Tuesday, May 13 at 7:00 PM ET at Bankers Life Fieldhouse
Game Rewind: Pacers 79, Wizards 102, Game 5
Scott Agness | May 13, 2014
The Pacers entered Tuesday’s game winners of three in a row and with the chance to finish off the Washington Wizards in their Eastern Conference Semifinal series. Instead of disposing of them and picking up some much-needed rest, the Pacers were thoroughly outplayed in a 102-79 loss at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
Pacers coach Frank Vogel said afterwards that he felt his team lacked the desperation and physicality needed to compete with a hungry Wizards team that wasn’t ready to go home for good. The Pacers trailed by as many as 30 points and were bullied on the glass, 62-23. In turn, the Wizards kept the seven-game series alive with the win, but the Pacers still have a 3-2 advantage.
The Wizards connected on five of their first six shots to jump ahead 10-3. Center Marcin Gortat scored seven of their first 13 points, already topping his point total for the previous two games combined (six). The Wizards dictated the pace, getting eight points in transition, but they were slowed by six first-quarter turnovers.
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Down by six, the Pacers scored the first eight points of the second and used a 13-3 run to slingshot ahead by four. Three Indiana reserves scored by this point and the Pacers' bench had outscored Washington’s 10-0. With the starters back in the game, the Wizards outscored the Pacers 17-6 over the final 6:35 of the half. David West sank a 3-pointer in the left corner to trim their deficit to seven at the break, 45-38.
The third quarter had been the Wizards’ downfall in all four games of the series, as the Pacers had cumulatively outscored them by 42 points in the frame. That wasn’t the case in Game 5. The Wizards ran off an 11-3 spurt to stretch their lead back to double digits. John Wall, who averaged less than 12 points per game in the series, exploded for 17 points in the period — beating the Pacers by himself. In turn, the Pacers were outscored by 17 points, 31-14, and were in a 24-point hole with three quarters in the book.
The glaring statistic all night was the Wizards’ authority on the boards. Gortat alone had as many first-half rebounds as the entire Pacers team (11). The Wizards, who pulled down a total of 36 boards in Game 4, had 32 at the break, and finished with a head-scratching 39 more than the Pacers on the night.
Indiana’s deficit hung around 25 for much for the final quarter. With 6:25 remaining, Vogel opted to pull all of the starters, understanding that Game 6 would be in less than 48 hours. The Wizards played with a grit and toughness that the Pacers failed to match. As a result, Washington extended the series by at least another game.
Inside the Numbers
David West led the Pacers in both points (17) and rebounds (six). Paul George, who finished with 15, was the only other Pacers player in double figures.
Lance Stephenson had nine points and three assists, but failed to grab a rebound for the first time this season – and for the first time since April 5, 2014 vs Oklahoma City.
Marcin Gortat, who had a double-double by intermission, scored a game-high 31 points (on 13-of-15 shooting), matching his playoff career-best, pulled down 16 rebounds and the Wizards, who shot 50 percent, were plus-35 when he was on the floor. John Wall easily had his best game of the series, finishing with a playoff career-best 27 points, five rebounds and five assists.
The Pacers missed 47 shots and only managed four offensive rebounds.
Indiana lost its first game of the playoffs when attempting more free throws (they are now 5-1 in such games). They struggled at the line, going 13-of-22 (59 percent).
“We’re still up 3-2. It’s one loss whether you lose by 20-something or you lose by one. It’s one loss. We got to go back and respond for Game 6.” – Frank Vogel
“We have to do a better job of protecting our home court. That’s what we worked all of the regular season for. We got to do a better job.” – Frank Vogel
“We didn’t show up to play, man. I don’t know if we thought we were just going to come in here and these guys would roll over. They’re a very good team, a team with guys full of pride. They just played at a different level than we did all night and it showed up on the glass. I just don’t know where we were tonight.” – David West
“We've got to play with the desperation they played with tonight. I knew they were going to bring it, we just didn't match what they brought.” – Paul George
“It’s more frustrating than concerning, knowing that we typically are the team that dominates rebounds and things like that. They were the more desperate team tonight, the energy and effort showed.” – George Hill
“We (didn’t) play with that Pacers energy. We played like we thought it was going to get handed to us, and that’s not going to happen, especially now in the playoffs.” – Lance Stephenson
“I was glad that I was able to help my team this time. I told them I want to contribute. I was an offensive decoy in Games 3 and 4. Now it was my time to perform.” – Wizards center Marcin Gortat
Stat of the Game
Game 5 was Indiana’s worst rebounding game in NBA playoff franchise history. 23 boards were its fewest (previously 24 at Boston in 1992) and Washington’s 62 was its most given up (previously 57 at Chicago in 2011).
- The Pacers lost at home just six times during the regular season. They have dropped four home games in the playoffs, and these two teams have gone a combined 9-2 in road games this postseason.
- The Pacers are 6-0 all-time in a best-of-seven series when leading 3-1.
Game 6 is Thursday night in Washington at 8:00 p.m. ET.