Facing what was very close to a must-win, the Indiana Pacers battled back in the fourth quarter to defeat the Washington Wizards 86-82 and tie their second round playoff series at one game apiece.
The Wizards took a 75-72 lead with just over five minutes to play in the game, but the Pacers responded with a 12-4 run to give them a five-point lead with 21 seconds to play and they held on from there.
The Pacers’ most heavily criticized player, Roy Hibbert, exploded for 28 points on 10-of-13 shooting, nine rebounds and two blocks.
George Hill added 14 points while Lance Stephenson was key in the second half, finishing with 12 points, seven rebounds and five assists.
The Wizards were led by Marcin Gortat, who scored 21 points and pulled down 11 rebounds. Bradley Beal scored 17 points and dished out seven assists and Nene scored 14.
The Pacers held the Wizards to 36-of-80 shooting and John Wall scored just six points on two-of-13 shooting.
After a back-and-forth first half that saw the Wizards take a two-point lead into the break, they threatened to take control of the game in the third quarter, quickly stretching the lead to five. Instead of panicking, the Pacers used a 9-2 run to take the lead and led by four as the quarter came to a close.
Game 3 from the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C. is 8:00 pm EST on Friday night and will be on ESPN.
Game 1: Wizards 102, Pacers 96