The Pacers came out of the gates on fire, barely missing in the early going. They would take a 12-point lead into the half, leaving the Wizards with their work cut out for them in the second. Indiana would go up by as many as 16 early in the third frame, but the Wizards would start chipping into it. They cut that 16-point lead in half by the end of the third, and then opened the fourth like a team that did not want their season to end. With 8:30 to go, Beal drained a triple on the break to give the Wizards the lead 74-73. Verizon Center was euphoric, but the good feelings did not last long, as the Wizards scored just two points over the next seven minutes, and the Pacers closed them out.
David West was simply phenomenal, whether knocking down midrange jumpers or going at the heart of the Wizards' defense. He finished with 29 points on 13/26 shooting, had six boards and four assists. The Pacers as a team shot a tidy 51.4%. The Wizards in contrast shot just 39.2%, with that number sinking over the final eight minutes. Neither team could buy a three, with the Wizards shooting 2/18 and the Pacers 2/10. Washington once again won the rebounding battle, but nothing like game 5 as the count was 40-38. The bench scoring was limited on both sides, as the two teams rode their starters to the finish.
All five Pacers starters finished in double figures, with Stephenson next in line after West with 17 points on 8/13 shooting.
For Washington, Gortat was once again the man of the night, scoring 19 points on 7/12 shooting. Beal added 16 points, Nene scored 15 and Wall had 12.
It's tough to see such a fantastic season end, but for now, we can just tip our caps to a team that saw massive improvements in almost every respect. The team won 29 games in 2012-13, and just took the #1 seed to six games in the Eastern Conference Semis in 2013-14. The future is bright for DC basketball. - Jacob Raim
Halftime Update Well, the Wizards are not going to make it easy for themselves. In this do or die game 6, Washington trails by 12 at the half, 52-40. Washington went over four and a half minutes without a field goal during the second quarter while Indiana opened up their double digit lead. The Pacers came out red hot and didn't cool down too much, shooting 58.8% from the field on the way to their best offensive half of the series. Stephenson and West led the way for Indiana, scoring 11 each, and Hibbert had nine. All three of them shot 50% or better from the field. Washington meanwhile struggled offensively to the tune of 41% shooting and just 1/7 from long distance. The Wizards had zero points in transition, where they've had some of their best success in the series. The Wizards were led by their bigs, as Nene had 10 and Gortat nine. After outrebounding Indiana by 39 in game 5, there was no discrepancy in the first half with the two teams even on the glass.
The opening moments of the second half will be crucial as Washington has to find a way to get back into the game. During game 5, the Wizards absolutely dominated the third quarter and they'll need something like that again. At some point during the second half, the Pacers are going to slow down offensively and the Wizards will have to take advantage or they could be cleaning out their lockers. Second half coming up next. - Jacob Raim
It's a red, white, and blue out here at Verizon Center.
Thanks to CustomInk and GEICO, we have t-shirts on each seat for all fans in attendance.
The atmosphere should be electric tonight for this do-or-die Game 6 for the Wizards.
They are coming off their most dominant performance of the postseason, a 102-79 win in Indy on Tuesday. Even more dominant than the final score were the rebounding numbers. The Wizards outrebounded the Pacers 62-23, the most lopsided rebounding differential in over 50 years.
Randy Wittman said he'd like to replicate that effort, but knows to have a discrepancy that large was a bit flukey:
And from the other side:
It's an 8pm tip tonight on ESPN (Radio: 99.1 FM, 1500 AM).
We'll be live chatting on WashingtonWizards.com starting at tip-off, see you there!
More from pregame scene:
Trevor Booker taking the court for #WizPacers Game 6 warmups #dcRising https://t.co/sbqtXxlUHD
— Washington Wizards (@WashWizards) May 15, 2014
Marcin Gortat and John Wall take the court to warm up for Game 6 https://t.co/73ZGAhy0b3
— Washington Wizards (@WashWizards) May 15, 2014
We're back at home!
Normally this would be a good thing, but based on the first five games of the series I'm not so sure. The Wizards have yet to beat the Pacers here at home and are just 1-3 at home this postseason. At the same time, they are 5-1 on the road, including two wins against these Pacers in Indiana.
Marcin Gortat told the media at shootaround that the team considered going to their road routine before Game 6. They considered staying in a hotel last night, having a team breakfast this morning, and taking two buses to shootaround. The team eventually opted against going forth with that, but they want to bring that same focus they have had on the road to Verizon Center tonight.
The fortune teller, Bradley Beal, isn't going to change his routine tonight, but has another good gut feeling heading into this Game 6. He was optimistic before Game 5 and the team responded. He knows the Pacers are due for a better effort tonight, but he's ready to put on a show in front of these home fans:
More from shootarond:
And as for the Pacers, they remain confident and desperately want to wrap things up tonight to avoid a do-or-die Game 7 back in Indy. They know the Wizards have had success on the road and know this may be their best chance to win the series.
Game 6 of #WizPacers will tip at 8pm tonight from Verizon Center on ESPN (Radio: 99.1 FM, 1500 AM).
Remember to watch the American Express Home Court Advantage pregame show at 7:30pm on Monumental Network.
And join in the live chat beginning at gametime to discuss tonight's game as it happens.