Indiana wins series 4-2 (Game 5 of 6)

Indiana wins series 4-2

Game 1: Monday, May 5th
Game 2: Wednesday, May 7th
Game 3: Friday, May 9th
Game 4: Sunday, May 11th
Game 5: Tuesday, May 13th
Game 6: Thursday, May 15th

Wizards 102

(44-38, 22-19 away)

Pacers 79

(56-26, 35-6 home)

    Coverage: TNT

    7:00 PM ET, May 13, 2014

    Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, IN

    1 2 3 4 T
    WSH 25 20 31 26102
    IND 19 19 14 2779

    Top Performers

    WSH: M. Gortat 31 Pts, 16 Reb, 2 Ast, 1 Stl, 1 Blk

    Ind: D. West 17 Pts, 6 Reb, 3 Ast

    Marcin Gortat leads way as Wizards blow out Pacers to force Game 6

    Associated Press

    INDIANAPOLIS -- The Wizards were tired of getting shoved around in the Eastern Conference semifinals.

    So on Tuesday night, Marcin Gortat and his teammates pushed back hard.

    Gortat delivered the best playoff game of his career, 31 points and 16 rebounds, and John Wall scored a playoff-best 27 points as Washington routed the Indiana Pacers 102-79 to cut the Eastern Conference semifinals deficit to 3-2.

    "We don't have anything to lose now," Gortat said. "We play desperate. At the end of the day, we might lose. We have to play every minute of every game like it's the last one of the season."

    The Wizards made a stunning turnaround after losing three straight, two on their home court in incredibly demoralizing fashion. Washington scored a franchise-low 63 points in Game 3 and then blew a 19-point, second-half lead in Game 4.

    Washington refused to let it happen again this time, earning a trip home for Game 6 on Thursday.

    The difference was obvious.

    Wall broke free, Gortat dominated the middle and the motivated Wizards were simply overwhelming inside with a 62-23 rebounding edge.

    Gortat produced more points and rebounds in 36 minutes than he had in the previous two games combined (six points and 13 rebounds). He was 13-of-15 from the field, was 5-of-7 from the free throw line, tied his career-best point total, and finished with playoff career bests for points and rebounds.

    "I was a decoy in Game 3 and Game 4," the 30-year-old Polish native said. "(Tuesday) was the time for me to perform. At some point in the second half, it was just fun to be in the game."

    Wall seemed to enjoy himself, too.

    The much more aggressive point guard went 11-of-20 from the field and 3-of-6 on 3s, finishing with five rebounds, five assists and five turnovers as he sliced through the Pacers' defense.

    "They didn't stop me from being aggressive on both ends," Wall said. "But the biggest thing was just the way we played in the third quarter. They outscored us by like 40 in the other four games, so the third quarter was big for us tonight."

    The 31-14 disparity during those 12 minutes changed the game, putting talk about the presumed conference finals rematch between Indiana and two-time defending NBA champ Miami temporarily on hold.

    One possible explanation for what happened to the Pacers was fatigue.

    Four of Indiana's five starters played at least 39 minutes in Game 4. Coach Frank Vogel was concerned enough that he gave the Pacers a day off Monday.

    David West led Indiana with 17 points and six rebounds, but Paul George struggled after playing 46 minutes in Game 4. He was 5-of-15 from the field with 15 points, one rebound, two assists and four turnovers.

    But the problems went much deeper than weariness. West was the only starter to grab more than two rebounds, Washington held Indiana to 39 percent shooting and the Wizards continually beat the Pacers to loose balls.

    This was not what Indiana expected.

    "We didn't show up to play. I don't know if we just thought we were going to come in here and these guys were going to roll over or what. They just played at a different level than we did all night," West said after Indiana's second-worst home playoff loss in its NBA history.

    "It's a tough situation. We have to be able to handle these moments. We had no zip. We have to play. If we want this series, we have to take it."

    Washington was the team doing that Tuesday.

    The Wizards used a 15-6 run to close the half, turning a 32-30 deficit into a 45-38 lead.

    In the disastrous third quarter, Indiana was outrebounded 18-4 and the Wizards made the Pacers pay time after time. Washington's 6-0 run extended the lead to 11, a 9-2 spurt pushed the margin to 60-45, and when the Wizards closed the third on a 10-3 charge, it was 76-52.

    Washington led by as much as 30 in the fourth, and the Pacers didn't even start cutting into the deficit until Vogel pulled his starters midway through the quarter.

    "They're not ready to go home," coach Randy Wittman said. "It said 3-1, which doesn't sound very good, but in our minds, we're very close to it being something else. They don't want this (season) to end."

    Game notes

    Washington is 5-1 on the road and 1-3 at home in this year's playoffs. ... Indiana's worst home playoff loss came April 30, 2005, when Boston won 110-79. ... The Wizards have won two of their past three in Indy despite coming into the series with 12 consecutive losses at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. ... Indiana's 23 rebounds were a franchise low in the playoffs.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Research Notes

    Marcin Gortat had 17 points and 11 rebounds in the 1st half of Game 5; he scored 6 points and grabbed 13 rebounds in the previous 2 games *combined*.
    The Pacers lost by 23 points at home to the Wizards tonight... The last team to lose by 20+ at home and win the NBA title in the same season? The 2000 Los Angeles Lakers, who lost 106-77 to the Trailblazers in Game 2 of the Western Conference Finals...interestingly enough, the only other team to lose at home by 20+ points in the 2000 postseason was the Indiana Pacers, who faced the Lakers in the NBA Finals that season... One extra note: The Spurs also lost by 20+ points at home this postseason to the Mavericks (113-92)
    John Wall scored 27 points Tuesday, 21 of which came on jump shots. He converted more jumpers Tuesday than his previous four games combined. On Tuesday, Wall made the Pacers pay on uncontested jumpers.
    Wizards' offensive rebounding percentage is almost 10 percentage points higher than the Pacers have given up in any game this season.
    From Elias:
    Marcin Gortat scored 31 points, which tied his career-high and he scored in a variety of ways. He had as many field goals on post-ups as his previous four games combined.

    - Gortat was 4-of-4 on post-ups when guarded by Roy Hibbert Tuesday, and 7-of-8 overall.
    - Gortat grabbed his postseason career-high seven offensive rebounds Tuesday, three more than the entire Pacers team.
    FROM ELIAS: Marcin Gortat: 13-15 FG (86.7%); highest FG percentage by player with 30 points and 15 rebounds in a game in NBA playoff history
    From Elias:
    We're heading towards a Heat-Pacers Eastern Conference Finals matchup with both teams holding a 3-1 lead in their respective series. Entering this round, 219 teams in NBA history trailed 3-1 in a best-of-7 series and only 8 overcame that deficit. The Suns were the last to accomplish that feat back in the 2006 First Round against the 7th-seeded Lakers.
    Marcin Gortat is the 1st foreign-born player in the Eastern Conference with 30 points and 15 rebounds in a playoff game since Patrick Ewing (May 18, 1997 vs Heat - 37 points, 17 rebounds)

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