When the Washington Wizards entered the 2014 NBA Playoffs, no one knew what to expect. The Wizards snuck into the number five seed and hadn’t played in the post season since 2008. The core of the roster, John Wall and Bradley Beal, had never made a playoff appearance and were fresh to the unfriendly pressures associated with post-season basketball. Well guess what? This team’s for real. For the first time in 32 years the Washington Wizards won a second round game and they did such in fashion.
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After six playoff games, Washington holds a 5-1 record and captured game one of their best of seven series with the number one seeded Indiana Pacers. The Pacers held a 2-1 season series edge, but that didn’t stop the young Wizards team from jumping out to 28-15 first quarter lead.
Washington never looked back as Beal scored a game-high 25 points along with seven rebounds and assists. Also, unfamiliar cast of characters stole the show as Trevor Ariza finished a perfect six for six from beyond the arc to finish with 22 points. To make matters worse for the Pacers, Drew Gooden came off of the bench to add 12 points and 13 rebounds in just 18 late-game minutes.
The Wizards won almost every statistical category Monday night, dominating the supposedly superior frontcourt on the glass 53-36. Then, Washington’s continued to hold all-star center Roy Hibbert scoreless over his 18 minutes. Finally, Washington came away with 102-96 victory stealing game one in Indianapolis. The Wizards win in Indianapolis was the team’s first in its last 12 attempts and they will try again Wednesday in game two.