounds and seven assists. But he scored no points in the fourth quarter.
Griffin sat out a game on December 10 against the New Orleans Pelicans due to right knee soreness. He has scored 20 or more points in the four NBA games since.