Wednesday, May 7 at 7:00 PM ET at Bankers Life Fieldhouse
Game Rewind: Pacers 86, Wizards 82, Game 2
Scott Agness | May 7, 2014
Yet again, the Pacers had their backs against the wall to start a series when they hosted the Wizards in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals. Indiana needed a win to avoid going down 0-2 in a series, where history isn’t on their side. Roy Hibbert made his presence felt in a big way, with a game-high 28 points and nine rebounds, to lead the Pacers to an 86-82 victory on Wednesday night at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
After going scoreless in three of the last four games, Hibbert scored the first five points of the game. Coach Frank Vogel requested an improved and more energetic start, and his guys delivered, running out to a 13-5 lead. The Pacers shot 52 percent in the first quarter, but the Wizards closed the period on a 7-2 spurt to level the game at 23.
The lead changed hands four times in the second quarter, when Hibbert tallied 10 more points, hitting two mid-range jumpers and knocking down all six of his free throw attempts. The Wizards scored the half’s final two baskets to take a 45-43 edge into the locker room.
Lance Stephenson had a scoreless first half, but he stayed with it to score 10 of his 12 points in the third period. The Pacers used a 15-3 run, capped off by a 3-pointer in the corner from Stephenson, to move ahead by seven. Wizards center Marcin Gortat was effective inside, nailing 5-of-8 shots for 11 third-quarter points. But the Pacers committed just two turnovers and carried a four-point lead into the fourth.
The Wizards jumped back in front via a 7-1 run to open the fourth quarter. Later, the Pacers scored at the rim on three straight possessions – Hibbert, George Hill and Paul George – to turn a three-point deficit to a three-point advantage. Stephenson provided the dagger for Indiana, hitting a jumper from the elbow after Hill stripped the ball to prevent a layup at the other end.
Bradley Beal brought the Wizards within two after hitting from outside with 11.4 seconds to play, but David West sealed the win with two free throws and Trevor Ariza missed on a deep shot. In a fitting end to the night, Hibbert grabbed the final rebound, his ninth, and smiled big as the Pacers evened the best-of-seven series at one game apiece.
Inside the Numbers
With 28 points, Roy Hibbert was one shy of his postseason career-high, set during last year’s Eastern Conference Finals. His nine rebounds are his personal best this postseason. George Hill scored 14 points while holding John Wall to six, on 2-of-13 shooting. Lance Stephenson finished with 12 points, seven rebounds, and five assists.
Marcin Gortat paced the Wizards with 21 points and 11 rebounds. Bradley Beal scored 17 and dished out seven assists. Trevor Ariza was 2-of-7 from deep and was kept to six points.
The Pacers were 18-for-21 (85.7 percent, the best percentage this postseason) at the foul line, while the Wizards made just five free throws – a playoff franchise-low – on 12 attempts (41.7 percent).
The Pacers had just eight turnovers, their lowest total of the postseason, and scored 40 points – two times their Game 1 total.
Indiana is now 5-0 this postseason when holding their opponent below 90 points and 4-0 following a loss.
“Obviously Roy Hibbert was a different player tonight. Give him credit for shaking off a tough performance in Game 1 and a lot of criticism and coming out and responding. He just had a big-time night and gave us a big lift.” – Frank Vogel on Roy Hibbert
“George [Hill], when he’s attacking off the bounce, it gives us a different element. Those two guys. When George and Roy [Hibbert] are playing like they did tonight, we have pretty good balance.” – Frank Vogel
“Sometimes I wear my heart on my sleeve and other times I just keep things in. Tonight, I just felt like I just had one thing on my mind: to help this team win. Like I said, my teammates did a great job of getting me the ball in my sweet spot and believing in me. I just wanted to return the favor.” – Roy Hibbert
“I thought it was just his determination to get good position and for him to get the ball where he wanted and when he got the ball, he took his time and he got the shots that he wanted. I thought he concentrated on his finishes and again, really carried us.” – David West on Roy Hibbert
"I seriously believe that the biggest person that helped me out here tonight was Paul. Yesterday after practice, he invited me out on his boat and we fished for about two hours, and just relaxed and didn’t talk about basketball. We just talked about life and trying to catch some bass. He reached out and got my mind off things. Hopefully it’s something I can build on and he’s a great teammate so I really do appreciate him reaching out because he didn’t have to.” -Roy Hibbert
“I think as a team we paid attention to details. We know they’re a great transition team, especially transition 3s. Every guy made a conscious effort to get back on D and find shooters and play basketball from there.” – George Hill
“Roy came out and had a heck of a game, one that we all know he is capable of having. We didn’t do the job that we have of not letting him catch the ball where he wants and get him off his spot. They took advantage of it, no question about it.” – Wizards coach Randy Wittman
Stat of the Game
The Wizards were held to just 24 percent shooting from beyond the arc and just one fast-break point.
- Roy Hibbert’s college coach, John Thompson III, and agent, David Falk, were both courtside for the game.
- The Pacers announced earlier Wednesday that center Andrew Bynum will miss the remainder of the playoffs and will not be with the team.
The series now shifts to Washington, D.C., with Game 3 scheduled for Friday at 8:00 p.m. ET and will be broadcast nationally on ESPN.