Paul George willed the Indiana Pacers to victory Sunday night in our nation’s capital. The Pacers overcame a 19-point deficit to defeat the Washington Wizards 95-92.
Just under a week ago analysts across the nation were throwing dirt on the Pacers and declaring they wouldn’t win a single game in this series. Funny how quickly things can change as Indiana took a commanding 3-1 lead with a chance to close it out at home on Tuesday.
The Pacers had to overcome an abysmal second quarter and zero help from the bench to pull off the win. Indiana scored just 11 points in the second and the reserves provided just two points all game.
George decided to strap the team onto his back in the second half and take the win from the Wizards. He had a playoff career high of 39 points (just two shy of tying Reggie Miller‘s franchise record of 41). George did most of his damage from the arc, drilling 7-of-10 three pointers.
George also recorded another double-double with 12 rebounds. He continued to play his suffocating defense and came away with two steals and a number of hustle plays that changed the game. George only had two minutes of rest all game and, in coach Frank Vogel’s words, continually overrode the coach when he tried to take him out of the game.
Roy Hibbert continued to contribute to the cause and prove that he really is an All-Star caliber player. Hibbert had 17 points and two blocks. He has also somehow become a force on the glass, hauling in nine rebounds, five of which were offensive boards.
George Hill resurgence in this series has been huge. He gave the team 15 points, four assists, and two steals. More importantly, Hill continues to give John Wall fits, holding him to 4-of-11 shooting.
David West has been struggling a bit in this series, but tonight he played setup man. West dished out eight assists to go along with his 14 points.
The Pacers distributed the ball well with 20 assists on 33 made field goals. Indiana some how managed to overcome 20 turnovers in the win as well. The Pacers closed out the game with a 19-7 run.
Indiana’s dominating defense didn’t show up to the game until the second half where the Wizards had just 37 points.
The Pacers have a chance to close out the series on Tuesday at Banker’s Life Fieldhouse. Tipoff is at 7PM and the broadcast is on TNT.