Thursday, May 15 at 8:00 PM ET at Verizon Center
Game Rewind: Pacers 93, Wizards 80, Game 6
Scott Agness | May 15, 2014
The Pacers handled their business Thursday night at the Verizon Center, finishing off the Washington Wizards in six games, 93-80, to advance to the Eastern Conference Finals for the second consecutive season. David West shouldered the load, with 18 of his game-high 29 points in the second half.
The Wizards, who were coming off a 23-point beatdown of the Pacers in Indianapolis Tuesday night, took their only lead of the second half on a Bradley Beal triple. From there, the Pacers outscored the Wizards 20-6 over the final 8:30 to secure the win, and the series.
Still with a bad taste in their mouth from their Game 5 loss, the Pacers were locked-in and played angry. Indiana set the tone early by going inside where the duo of West and Roy Hibbert teamed up for the team’s first nine points. Lance Stephenson was unusually quiet on Tuesday but he showed up to the party in Game 6 and was engaged – an encouraging sign for the team. He scored nine in the first quarter as the Pacers shot 68 percent and led by six.
Indiana’s defense didn’t let Washington get comfortable and held them scoreless in transition through the first two quarters. The Pacers' lead expanded to double-digits midway through the second period on a pair of free throws from C.J. Watson. They visited the line much more frequently (9-for-13) after just two first-quarter attempts. The Pacers limited the Wizards to 33 percent shooting in the second, evened the rebounding total and held a 12-point halftime advantage, 52-40. It was certainly their best first half of the series, both in terms of points and shooting percentage.
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The Wizards used a pair of runs in the third stanza to get back in the ball game. They opened the half on an 11-2 run, which included their first basket in transition on a layup from John Wall. Indiana answered with an 11-4 spurt of their own, which began on a wide-open one-handed jam from Stephenson. The Wizards later put eight unanswered on the board and outscored the Pacers by four in the period to draw within eight entering the final 12 minutes.
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As the backcourt duo of Wall and Beal began hitting, the Wizards continued to bite into the Pacers’ lead. They used a 19-4 run spanning the final minutes of the third period and the first three and half minutes of the fourth to take their first lead of the game since it was 8-7. That lead would last just 28 seconds, however, as West wiped it away with an 18-foot jumper and the Pacers took over down the stretch.
West said postgame whether they won or lost, he wanted the game to ride on his shoulders and that it did. He fired off 18 shots in the second half, making nine of them – just over half of the Pacers' 17 field goals in the half. The Pacers won all three road games in the series and five-straight going back to their First Round series with Atlanta.
So now, after the Pacers’ 33-7 start, their troubling close to the regular season, Hibbert’s ups and downs and all the scrutiny, the Pacers are exactly where they want to be: Back in the conference finals against the Heat—and this time they have home court advantage. Game 1 is Sunday afternoon at 3:30 PM ET.
Inside the Numbers
All five Indiana starters scored in double figures for the first time this postseason. David West’s 29 points, his playoff-high in a Pacers uniform, came on 13-of-26 shooting. His 26 attempts, 18 of which came in the second half, are a new postseason career-best.
Lance Stephenson had his best game of the series, registering 17 points, eight assists and five rebounds. Roy Hibbert added 11 points, seven rebounds and three blocks. Paul George was quiet offensively, finishing with 12 points and five rebounds.
Wizards center Marcin Gortat led the Wizards with 19 points. Bradley Beal was held to 16 points on 7-of-19 shooting and John Wall contributed 12 points and nine assists.
Indiana made more than half its shots (51.4 percent) for just the second time during these playoffs, despite a 2-for-10 clip from downtown.
The Pacers were just -2 on the glass but they outscored the Wizards in the paint by two. Fast-break points were a wash with 10 points apiece.
In the playoffs, Indiana improves to: 7-0 when holding its opponent below 90 points, 5-0 when Hibbert scores in double figures, and 4-0 when leading at halftime.
“I’m very proud of our guys, for showing tremendous grit and toughness. Not just with our defense, which is what our reputation is built on, but showing some offensiveness and toughness tonight, taking care of the basketball and making the extra pass and a lot of guys made good shots down the stretch.” – Frank Vogel
“That’s all David West. He settled us down at that point. … We’re lucky to have David West.” – Frank Vogel on the Pacers’ run after the Wizards brief lead in the fourth quarter
“I just wanted to be aggressive. Just wasn’t going to leave anything in the clip. I just felt like I had to get beyond what I usually do.” – David West on taking over late.
“This was our Game 7. Even though we knew we had an extra one at home, this was our Game 7. We wanted to leave, do whatever we had to do. We took this game piece by piece, every two minutes. We were trying to reiterate our principles, trying to communicate through their runs, their adjustments and their plays.” – David West
“We’re special. Regardless of media, people doubting us, we find a way to get it done. It wasn’t pretty but we got it done. So I’m happy to be part of this group.” – Paul George
“We stayed together, we didn’t split apart. We didn’t want to go back to Indy as much as we love Indy, for a Game 7. They came out swinging and we stayed together and we finished the game.” – Roy Hibbert
“Man, we worked so hard. They’re a great team, they played hard the whole series, they made us work. It was nothing easy the whole series.” – Lance Stephenson
Stat of the Game
The Wizards missed 12 of their final 15 shots as the Pacers outscored them 20-6 to close the game.
- The road team won five of six games in this series, the exception being the Pacers’ Game 2 victory.
- Indiana has won five road games for the first time in a single postseason for the first time in NBA franchise history.
- The Wizards haven’t won a Second Round home game since 1979, a string of seven consecutive losses. They’ve also lost six straight games when facing elimination.
Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals: Sun., May 18 vs Miami – 3:30 p.m. ET
Eastern Conference Finals Tickets
Tickets for the Pacers' four home games during the Eastern Conference Finals against the Miami Heat will go on sale to the general public on Friday, May 16 at 12PM ET. Schedule & Ticket Info »