In a game that was a must win, the Washington Wizards looked ready to answer the call of the Indiana Pacers jumping out to a 17-point halftime lead. After previously averaging just 13.8 points per game, Washington relied heavily on the veteran bench play that ignited the Wizards great half of basketball. Drew Gooden, Al Harrington, and Andre Miller showed great veteran leadership scoring 11,10, and 7 points respectively. Washington began the second half looking to win their first second round playoff game since way back in 1979, but was unable to hold of Paul George, who finished with 39 points, 12 rebounds, and 7 three pointers, and the Pacers.
The pacers came out firing in the second half outscoring the Wizards 33-17 in the third quarter and cutting the young Wizards lead to just one. The young Washington roster, however, responded soundly and extended their lead back up to nine in the early in the fourth quarter. George was unable to be stopped and hit a series of three pointers to take the first team’s lead since mid-way through the first quarter.
Down the stretch, the Wizards hoped to answer the Indiana pace, but series of late missed free throws and jumpers drowned Washington. John Wall continued his shooting struggles airing not to take a potential game tying three-pointer. Than, to make matters worse, on the final possession the Wizards, who trailed by just three points, failed to complete a simple inbounds play, which ultimately doomed the Wizards.
After the 95-92 loss, Washington is down 3-1 in the best of seven series and will face elimination on Tuesday in Indiana. Still, hope remains, as the Wizards have been 4-1 on the road this post season and hope to keep their dreams alive.