Madison
65° F
Light Rain
Light Rain
Advertisement

Preview: Wizards at Pacers

By By The Sports Xchange
Published On: May 06 2014 02:45:34 AM CDT
Updated On: May 06 2014 02:45:34 AM CDT

The Washington Wizards had no trouble going into Chicago and taking the first two games of their first-round series from the Bulls. The Wizards will try to turn the same trick when they visit the Indiana Pacers for Game 2 of the Eastern Conference semifinals on Wednesday. Washington dominated most of the night in Game 1 and ended up with a 102-96 victory as Trevor Ariza got hot early and Bradley Beal warmed up late.The Pacers took the final two games of their first-round series from the Atlanta Hawks by changing up their rotation and making use of Chris Copeland while sitting Evan Turner and Luis Scola. Indiana decided to abandon that in Game 1 against the Wizards and did not insert Copeland into the game until the final minute when the outcome was already decided. Washington improved to 4-0 on the road in the playoffs with the victory and beat the Pacers at their own game by dominating the interior with a 53-36 rebounding advantage. "We know this is going to be a war and winning the boards is important to us," Wizards coach Randy Wittman told reporters. "When we rebound, we can get out and run."TV: 7 p.m. ET, TNTABOUT THE WIZARDS: Ariza went 6-of-6 from 3-point range in Game 1, hitting five of those in the first half as Washington built up a 13-point halftime lead. Beal scored 14 of his 25 in the fourth quarter and came through at the line in the final seconds after some shaky free-throw shooting earlier in the contest. "We try to play a fast-paced game," Ariza told reporters. "(Point guard) John (Wall) is a speed demon and they have to stop him from getting to the basket, so our shooters follow him and stay ready to shoot." Wall went 4-of-14 from the field but finished with 13 points, nine assists and one turnover in Game 1.ABOUT THE PACERS: A big theme of the first round was the disappearance of All-Star Roy Hibbert, who needed a solid Game 7 just to get his averages up to 5.3 points and 3.7 rebounds in the seven-game set. Hibbert went back to being invisible in Game 1 on Monday, recording zero points and zero rebounds while committing five fouls in 18 minutes. Fellow All-Star Paul George struggled to 4-of-17 from the field and David West was 6-of-15 en route to 15 points and 12 rebounds. "We were really just out of rhythm," George said. "Shots weren't falling, shots were short. We just weren't in sync to start this game off."BUZZER BEATERS1. Wizards F Drew Gooden collected 12 points and 13 rebounds in Game 1 after totaling two points and three boards in the first round.2. Indiana G George Hill has scored at least 14 points in five straight games.3. Washington went 10-of-16 from 3-point range in Game 1.PREDICTION: Wizards 98, Pacers 89

Advertisement
Advertisement