Sunday, May 11, 2014
Keys to victory: Pacers 95, Wizards 92
By ESPN Stats & Information
The Indiana Pacers looked a little vulnerable at the start of their Eastern Conference semifinal series against the Washington Wizards.
They don’t look so vulnerable any more, not after rallying from a 19-point deficit on the road to beat the Wizards and take a 3-1 lead in their series.
The Pacers won largely because their best player was the best player on the floor.
Difference-Maker: Paul George
Paul George scored a career playoff-high 39 points, the most in a playoff game for the Pacers since Anthony Johnson scored 39 in a loss to the Nets in 2006.
George’s 39 points are the most by a Pacers player in a road win since Reggie Miller scored 39 (including 25 in the fourth quarter) in a win over the Knicks in Game 5 of the 1994 Eastern Conference Finals.
George had 39 points, 12 rebounds and seven three-pointers. The Elias Sports Bureau notes that he’s the only player in NBA playoff history to hit all three of those benchmarks in the same game.
George had 26 points on 8 of 13 shooting when guarded by Trevor Ariza. He had 25 points on 8 of 23 shooting against Ariza in the first three games of the series.
George led a starting five that scored 93 of the 95 points (with 17 coming from Roy Hibbert).
Thwarting the transition game
After the Wizards ran out to a 20-0 advantage in transition in the first half, the Pacers held the Wizards to three second-half transition points in the second half.
Did You Know?
This is the first time since April 25, 1998, with multiple 15-point comebacks on the same day in the NBA playoffs.
On that day the Pacers came back to beat the Cavaliers and the Hornets rallied to a win over the Hawks.