Bruce Brown boosts Pacers offense as Indiana routs Washington 143-120 in record-setting opener

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Bruce Brown scored 24 points and made a career-high six 3-pointers in his Pacers debut, leading revamped Indiana to a record-breaking 143-120 victory over Washington on Wednesday night.

It was the highest scoring total for a season opener in team history, surpassing the 140 they had against Brooklyn in 2017. Indiana fell two points short of setting the franchise scoring mark for points in a home game.

All-Star guard Tyrese Haliburton had 20 points and 11 assists as eight Pacers had double-digit scoring totals.

Indiana Pacers center Myles Turner (33) shoots after being fouled day Washington Wizards center Daniel Gafford (21) during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Indianapolis, Wednesday, Oct. 25, 2023. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

Brown, a free agent who left the world champion Denver Nuggets, needed only one half to match his career high for 3-pointers (four). And he was hardly alone. The Pacers finished 20 of 43 from 3-point range, three short of the franchise’s single-game record for 3s made.

For Washington, it was an ugly start to the post-Bradley Beal era. While The Wizards led 39-34 after one quarter, they fell apart offensively over the final three and got overstretched defensively.

Kyle Kuzma scored 25 points and Jordan Poole added 18 as Washington was 9 of 24 on 3s.

The Pacers swung the game with an 11-4 run midway through the second quarter and used a 9-0 spurt early in the third to extend the lead to 89-72. They spent the rest of the night pulling away.

NBA commissioner Adam Silver stuck around to watch Indiana’s impressive opening night performance after announcing this season’s All-Star Game would switch to its more traditional East-West format and would get rid of the target scores. Indianapolis is hosting the game Feb. 18, its first since 1985.