Final

Indiana wins series 4-2 (Game 2 of 6)

Indiana wins series 4-2

Game 1: Monday, May 5th
Wizards102Final
Pacers96
Game 2: Wednesday, May 7th
Wizards82Final
Pacers86
Game 3: Friday, May 9th
Pacers85Final
Wizards63
Game 4: Sunday, May 11th
Pacers95Final
Wizards92
Game 5: Tuesday, May 13th
Wizards102Final
Pacers79
Game 6: Thursday, May 15th
Pacers93Final
Wizards80

Wizards 82

(44-38, 22-19 away)

Pacers 86

(56-26, 35-6 home)

    Coverage: TNT

    7:00 PM ET, May 7, 2014

    Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, IN

    1 2 3 4 T
    WSH 23 22 19 1882
    IND 23 20 25 1886

    Top Performers

    WSH: M. Gortat 21 Pts, 11 Reb, 1 Ast

    Ind: R. Hibbert 28 Pts, 9 Reb, 1 Ast, 2 Blk

    Roy Hibbert busts out of slump with 28 points as Pacers even series

    Associated Press

    INDIANAPOLIS -- Big Roy came up with a big answer for his critics and his teammates Wednesday night.

    He played like an All-Star when the Pacers really needed it.

    After 48 hours of questions and criticism, Roy Hibbert scored a season-high 28 points, grabbed nine rebounds, blocked two shots and altered a handful of others to help the Pacers get even in the Eastern Conference semifinals with an 86-82 victory over Washington.

    Hibbert sounded more relieved than redeemed.

    "David (West) always talks to me about being the person that rescues yourself when you're in the middle of the ocean," Hibbert said after Indiana tied the best-of-seven series at 1-1. "There's nobody who can throw a lifesaver or a rope out to help you. So I had to do it myself."

    The next step is proving he can play this way again Friday when Washington hosts Game 3.

    Hibbert went into Wednesday with a combined total of 37 points and 24 rebounds in Indiana's first eight playoff games. Twice in the previous four he failed to score a point or grab a rebound.

    Beleaguered Pacers fans wanted Hibbert benched. Frustrated teammates talked publicly and privately about needing more from their 7-foot-2 center. Critics turned Hibbert into the butt of jokes and, on the Internet, some even tried to explain Hibbert's incredible disappearing act with unseemly speculation.

    After talking to his old college coach, John Thompson III, and Colts linebacker Robert Mathis, a close friend, Hibbert blocked out the inescapable firestorm, focused on basketball and fueled the decisive 6-0 run late in the fourth quarter.

    It was enough to put repeated smiles on Hibbert's face, even if he considers it only a start.

    "I just want to string a few games together," he said. "Consistency hasn't been my biggest friend this year. I'm going to try to continue to play aggressive and I'm going to try to control the things I can control. I can't control play calls, but I can control how hard I play, how fast I run down the court and how well I play defense."

    George Hill finished with 14 points, Paul George had 11 points, six rebounds and four assists, and Lance Stephenson added 12 points, seven rebounds and five assists. And for the first time this postseason, the Pacers held an opponent to fewer than nine 3-pointers. Washington finished 5-of-21 from behind the arc, the lowest percentage (23.8) in the playoffs this year.

    Much of the credit went to Hibbert, who helped open up the offensive lanes for his teammates and protected the rim well enough that Indiana could spread out and defend the perimeter.

    "He's got our attention now," Drew Gooden said. "We've got to be focused on guarding the Roy Hibbert we know."

    It was a lost opportunity for the Wizards, who had won their first four playoff games on the road -- three at Chicago and Monday night at Indy -- and could have gone home with a commanding 2-0 lead.

    They had chances.

    Washington led by as much as six early in the third quarter and rallied in the fourth to take a 77-74 lead with 5:01 to go before Hibbert and George scored six straight to give the Pacers the lead for good.

    Marcin Gortat finished with 21 points and 11 rebounds. Bradley Beal had 17 points and Nene added 14.

    "He came out with a lot of intensity and established position," Beal said. "We didn't play our best game. We didn't shoot the ball and we didn't defend like we know we're capable."

    But Hibbert changed this game almost by himself.

    He scored the first five points of the game, an indication that things were going to be different, and he came up big late, too.

    Hibbert's nifty stop-and-go layup got the Pacers within 77-76. That basket ignited the decisive 6-0 spurt. George's steal on the ensuing possession led to a layup from Hill that gave Indiana a 78-77 lead, and Hibbert's presence in the middle allowed George to find a lane for a two-handed dunk that made it 80-77.

    All the Wizards could muster after that was an alley-oop layup from Gortat and a long 3-pointer from Beal that got the Wizards within 84-82 with 11 seconds to play.

    West made two free throws and Hibbert sealed it by grabbing the last rebound of the game.

    "He carried us tonight," West said. "I thought he was very relaxed before the game. He was relaxed this morning. He didn't say a whole lot, but as a professional, I think everything just came down on him and he responded the right way."

    Game notes


    Hibbert was 10-of-13 from the field and made all eight of his free throw attempts.... Nene went to the locker room in the first quarter after apparently hurting his left leg or ankle but returned early in the second quarter and finished the game.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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    Research Notes

    The Wizards led by three points with 5 minutes remaining on Wednesday, but they were outscored by seven points in the last 5 minutes. Through two games this series, the Wizards' average shot distance in the final 5 minutes has been almost 5 feet farther from the basket.
      [+]
    The Pacers also utilized post-up plays to get Hibbert involved offensively. After running a total of one post-up play in Game 1, they had 16 post-up plays, including nine plays for Hibbert.
      [+]
    The Pacers outscored the Wizards by 16 points with Roy Hibbert on the court Wednesday. In the previous eight games in the playoffs, the Pacers were outscored by 28 points with him on the court.
      [+]
    The Pacers are now 9-26 when having a worse effective field goal percentage than their opponent. In a four-point victory, the Pacers outscored the Wizards by 13 on free throws. Game 2 had 13 fewer possessions than did Game 1.
      [+]
    Bradley Beal is stepping it up in the playoffs. He's bumped his scoring average to 20.7 per game, which leads the Wizards this postseason. Meanwhile, he's caught fire from 3-point range, draining over 48 percent of them after barely making over 40 percent in the regular season. He's also getting to the line more than twice as often (5.8).
      [+]

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