The Washington Wizards are on the cusp of their longest road win streak in six seasons and can match their longest overall run of 2013-14. Achieving those goals Friday night, however, could prove considerably difficult.
The Wizards visit the best home team in the NBA in the Indiana Pacers as they close a three-game trip looking to end an 11-game losing streak in Indianapolis.
After getting swept in a three-game homestand, Washington has bounced back by continuing its recent success on the road, winning the first two on this swing. The Wizards (16-17) have won six of seven away from home and a 21-point cushion in the fourth quarter Wednesday proved enough for a 102-96 win over New Orleans.
Trevor Ariza led the way with 21 points against his former team after he was held to single digits in four straight contests.
Washington hasn't won four in a row on the road since a run of the same length Feb. 29-March 21, 2008, and will likely face a tough challenge in trying to match that feat. Indiana is 17-1 at home and has won six straight there.
"We know that they're a great team and a physical team," Wizards guard Bradley Beal said. "That's one thing we have to do, hit them first and continue to hit them. It's definitely going to be a battle."
The Pacers (28-7) haven't lost at home in this series since April 18, 2007, and have taken 10 of 11 overall meetings, the latest a 93-73 rout Nov. 29 in Indianapolis.
Wizards leading scorer John Wall finished with eight points on 4-of-14 shooting in that game, which also represented his team's worst scoring performance of the season. Marcin Gortat (17 points) and Ariza (14) were the only Washington players to score double figures.
Lance Stephenson was three points shy of a triple-double, but his status for Friday is uncertain because of an ailing right knee.
He sat out during the Pacers' visit to Atlanta on Wednesday and was missed. Indiana had its lowest point output in an opening quarter this season with 12 en route to a 97-87 loss.
"Guys didn't have a lot of pop to start the game," coach Frank Vogel said. "Shots weren't falling, catches were a step slow in a lot of areas. But I'm proud of our guys for battling back in the second half, making it a game."
Paul George finished with 28 points, but Danny Granger's season-high 14 was the team's next-highest total as he started in place of Stephenson.
George averaged 15.8 points - 7.2 below his current season mark - and shot 35.0 percent in his first four contests this month. He's averaged 24.0 points and shot 54.0 percent (27 for 50) in his last three home games against Washington.
The Wizards have won three in a row overall twice this season, producing their last such streak during a road trip last month.