Getting their first win of the season helped the Washington Wizards avoid one dubious franchise record. The Wizards hope they can build off of that victory so they can avert setting another.
Washington (1-5) looks to avoid dropping a franchise-record ninth straight regular-season home game when they host the Indiana Pacers (3-4) on Wednesday.
The streak doesn’t include Washington’s two home playoff defeats to the Cleveland Cavaliers, who swept their first-round series last season.
Washington has dropped both of its games at the Verizon Center this season and has not won at home since beating Philadelphia 111-108 on March 28. Its previous eight-game regular-season home losing streak lasted from Dec. 15, 1994-Jan. 13, 1995, when the franchise was known as the Bullets.
It may be a good idea for the Wizards to conduct another team meeting after they responded to one called Friday by Caron Butler and Antawn Jamison with a 101-90 win on Sunday at Atlanta. They avoided the first 0-6 start in franchise history.
“It feels like you got King Kong off your back,” Butler said.
Butler had 24 points and eight assists, and Jamison added 23 points and 15 rebounds for Washington, which had season highs in shooting (43.2 percent) and assists (26). All five starters scored in double figures.
“I thought the difference was us playing with a lot of positive energy, and we shared the basketball,” Wizards coach Eddie Jordan said. “We never faltered and we played 48 minutes of hard basketball.
“We needed this win in the worst way.”
Gilbert Arenas scored 18 points, but his early shooting slump continued as he made 5-of-15 shots. The All-Star guard is shooting 35.6 percent, and has made just five of 36 3-pointers (13.9 percent).
After winning all three of the meetings against the Pacers last season, the Wizards opened this season with a 119-110 overtime loss on Oct. 31 at Conseco Fieldhouse.
Jamaal Tinsley scored 16 of his 20 points after the third quarter, and Danny Granger scored seven of his 20 points in overtime. Mike Dunleavy had 25 points and 12 rebounds for his only double-double of the season.
Arenas had a season-high 34 points, including a 3-pointer that forced overtime. Arenas is averaging 32.3 points in his last six games against Indiana.
The Pacers are playing on back-to-back nights, going from hosting the NBA’s only undefeated team to visiting one of the worst. After opening with three straight wins, the Pacers dropped their fourth straight on Tuesday with a 101-86 loss to the Boston Celtics by having season lows in points and field-goal percentage (34.9).
“We’re a better shooting basketball team than that,” Pacers coach Jim O’Brien said. “I fully expect for that to turn around.”
Jermaine O’Neal managed only 10 points on 4-of-13 shooting as he continues to struggle after missing most of the preseason with a knee injury. O’Neal sat out the season opener against the Wizards.
Granger had 24 points and Tinsley added 14 and eight assists in the loss for Indiana, which also had a season-high 23 turnovers.
“We must bounce back and go to Washington and win,” Tinsley said. “We are just not making shots, defending very well and not playing good overall basketball.”