By Scott Agness
The Pacers handled their business Thursday night at the Verizon Center, finishing off the Washington Wizards in six games, 93-80, to advance to the Eastern Conference Finals for the second consecutive season. David West shouldered the load, with 18 of his game-high 29 points in the second half.
Still with a bad taste in their mouth from their Game 5 loss, the Pacers were locked-in and played angry. Indiana set the tone early by going inside where the duo of West and Roy Hibbert teamed up for the team’s first nine points.
Indiana’s defense didn’t let Washington get comfortable and held them scoreless in transition through the first two quarters. The Pacers’ lead expanded to double-digits midway through the second period on a pair of free throws from C.J. Watson. They visited the line much more frequently (9-for-13) after just two first-quarter attempts. The Pacers limited the Wizards to 33 percent shooting in the second, evened the rebounding total and held a 12-point halftime advantage, 52-40.
All five Indiana starters scored in double figures for the first time this postseason.
Roy Hibbert added 11 points, seven rebounds and three blocks.
“We stayed together, we didn’t split apart. We didn’t want to go back to Indy as much as we love Indy, for a Game 7. They came out swinging and we stayed together and we finished the game.” – Roy Hibbert.
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