The Indiana Pacers have taken a 2-1 series lead over the Washington Wizards after surviving in an ugly 85-63 victory. Indiana shot just 41 percent from the field but built a large lead over Washington through the second half. The Pacers led by as many as 17 points despite their offense being out of sync and are now two victories away from reaching the Eastern Conference finals for the second straight postseason.
Washington tried to make a run in the fourth quarter, nearly bringing the game back to single digits, but David West made back-to-back mid-range jumpers to put the game out of reach. Paul George followed up the two big baskets from West with a corner-three, and Indiana sealed the game with three minutes to spare.
This was one of the lowest-scoring games in NBA Playoff history and the lowest-scoring game in Wizards franchise history. The teams combined for just 67 points in the first half. The Wizards offense fell completely off the rails by the third quarter, scoring just 12 points on 33 percent shooting.
The Pacers dared the Wizards to beat them from mid-range, giving up open shots throughout the game. Washington couldn't take advantage of the quality looks Indiana allowed, instead watching the open shots ricochet off the rim. Bradley Beal struggled through the night in particular, shooting just 6-for-19 from the field. Marcin Gortat and Nene combined for 12 points on 23 percent shooting.
Paul George led Indiana with a team-high 23 points. Roy Hibbert added in 14 points and five rebounds while doing a great job of protecting the rim.
The Wizards host Game 4 on Sunday.