- The Washington Wizards’ playoff road success continued on Tuesday in Indianapolis with a 102-79 thrashing of the Indiana Pacers. The victory cut Indiana’s series lead to 3-2 and improved Washington’s road mark to 5-1 this postseason. The issue for the Wizards has been at home, which is where Game 6 takes place on Thursday. The Pacers took Game 3 at the Verizon Center by holding Washington to a franchise-low 63 points and rallied from 19 down to claim Game 4.
- Marcin Gortat had 31 points and 16 rebounds in Game 5 for Washington two days after going for two points and three rebounds in just 21 minutes during the Game 4 loss at home. “From our perspective it would be better because we play better on the road,” Gortat said of whether it would be better for the Wizards to play elsewhere. “But for our fans, I’m glad we have it at home.” Asked about how to make the game feel more like a road game, Wizards coach Randy Wittman said, “I tried to get gold shirts put on the seats out there, but I see they didn’t listen to me.”
- With a chance to close out the series on Tuesday, the Pacers allowed the Wizards to rebound after three straight losses by not rebounding the ball. Like at all. Washington finished with a 62-23 advantage on the glass. Part of the discrepancy comes from the Pacers dropping players back on defense to slow down John Wall and the Wizards’ fast break. Still, that doesn’t completely explain minus-39 on the boards. “There’s a lot of factors going into that number,” Pacers coach Frank Vogel said. “If we take care of the defensive glass we’ll be OK. We certainly have to honor their running game so we’re not going to send three crashers to the glass.”
- Indiana’s All-Star forward Paul George, who had 39 points in Game 4 in Washington,tops all scorers this series with 21.2 points per game. Bradley Beal leads the Wizards with 19.2 points.
- Washington has not won a home playoff game beyond the first round since 1979, the last year the franchise reached the NBA Finals.
– Ben Standig