Monday, May 5, 2014
Rapid Reaction: Wizards 102, Pacers 96
By Nick Friedell
INDIANAPOLIS -- Let's take a quick look at how the Washington Wizards earned a 102-96 win over the Indiana Pacers on Monday night at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinals. The Wizards lead the series 1-0.
How it happened: Bradley Beal had a huge game for the Wizards going off for 25 points, seven rebounds, seven assists and five steals. Trevor Ariza added 22 points and six rebounds as the Wizards set the tone early in this one and never let up. David West led the Pacers with 15 points and 12 rebounds, but they created too big of a hole for to climb out of down the stretch.
What it means: The good vibes just keep coming for the Wizards. After dominating the Bulls in the Eastern Conference quarterfinals, Beal and his teammates zoomed past the Pacers in the final minutes of this game. As they did in the Bulls series, they played with poise and made big shots when they needed them. They appear to be gaining confidence after each game -- not surprised by their recent success at all. If they continue to get contributions up and down the roster, and Beal continues to develop into an even bigger star, there's no reason not to believe they won't be heading to the Eastern Conference finals in the near future.
Hits: Marcin Gortat had 12 points and 15 rebounds for the Wizards.
Misses: Roy Hibbert had zero points, zero rebounds and five fouls in 18 minutes of play.
Stat of the night: The Wizards outrebounded the Pacers 53-36. The Wizards had 17 offensive rebounds.
What's next: Game 2 is Wednesday night in Indianapolis.