NBA Playoffs 2014 - Indiana Pacers vs. Washington Wizards Game 5

Line: Pacers -5

After one of the worst performances in the history of the shot clock era in game 3 The Wizards knew that had to make some adjustments headed into game 4. They appeared to have everything figured out as they scored 55 first half points, including a 20-0 advantage in transition points, as they held a 55-38 lead at the half. Coach Randy Wittman also made some changes in his substitution pattern as veteran forward Al Harrington played major minutes for the first time in the playoffs and fellow veterans Drew Gooden and Andre Miller also played more minutes and the team appeared to be sparked by their performance. After halftime the Pacers appeared to make one adjustment and that was to get the ball in the hands of the best player in the building, Paul George. He scored 28 second half points including 6 of his franchise record 7 three pointers. The Pacer outscored the Wizards 33-17 in the third quarter. Despite this the Wizards managed to go on a fourth quarter run (thanks again to the play of Harrington, Miller, and Gooden) and built a 9 point lead. Then George hit a 3 to cut the lead to 6, then another three to cut the lead to 3. After a series of free throws The Wizards had a 91-90 lead at the 2:00 mark and would never have the lead again. They would end the game having only scored one field goal in the games last 7 minutes while George and Roy Hibbert made clutch baskets to seal the 95-92 win for the Pacers and a 3-1 lead in the series.

The trio of Wizard veterans scored a combined 28 points, 13 rebounds, and 6 assists. Bradley Beal led the team in scoring with 20 points, 5 rebounds, and 5 assists. Trevor Ariza had 16 points and 9 rebounds. John Wall had 12 points and 7 assists while the great play of Miller had him play a series low 32 minutes. Nene finished with 10 points but also played less minutes at 25 for the game. Harrington had 11 points and 6 rebounds while Gooden had 10 points and 4 rebounds.

The Pacers were led by the incredible performance of George who finished with 39 points and 12 rebounds while playing all but 2 first half minutes. Hibbert had a slow start but played extremely well in the second half with 7 points and 9 rebounds including a big jump hook down the stretch. George Hill had 15 points and played a great floor game. David West had 14 points and 8 rebounds in 44 minutes played.

The Wizards blew a great opportunity to pull ahead and tie the series. Now they have to find a way to bring the series back to Washington for a game 6. That means winning a tough game 5 on the road in Indiana. At this point there are not likely any major changes either team can make. It will just be a matter of who wants it more.

Pick: Wizards +5

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