Just when it looked like the Indiana Pacers had their swagger back, they get embarrassed at home with a chance to move on to the Eastern Conference Finals. The Pacers laid a stunning egg at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Game 5, falling 102-79 to the Washington Wizards to set up a Game 6 in Washington on Thursday night.
The Wizards led by just seven points at halftime, but they broke the game wide open in the third quarter, outscoring the Pacers 31-14. And unlike Game 4, Washington would not relinquish this big lead. The Wizards cruised to an impressive victory as John Wall had his best scoring game of the postseason, notching 27 points on 11-of-20 shooting. Marcin Gortat had his best game of the playoffs as well, tallying 31 points and 16 rebounds while shooting 13-of-15 from the field.
There were very few positives for Indiana. David West did have 17 points on 7-of-14 shooting, but he was a minus-35 in 34 minutes. The only other Pacer to score in double figures was Paul George, but he followed up his 39-point effort with just 15 points on 5-of-15 from the field. Roy Hibbert was a non-factor, scoring four points and grabbing two rebounds. Indiana was outrebounded 62-23, grabbing only five more rebounds overall than Washington had offensive rebounds.
The Pacers have played better on the road in this series, so perhaps they'll bounce back after the wretched Game 5. However, the Wizards have some confidence back and are due for a home victory, so it will likely take a big-time performance by Indiana to get out of the series on Thursday.
Game time: 8 p.m. ET
Location: Verizon Center, Washington, D.C.
Radio: WFED-AM 1500, 1070 The Fan