Paul George’s 39 points help Pacers move one win from conference finals

Indiana Pacers forward Paul George, right, drives past Washington Wizards forward Martell Webster during the Pacers' win in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference semifinals Sunday.
(Alex Brandon / Associated Press)

Paul George scored a playoff career-high 39 points and had 12 rebounds Sunday night to lead Indiana back from a 19-point deficit and past the Washington Wizards, 95-92, leaving the Pacers one victory away from returning to the Eastern Conference finals.

The Pacers lead the second-round series 3-1 and can close it out Tuesday night at home.

George, who played 46 minutes Sunday, scored 28 points after halftime, including six of his franchise playoff record-tying seven three-pointers.

Roy Hibbert had 17 points and nine rebounds, continuing his recent surge after a poor-as-can-be start to the series. He helped Indiana overcome Washington’s 32-2 advantage in bench scoring.


That was thanks mainly to 30-somethings Al Harrington, Drew Gooden and Andre Miller, who combined for 28 points, 13 rebounds and six assists. Wizards Coach Randy Wittman likes to call that trio of not-yet-retired, best-days-behind-them guys — Miller, 38; Harrington, 34; Gooden, 32 — the “AARP group,” but they momentarily turned the game Washington’s way with a strong second quarter and a key stretch of the fourth.

There even were chants of “An-dre Mil-ler!” when he made two free throws in the fourth quarter to make it 85-76. But George willed the Pacers back.

His three-pointer with 51/2 minutes left made it 85-79, and another 30 seconds later made it 85-82, giving him seven from beyond the arc, matching a mark held by Reggie Miller and Chuck Person.

John Wall (12 points, seven assists) gave Washington what turned out to be its last lead at 91-90 with about two minutes to go. George pushed Indiana back in front with two foul shots, and the Pacers then made a key defensive stand, forcing a shot-clock violation.