- POSTED: 12 May 2014 15:54
Paul George and Roy Hibbert combined for 43 second half points as the Indiana Pacers put the Washington Wizards on the brink of elimination with a 95-92 win on Sunday.
WASHINGTON: Paul George and Roy Hibbert combined for 43 second half points as the Indiana Pacers put the Washington Wizards on the brink of elimination with a 95-92 win on Sunday.
The Wizards led by 19 points in the third quarter and appeared to be en route to levelling the best-of-seven NBA playoff series when the wheels fell off in the second half.
George tallied 28 points and a dozen rebounds for the Pacers, who lead the Eastern Conference series 3-1.
"I was just in a rhythm and it carried out through the whole game," said George. "I was able to knock some shots down."
Hill had 15 and David West scored 14 points in the Mother's Day contest in front of a crowd of 20,356 at the Verizon Center arena in the US capital.
George shot 12-of-20 from the field.
Hibbert appears to have discovered his form after struggling early in the post-season.
"He found himself," George said of Hibbert. "He has been winning games because he has been playing at a high level."
Hibbert finished with 17 points and nine rebounds and made a huge hook shot with 1:02 left in the fourth to give the Pacers a 94-91 lead.
After a series of empty possessions, Bradley Beal and George Hill each made one of two shots from the free throw line. Hill's miss with six seconds remaining gave the Wizards one chance to force overtime.
But Washington failed to get a shot off as Trevor Ariza botched an inbounds pass.
Beal helped pace the Wizard's attack with 20 points. Ariza had 16 in the loss.
"I'm not blaming any of this on any youth or inexperience or who has been in the playoffs and who hasn't," said Wizards head coach Randy Wittman of the meltdown. "That's just an excuse."
Game five is Tuesday in Indianapolis. George said game five is going to be the toughest of the series.
"We can't expect it to be easy. We know it is going to be a crazy environment," he said.