Wizards stay alive with 102-79 blowout at Indiana
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) The Wizards were tired of getting shoved around in the Eastern Conference semifinals.
So on Tuesday night, Marcin Gortat and his teammates pushed back hard.
Gortat delivered the best playoff game of his career, 31 points and 16 rebounds, and John Wall scored a playoff-best 27 points as Washington routed the Indiana Pacers 102-79 to cut the Eastern Conference semifinals deficit to 3-2.
"We don't have anything to lose now," Gortat said. "We play desperate. At the end of the day, we might lose. We have to play every minute of every game like it's the last one of the season."
The Wizards made a stunning turnaround after losing three straight, two on their home court in incredibly demoralizing fashion. Washington scored a franchise-low 63 points in Game 3 and then blew a 19-point, second-half lead in Game 4.
Washington refused to let it happen again this time, earning a trip home for Game 6 on Thursday.
The difference was obvious.
Wall broke free, Gortat dominated the middle and the motivated Wizards were simply overwhelming inside with a 62-23 rebounding edge.
Gortat produced more points and rebounds in 36 minutes than he had in the previous two games combined (six points and 13 rebounds). He was 13 of 15 from the field, 5 of 7 from the free-throw line, tied his career-best point total and finished with playoff career bests for points and rebounds.
"I was a decoy in Game 3 and Game 4," the 30-year-old Polish native said. "(Tuesday) was the time for me to perform. At some point in the second half, it was just fun to be in the game."
Wall seemed to enjoy himself, too.
The much more aggressive point guard went 11 of 20 from the field and 3 of 6 on 3s, finishing with five rebounds, five assists and five turnovers as he sliced through the Pacers' defense.
"They didn't stop me from being aggressive on both ends," Wall said. "But the biggest thing was just the way we played in the third quarter. They outscored us by like 40 in the other four games, so the third quarter was big for us tonight."
The 31-14 disparity during those 12 minutes completely changed the game, putting talk about the presumed conference finals rematch between Indiana and two-time defending NBA champ Miami temporarily on hold.
One possible explanation for what happened to the Pacers was fatigue.
Four of Indiana's five starters played at least 39 minutes in Game 4. Coach Frank Vogel was concerned enough that he gave the Pacers a day off Monday.
David West led Indiana with 17 points and six rebounds, but Paul George struggled after playing 46 minutes in Game 4. He was 5 of 15 from the field with 15 points, one rebound, two assists and four turnovers.
But the problems went much deeper that weariness. West was only the starter to grab more than two rebounds, Washington held Indiana to 39 percent shooting and they continually beat the Pacers to loose balls.
This was not what Indiana expected.
"We didn't show up to play. I don't know if we just thought we were going to come in here and these guys were going to roll over or what. They just played at a different level than we did all night," West said after Indiana's second-worst home playoff loss in its NBA history.
"It's a tough situation. We have to be able to handle these moments. We had no zip. We have to play. If we want this series, we have to take it."
Washington was the team doing that Tuesday.
The Wizards used a 15-6 run to close the half, turning a 32-30 deficit into a 45-38 lead.
In the disastrous third quarter, Indiana was outrebounded 18-4 and the Wizards made them pay time after time. Washington's 6-0 run extended the lead to 11, a 9-2 spurt pushed the margin to 60-45, and when the Wizards closed the third on a 10-3 charge, it was 76-52.
Washington led by as much as 30 in the fourth, and the Pacers didn't even start cutting into the deficit until Vogel pulled his starters midway through the quarter.
"They're not ready to go home," coach Randy Wittman said. "It said 3-1, which doesn't sound very good, but in our minds, we're very close to it being something else. They don't want this (season) to end."
Notes: Washington is 5-1 on the road and 1-3 at home in this year's playoffs. ... Indiana's worst home playoff loss came April 30, 2005 when Boston won 110-79. ... The Wizards have won two of their last three in Indy despite coming into the series with 12 consecutive losses at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. ... Indiana's 23 rebounds were a franchise low in the playoffs.
Updated May 14, 2014
Mike Reiss calls the guys to talk about the offseason news for the Pats. He talks about the Pats/Jets tampoering fiasco, free agency, where he sees Ridley and Connolly ending up, if the Patriots would be interested in Reggie Wayne and more.
In the first hour of the show, Greg and Chris discuss the news coming out of the owners' meetings this week and rule changes. Belichick's blow-up over the league not wanting to spend on endzone cameras was well documented and the guys react. They also talk about the Jets ridiculous tampering charges, free agents still lingering out there, where Stevan Ridley will land and the RB position in New England. Dickerson and Price briefly discuss the adventures of Tom Brady before being joined by WEEI.com's Mike Petraglia to talk all things Pats in the offseason.
