NBA News Wire

Pacers 86, Wizards 82

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INDIANAPOLIS — Led by a near career night from center Roy Hibbert, the Indiana Pacers answered the Washington Wizards in the second game of their Eastern Conference semifinal series.

Hibbert scored 28 points, one short of his playoff career high, and grabbed a team-high nine rebounds in Indiana’s 86-82 victory Wednesday.

The best-of-seven series, tied at a game apiece, shifts to Washington’s Verizon Center for Game 3 on Friday and Game 4 on Sunday.

Guard Lance Stephenson hit a 3-pointer with 21.4 seconds left, giving the Pacers a five-point lead. Stephenson finished with 12 points, and guard George Hill scored 14.

Washington forward Trevor Ariza nailed a 3-pointer with 11.4 seconds left, cutting the deficit to two points, but Indiana forward David West hit two free throws with 10.1 seconds left.

Center Marcin Gortat led Washington with 21 points and grabbed a game-high 11 rebounds. Guard Bradley Beal added 17 points, and forward Nene scored 14.

Hibbert, who was held scoreless Monday in the opening game of the series, established himself immediately. He scored on his first jump shot 30 seconds into the game, then added a three-point play 56 seconds into the game. Those two plays helped send Indiana to an early 7-0 lead.

By halftime, Hibbert had 17 points on 5-of-7 shooting, more than twice the points of any other player on either team.

When Ariza’s final 3-point attempt fell short in the game’s final second, Hibbert grabbed his final rebound.

The Wizards fell behind by eight points in the first quarter and went nearly three minutes before scoring their basket on a 3-pointer by Ariza. They tied the score in the final minute of the opening quarter on a 3-pointer by forward Martell Webster.

After leading by two points at halftime, the Wizards turned up their inside game in the third quarter. Gortat scored 11 points on 5-of-8 shooting and grabbed five rebounds in the quarter. He scored just two points in the fourth quarter.

Stephenson had some big moments in the third quarter. After hitting a 3-pointer to put Indiana up 58-55, he forced a Wizards turnover by knocking the ball out of bounds off Beal. Stephenson was fouled by Beal on the Pacers’ possession following the throw-in, and he drilled both three throws for a five-point Indiana lead with 4:29 left in the quarter. Stephenson scored a team-high 10 points in the period.

NOTES: In the first quarter, Washington F Trevor Ariza missed a 3-point shot for the first time in the series. Ariza hit all six 3-pointers he took in Monday’s 102-96 win. Entering Wednesday’s game, he ranked third among all NBA players with a 3-point shooting percentage of .559 in the playoffs. … Washington G Bradley Beal, 20, is the youngest player in NBA history to score at least 25 points in three playoffs games in one postseason. … Indiana C Andrew Bynum, who played in just two regular-season games after being signed to a one-season deal as a free agent Feb. 1 as a backup to starting C Roy Hibbert, will not be with the team in the playoffs, the Pacers announced Wednesday. Bynum, 26, could not recover from a knee injury. He last played March 15. “He made multiple efforts to try and get out on the court, and his knee wasn’t responding,” coach Frank Vogel said.