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George, Pacers beat Wizards 85-63, lead series 2-1



By Howard Fendrich

WASHINGTON (AP) - Paul George had his best game of the series with 23 points and eight rebounds, and the Indiana Pacers held the Washington Wizards to a franchise-low playoff total Friday night in an 85-63 victory for a 2-1 lead in the Eastern Conference semifinal series.

Roy Hibbert was again a factor for Indiana with 14 points, five rebounds and three blocks.

Washington made only 24 field goals, another team postseason worst, on 73 attempts, 32.9 percent. That included 4 of 16 on 3s, and it didn't get much better on free throws, where the Wizards were 11 of 21.

So much for the bandwagon-hopping in Washington. There were boos on occasion, and most of the fans started heading to the exits after George's 3 with 3½ minutes left made it 75-58.

Game 4 is Sunday night in Washington.

George came in averaging 14.5 points and six rebounds after two games against the Wizards, but he overcame a slow start on a night filled with plenty of ugly offense from both teams.

The score was 17-all after the first quarter, and Indiana led 34-33 at halftime. It was only the 13th NBA playoff game in the shot-clock era, which dates to the 1954-55 season, that two teams combined for 67 or fewer first-half points, according to STATS. The record of 60 came in a 2004 game between Indiana and Detroit.

The Wizards' final total of 63 points eclipsed the team postseason worst of 75, established 1½ weeks ago in Washington's Game 5 victory that eliminated the Chicago Bulls in the first round. It's also tied for the fourth-lowest total by any club since 1954-55.

Washington point guard John Wall came in with five turnovers in his previous four games, but he had seven Friday, to go along with 15 points and six assists. Bradley Beal scored 16 points but shot 6 for 19. Trevor Ariza had 12 points, but zero in the second half. Marcin Gortat scored four points one game after having 21. And Nene had eight points on 3-of-14 shooting and only three rebounds.

Perhaps Washington's woes shouldn't have been too surprising, given that the Pacers ranked No. 2 in the 30-team NBA in team defense during the regular season, allowing only 92.3 points per game. Not only that, but Washington's two lowest-scoring games all season - 66 points in one, 73 in the other - came in losses to Indiana.

When their offense sagged in the third quarter, the Wizards appeared to lose interest at the defensive end. Right after a Wall-to-Beal alley-oop got the crowd loud in third quarter, the Pacers went on a 12-0 run with five players scoring, including Hibbert, who also contributed a tumbling tip of a missed shot at the offensive end to keep possession.

Hibbert made a twisting lefty shot in the point to put the Pacers ahead 50-38 midway through the period, a 12-point spread that was the largest for either team until then.

But the Pacers kept adding on, going up by as many as 17 before taking a 60-45 edge into the fourth quarter.

After a zero-point, zero-rebound disaster in a Game 1 loss, then a 28-point, nine-rebound domination in a Game 2 victory, Hibbert shot 6 for 9.

Pacers coach Frank Vogel was asked before tip-off if he knew which version of Hibbert would show up Friday.

Vogel's reply, offered with a smile: "Probably somewhere in the middle of Game 1 and Game 2."

Turned out exactly right.

NOTES: Pacers F Luis Scola was called for a technical foul for shoving Martell Webster in the back as the ball went out of bounds early in the second quarter. ... NBA Commissioner Adam Silver attended the game. ... One spectator was designated as the "honorary 40 millionth fan" in the history of the arena and was given a prize package the team said was worth $3,000. ... After Pacers F David West was called for a foul under the basket when Drew Gooden went to the ground, the Pacers player turned to an official and said, "That was a flop."

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barack_obama16 May 10 2014 at 2:47 PM

These games dont even matter.
The nba and refs will GIVE TO THE HEAT SO THEY HAVE 3 STRAIT

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jyates1936 May 10 2014 at 2:25 PM

There was no stifling defense. I saw the Wizards simply miss easy shot after easy shot. Their free throw shooting was just as bad. Did the Pacers play stifling defense while the Wizards missed free throws? The Wizards simply stunk up the place.

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1 reply
jdsept jyates1936 May 10 2014 at 3:11 PM

Both teams took 21 foul shots. Pacers made 16, Wizards made 11 for a 5pt difference. Pacers won by 22, foul shooting had little to do with it.

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degeis May 10 2014 at 1:42 PM

Keep Coach Thompson away from the "enemy" team.

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greku01 May 10 2014 at 1:30 PM

Indiana did not win.
The proper headline should have been:

Washington lost worse than Indiana

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1 reply
degeis greku01 May 10 2014 at 1:44 PM

Wonderful creative/intelligent comment...and one does not see many on the comment board.

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babb39 May 10 2014 at 7:01 AM

Love my Pacers...

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1 reply
Gordon babb39 May 10 2014 at 7:10 AM

Boooooooooooo

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1 reply
jano Gordon May 10 2014 at 9:38 AM

YEAH !!!

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teeveequeen May 10 2014 at 1:20 PM

Who really are the winners in the National Black Association ...

The over-paid athletes? ... The paying fans? ... The rich owners?

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1 reply
jdsept teeveequeen May 10 2014 at 2:53 PM

The winners? Those who enjoy the NBA. National Black Association? Do you call the PGA the white league? NBA have a larger percentage of blacks than PGA has of whites? NOoo Over-paid athletes? They are paid what and why? Because owners see them as worth what they are offered. Owners stand in line to hand out the bucks. And its there to hand out. NBA makes huge amounts of money and people stand in line to buy teams. Thee is a reason that the Clippers bought by Sterling in 81 for 12.5 million is now thought to be worth 600+ million. Anything you own gone up 4800% since 1981? They only fight over how to divide up a big rich pie. Nobody loses. Paying fans? Ohh YOU mean fans who buy tickets by choice because they wish too. They make their choice as do YOU who probably doesn't buy any. Rich owners? Know any poor people owning any sports franchises? Know any poor people owning much? YOU jealous of successful people? Isn't the American ideal to be successful? You try to be unsuccessful?

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blueeyessing May 10 2014 at 10:18 AM

Congratulations to the Pacers!

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jeff May 10 2014 at 9:42 AM

Wizards win the next 3 at it's over for the Pacers

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1 reply
degeis jeff May 10 2014 at 1:37 PM

good luck with that one.

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jano May 10 2014 at 9:37 AM

you go Pacers. and remember it is not a one man team .

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mrs huang May 10 2014 at 9:01 AM

Heat the rest of the Pacers are the strongest garbage trash

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