Until Trevor Ariza returned to play his former team in the New Orleans Pelicans, he hadn't made a three-pointer for two consecutive games.
He only shot 2-for-7 from long distance Wednesday in New Orleans, but overall he was 9-for-17. And with the Wizards' lead whittled to six, he hit a three at 2:56 left in the fourth quarter to squash the rally.
"I was happy to get out of the funk that I'm in," said Ariza, who was just 21-for-61 in the previous seven games. "That's the bigger part, just making shots and getting ready to go to Indiana."
The Wizards (16-17) can reach .500 for the third time this season with a victory at the Pacers. Of course, they lost by 20 points to the Pacers in their first meeting there Nov. 29.
This will allow the Wizards to gauge where they truly stack up in the East. They're 9-9 away from Verizon Center. The Pacers have the NBA's best home record at 17-1.
"It shows a lot. It shows how much we have grown," Ariza said of withstanding the late charge from New Orleans, which had cut down a 23-point lead. "I remember earlier in the year we were up 10 with two minutes to go and something, we lost."