Pacers hope to knot up series with Washington
(SportsNetwork.com) - Once again, the Indiana Pacers are down in a series, but they'll try to knot things with the Washington Wizards Wednesday night for Game 2 at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
After a grueling seven-game series in the first round with the No. 8 seed Atlanta Hawks, the Pacers are trailing in this Eastern Conference semifinal matchup.
The Wizards won Game 1 Monday night, 102-96.
Washington, which dispatched the Chicago Bulls in five games in the quarterfinals, is now 4-0 on the road this postseason. Indiana is just 2-3 as the host in the playoffs and went 35-6 at home in the regular season.
"This team has a tendency to try to ease into games and ease into to two series now in a row and that's going to come back to bite us," acknowledged Indiana head coach Frank Vogel. "We got to come out and be more ready to play to start games."
The Wiz buried the Pacers, 28-15, in the first quarter. Washington had a much- needed break before this series, while Indiana eliminated Atlanta on Saturday, and came back on Monday.
"We had a lot of time to practice and find the rhythm again," said Wizards forward Trevor Ariza. "We didn't know who we were going to play but when we did we all definitely locked in and got ready to play this game today."
Bradley Beal scored a game-high 25 points, while Ariza added 22 for the Wizards. Beal added seven rebounds, seven assists and five steals and Ariza hit 6-of-6 from 3-point range for Washington.
Marcin Gortat and Drew Gooden each posted double-doubles in the victory, as Washington won a game in the second round of the playoffs for the first time since 1982. Gortat finished with 12 points and 15 rebounds and Gooden posted 12 points with 13 boards in just under 18 minutes off the bench.
John Wall did his part as well, contributing 13 points and nine assists. Nene chipped in 15 points.
Paul George and George Hill each scored 18 points in defeat.
"We had an opportunity to win this game, we just didn't fight hard enough," said Pacers forward David West, who had 15 points in the loss. "We didn't have enough grit."
Lance Stephenson and Luis Scola, who was in-and-out of the rotation late in the Hawks series, both finished with 12.
Monday marked yet another baffling night in the postseason career of Roy Hibbert. The Indiana center, who made the All-Star team this season, finished with zero points and zero rebounds in 17:43 of action. It was his third zero- point game of this postseason.
"He's got to be part of the fight," West said. "He's got to be part of this thing for us to go anywhere."
The Pacers scored just 20 points in the paint in Game 1, which was a season- low, and were out-rebounded by 17.
The Wizards snapped their 12-game losing streak at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. No current players were on the roster for the last victory, which came on April 18, 2007.
Game 3 will be Friday night in Washington.
05/07 09:41:25 ET