WASHINGTON -- For all their mysterious slumps and chemistry curiosities, the
David West scored 29 points and the Pacers blew a 16-point lead in the second half before pulling away late in a 93-80 win on Thursday night that ousted the
Next up, a rematch with the Miami Heat.
Lance Stephenson finished with 17 points and eight assists for the Pacers, who earned Game 1 at home against the two-time defending
Marcin Gortat scored 19 points, and
The Wizards appeared to have a fix on the home-court demons when
But that was Washington's only lead of the second half. West answered with a pair of jumpers, including a tough fade-away shot, and Stephenson added a layup to start a decisive 20-6 run that included three Wizards turnovers in four possessions. Washington went five minutes without a point and scored only two field goals after Beal's go-ahead three-pointer.
The Pacers were 46-13 on March 2 before limping to the finish line, barely holding on to the conference's No. 1 seeding. Things didn't look much better when Indiana was pushed to seven games in the first round by eighth-seeded Atlanta, or when the Pacers lost Game 1 at home to the Wizards.
But Hibbert revived himself in Game 2, the defense held the Wizards to 63 points in Game 3, and
But they pulled ahead early in the clincher by shooting 59% in the first half and holding the up-tempo Wizards without a fast-break point until the second half.
The Wizards had to reschedule a
Wall, who broke out of a shooting and leadership slump in Game 5, had moments that were more reckless than sublime in the first half. He was two for six from the field at the break, while Beal was three for 10. The Wizards made one of seven shots from three-point range, and only the inside presence of