The semifinals of the 2014 NBA Playoffs continue on Tuesday, and the Indiana Pacers will try to become the first team to advance to the conference finals after the San Antonio Spurs failed to do so on Monday night. The Pacers return home up 3-1 in their series against the Washington Wizards, while the Oklahoma City Thunder and Los Angeles Clippers do battle in a crucial Game 5 with their series tied 2-2.
Washington Wizards at Indiana Pacers, Game 5
7 p.m. ET, TNT
After looking overmatched in Game 1 of the series, the Pacers have regained their swagger, winning three straight to move a victory away from a likely rematch against the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference Finals. Indiana has done it with the formula that was so successful early in the season: Suffocating team defense, Paul George and Roy Hibbert. George was brilliant in Game 4, scoring 39 points and leading the Pacers back from a 19-point second-half deficit. Hibbert's resurgence continued, as the big man had 17 points and nine rebounds, with much of that damage coming in the second half.
As for the Wizards, they must be kicking themselves after blowing a fine opportunity to tie up the series. Instead of riding high heading back to Indiana with the series all square, Washington is now on life support. John Wall has struggled against the Pacers, and the Wizards' offense in general has been out of sorts after the strong opening game. Washington has the talent to make things interesting, but they'll need to execute better down the stretch.
Los Angeles Clippers at Oklahoma City Thunder, Game 5
9:30 p.m. TNT
Much like the Wizards, the Thunder appeared to be cruising to a victory in Game 4 of their second-round series. Oklahoma City led by 22 points in the first quarter and 16 early in the fourth, but also like the Wizards, the Thunder fell apart and lost in heartbreaking fashion. Luckily for Oklahoma City, their series is simply tied and they'll be heading back home with a chance to regain control.
The Thunder melted down on both sides of the ball in Game 4. Kevin Durant scored 40 points in the game, but he had several bad fourth-quarter turnovers and had issues scoring on Chris Paul in the post. Russell Westbrook took some bad shots, and he missed the potential game-winning three at the buzzer. On the other end, the Clippers did almost whatever they wanted, scoring 38 points in the final frame. Los Angeles made 12 shots in the restricted area in the fourth, and Darren Collison scored 12 of his 18 points in the quarter.