Trevor Ariza was hot early, Bradley Beal was hot late and the Wizards stole the all important game 1 in Indianapolis, 102-96. With the win, Washington improved to 4-0 on the road during the 2014 playoffs. The Pacers made two big runs, one in each half, but Washington responded in kind to both and the outcome was never really in doubt down the stretch. Indiana made four threes in the final 90 seconds to make the scoreline look closer than the game really was.
The Wizards won this game on the boards and from beyond the arc. Washington outrebounded Indiana by a huge margin, 53-36, and 17-6 on the offensive glass. This led to a 19-5 differential in second chance points in favor of the Wizards. The three point assault was led by Ariza, who had the second most threes in NBA history without a miss with six. They finished 10/16 from beyond the arc for 62.5%.
Beal finished with 25 points and Ariza had 22 to do the heavy lifting in the scoring department, and Gooden and Gortat did the work on the glass. Gooden came off the bench to score 12 points and grab 13 boards while Gortat had 12 points and 15 boards. Wall had 13 points and nine assists and Nene had 15 points.
The Pacers were led by Hill and George who had 18 points each, shooting 6/11 and 4/17 respectively. David West finished with 15 points and 12 rebounds.
The Wizards now will look to take a commanding two games to zero lead over the Pacers on Wednesday night at Bankers LIfe Fieldhouse.
The second quarter was the last time the Pacers would hold the lead, as they opened it on a 16-2 run to briefly take the lead 31-30. The Wizards would respond in a big way, closing the quarter on a 17-6 run, to give Washington a 13 point halftime lead and they would never look back.
Player of the Game
Magic Johnson is the only person in NBA history younger than Beal to have a game of 20 points, five rebounds, and five assists on the road in an NBA playoff game. 14 of his 25 points came in the fourth quarter when the Wizards needed it most and he also had five steals.
53-36. The rebounding margin was massive and made the difference as the Wizards controlled the game on the glass.
Drew Gooden played sparingly in the first round, but when his number was called tonight with Nene in foul trouble, he came up huge. 12 points on 5/11 shooting, and 13 rebounds in 18 minutes. His seven offensive rebounds were more than the entire Pacers team had.
By: Jacob Raim