Monday, May 5 at 7:00 PM ET at Bankers Life Fieldhouse
Game Rewind: Pacers 96, Wizards 102, Game 1
Scott Agness | May 5, 2014
The top-seeded Pacers were hosts on Monday night to the Washington Wizards, who had dropped 12 straight games in Indianapolis, including two this season by 20 or more points. But this is a different Wizards team, and one that is playing with an edge after knocking off the Chicago Bulls in five games to move on to the Eastern Conference Semifinals.
The Wizards, who had five days between games, beat the Pacers in their own game – playing physical, hard-nosed basketball – and stole Game 1 of their best-of-seven series, 102-96. It is Washington's their fourth consecutive playoff road win, with Game 2 coming on Wednesday.
From the tip, Pacers fans likely had flashback to last series and what Mike Scott did beyond the arc. Wizards veteran Trevor Ariza hit two quick ones – he was a perfect 6-for-6 from deep on the night – as the Pacers opened the game 0-for-4 and with four turnovers. The Pacers would make just 5-of-23 attempts in the period, give up 10 fast-break points, and fall behind, 28-15.
Indiana, led by reserves and David West, then scored the first 13 points of the second quarter and went on a 16-2 run to take their only lead of the game, 31-30. Roy Hibbert, who finished without a point or a rebound in 18 minutes, dealt with foul trouble, and wasn’t aggressive enough in the paint. Before he got tagged with his third foul, the Wizards used a mini spurt to take the lead for good. The Wizards outscored the Pacers 17-6 to end the half and took a 56-43 advantage into the half.
Hibbert picked up his fourth foul 64 seconds into the second half and sat out of the rest of the third quarter. The Pacers made a push over the final 6:13, but missed a great opportunity to do more. As the Wizards missed their final 11 shots of the period and managed just two points, the Pacers went on a 10-1 run, led by Lance Stephenson, who scored nine points in the third. That run cut the deficit to seven, 69-62 heading into the fourth quarter.
Indiana played from behind most of the night, but got to within six with 7:41 to play. Wizards guard Bradley Beal was sensational in the final period. He answered with a pair of 3-pointers, including one in the corner with the shot clock winding down. He scored 14 of his 25 points in the fourth quarter, including 12 points in a span of less than four minutes, to allow the Wizards to keep their distance.
The Pacers then went cold, going six minutes without a field goal and getting off just five shots during the dry spell. Down 10 with one minute to play, Chris Copeland, who was getting his first minutes of the game, sank a 3-pointer. George Hill would hit three of his own, with a pair of Washington free throws between each one.
In the end, the Wizards got a win they deserved. They played with more fight and more punch, most evident on the glass (where they had a 53-36 advantage). The Pacers, who fought so hard during the regular season for homecourt advantage, have lost three of five games at home during the postseason and once again have to play from behind in a series.
After the game, a number of guys – including Hibbert, West and Rasual Butler – had a private discussion back behind closed doors. None of them would reveal what was discussed, but West was as heated as he’s ever been. The veteran forward was fuming, a combination of dejection and frustration. The team will likely have a long film session and multiple long conversations before taking the court for Game 2 on Wednesday.
Inside the Numbers
David West stepped up for the Pacers with 15 points and 12 rebounds, his second double-double of the postseason. Paul George struggled shooting, going just 4-for-17, but he delivered 18 points with nine scored at the foul line. George Hill tallied 18 points and Luis Scola added 12 off the bench.
The Wizards had six players in double figures, with Bradley Beal leading all scorers with 25 points, seven rebounds and seven assists. Trevor Ariza scored 22 points on 7-of-10 shooting and Marcin Gortat finished with 12 points and a postseason career-best 15 rebounds. Drew Gooden was efficient in 18 minutes, scoring 12 points and grabbing 13 rebounds.
Roy Hibbert was scoreless for the third time in four games and finished without a point or rebound for the third time in the last month.
The Wizards outrebounded the Pacers, 53-36, and scored 19 second-chance points. It’s just the second time this postseason the Pacers lost the battle of the boards.
“They played a better basketball game start to finish. I thought we had some good bursts but obviously a slow start put us behind the 8-ball most of the night. Playing from behind obviously makes things more difficult. They just shot the heck out of it, in particular (Trevor) Ariza. I thought we played with a lot of heart, but just not enough punch.” – Frank Vogel
“I thought we were in a pretty good rhythm, trying to scratch and claw our way back into it. Bradley Beal in the fourth quarter with the bombs he was throwing up there, drives to the basket, was a bigger different.” – Frank Vogel on going six minutes without a field goal in the fourth quarter
“We got to come out with a better level of aggression. We got to make them more uncomfortable than they were in this game. They were just too comfortable, getting the shots that they wanted, particularly on the perimeter.” – David West
“We should have learned from the first series. It’s going to be hard, going to be a tough series for us. But we can’t allow ourselves to be put in these holes. We have to get off to good starts, in games and in the series.” – Paul George
“I got into some foul trouble, then wasn’t as aggressive as I needed to be. I’m going to change some things up for the second game. I’m going to look within myself and go out there and figure it out.” – Roy Hibbert
“He’s grown up. Lot of moxie. … He’s a young kid, but he didn’t shy away from the moment and that’s what I like.” – Wizards coach Randy Wittman on Bradley Beal
Stat of the Game
Indiana scored just 20 points in the paint – its lowest total in any game this season – and shot just 10-for-29 (34.5 percent) in the restricted area.
- The Wizards’ win in Indianapolis is their first in 13 tries, dating back to April 18, 2007.
- The Wizards put 102 points on the board, 11 points more than their regular-season high on the Pacers. They averaged 76.6 points per game in three meetings.
- Marcin Gortat received a technical foul in the third quarter. David West picked up his third of the playoffs in the fourth.
- As expected, Luis Scola and Evan Turner returned to the rotation after being out it in in each of the last two games.
Game 2 is Wednesday, May 7 at 7:00 p.m. ET. Find Tickets »