Pacers, Thunder win on road to go up 2-1
May 11, 2014, 12:00 am TWN
WASHINGTON--Indiana and Oklahoma City won road games in contrasting styles on Friday to take 2-1 series leads in the second-round NBA playoffs, with the Pacers putting the clamps on Washington and the Thunder over-running the Los Angeles Clippers in a free-flowing contest.
Indiana won 85-63, holding Washington to its lowest playoff score in franchise history.
Paul George had his best game of the series with 23 points and eight rebounds while Roy Hibbert was again a factor for Indiana with 14 points, five rebounds and three blocks.
Washington made only 24 field goals, another team postseason worst, on 73 attempts, 32.9 percent. That included 4 of 16 on 3-point attempts, and it didn't get much better on free throws, where the Wizards were 11 of 21.
So much for the bandwagon-hopping in Washington. There were boos on occasion, and most of the fans started heading to the exits well before the game was over.
George averaged only 14.5 points and six rebounds in the first two games of the series and started slowly against on Friday before gathering pace in the dour encounter.
The score was 17-17 after the first quarter, and Indiana led 34-33 at halftime. It was only the 13th NBA playoff game in the shot-clock era, which dates to the 1954-55 season, that two teams combined for 67 or fewer first-half points, according to STATS. The record low is 60, in a 2004 game between Indiana and Detroit.
The Wizards' final total of 63 points was well below their previous playoff worst of 75, established just weeks ago in Washington's Game 5 victory that eliminated the Chicago Bulls in the first round. It's also tied for the fourth-lowest total by any club since 1954-55.
Washington point guard John Wall had turnovers to go along with 15 points and six assists, while Bradley Beal scored 16 points but shot 6 for 19. Trevor Ariza had 12 points, but zero in the second half. Marcin Gortat scored just four points after having 21 in the previous game. And Nene had eight points on 3-of-14 shooting and only three rebounds.
Washington's woes were not too surprising, given that the Pacers ranked No. 2 in the NBA in team defense during the regular season, allowing only 92.3 points per game. Not only that, but Washington's two lowest-scoring games all season — 66 points in one, 73 in the other — came in losses to Indiana.