Greg and Chris talk more offseason happenings with the Pats and their plans. They talk about some of the free agents toward the bottom of the list with Stevan Ridley and Dan Connolly. Price thinks that Connolly could end up back with the Pats and Ridley elsewhere (Cowboys?), but Greg thinks they both could be back. They also chat about the departure of VInce Wilfork and what he meant to the organization, the re-signing of McCourty and more.
Brow Buff's Sam Packard and Ben Kichen break down Marcus Smart's unfortunate ball tap, debate leadership in the Celtics locker room, and rehash the great Kevin Love to Boston rumors.
Flannery joins Mut to break down the Isaiah Thomas trade to Boston and what it means for the Celtics this season and in the future. Paul also chats with Mut about the other deals that happened at the NBA's trading deadline
We talk to Chris Mannix from SI to break down the C's acquisition of Isaiah Thomas and the crazy trade deadline in the rest of the NBA.
Mut, Tomase, and Bradford kick things off talking about Shane Victorino taking offense to people reading into some comments he made about trading for Cole Hamels. They also discuss Blake Swihart and how soon he could be up if Christian Vazquez starts the season on the DL.
Joe Kelly joined the Hot Stove show where he talked about being ready for his next spring training start after a biceps ailment forced him out of his last outing, he talks about his NCAA brackets and how teammate Wade Miley has a perfect bracket still.
Mut, Bradford, and Tomase kick off this weeks show by talking to Red Sox pitcher Joe Kelly about his biceps recovery, getting ready for the season and his NCAA brackets. They then talk about the Red Sox depth at closer with Koji Uehara questionable for the start of the season.
Peter Chiarelli joined the Sunday Skate crew to talk about the Bruins playoff push heading into the final handful of games of the regular season. Chiarelli talked about avoiding some of the overly negative feedback he gets while realizing that the team does have real issues. He discusses what went down at the trade deadline and if he was happy with the outcome, Lucic having a down year and underperforming, the salary cap and if he considers it as big of an issue as it's been made out to be and what the future holds for the team.
It's a big hour #2 for the Sunday Skate dudes - they talk about the B's defenseman and what the future looks like at that position, with both moves the team can make and younger guys in the AHL. They also get into the Bruins philosophy on bringing guys up and sending them back down and how players deal with that. Finally, the boys are joined by Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli to discuss EVERYTHING.
The Sunday Skate crew gets the show going discussing the Bruins big, impressive victory over the NY Rangers yesterday. What can you take from that game? According to LB - Lyndon Byers - who called the guys from the road, not a lot. LB drops a dime on what was going on with the Rangers yesterday. DJ and Joe discuss Claude's lines and groupings and the importance of Ryan Spooner. They also get into Lucic, his contributions this year and if he can turn things around.
The latest edition of the highly rated segment.
The great Lisa Scherber joined us to discuss today's trip to Fort Myers with 46 Jimmy Fund patients.
D&C's favorite author joined the show to discuss his new book.
We hear more audio from Christian's day between the pipes. He did his best to try and intimidate the small children shooting on him.
After Christian gave away his children's dog, we find out that Lola eventually found a better home.
During the recess of the Aaron Hernandez murder trial, Ted Daniel describes the first half of Shayana Jenkins testimony.
Dale, Michael and Jerry Thornton discuss David Ortiz's self-penned piece which took on such topics as steroids, the media, his contract and more. And we get into a back and forth about the fan perception of him in Boston, and why he can be so polarizing at times, even with the on-field track record he has.
Dale, Michael and Jerry Thornton discuss some of the testimony from Aaron Hernandez' fiancee, and try and judge how her words might change the outcome of this case.
Dale and Michael talk Bruins after they managed to snatch defeat from the claws of victory and blow a late game lead to the Anaheim Ducks. With the playoffs still in question, the Bruins need more efforts like that, and more luck.
Chris Price joins Mut to talk about how Revis will heat up the Jets-Pats rivalry next season
Mut opens his show talking about the New York Jets filing tampering charges on the Patriots
Mikey, Mut, and Lucy are talking about all things New England sports, the Red Sox spring training, more Darrelle Revis and Jets talk, and some Bruins mixed in.
Ben and Adam finish the odyssey that is the history of Wrestlemania. Wrestlemanias 21-30 are discussed and analyzed.
Mike Mulloy joins Chris in the studio to talk Raw and Wrestlemania.
The top stories of the day as recounted by Kirk Minihane.More from this show
Christian does not impress the high school girls hockey team.More from this show