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Pacers 95, Wizards 92

The SportsXchange

WASHINGTON -- Forward Paul George scored 15 of his 39 points in the fourth quarter, and the Indiana Pacers rallied from a 19-point, second-half deficit for a 95-92 win over the Washington Wizards in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference semifinal series.

The Pacers, who lost the series opener, hold a commanding a 3-1 lead after winning consecutive road games. They will have a chance to close out the Wizards on Tuesday night in Indianapolis.

George, who finished with 12 rebounds, hit 12 of 20 shots from the floor, including seven of 10 3-point attempts. Indiana center Roy Hibbert scored 15 of his 17 points in the second half, and guard George Hill added 15 points. Forward David West contributed 14 points and a game-high eight assists.

Guard Bradley Beal scored 20 points and forward Trevor Ariza had 16 for the Wizards.

Washington led 57-38 seconds into the third quarter, but Indiana tied the score at 74-74 less than two minutes into the fourth.

Sparked throughout by their veteran bench options including forwards Drew Gooden and Al Harrington, the Wizards immediately pushed back for an 85-76 lead with 7:09 remaining. The Pacers had another surge at the ready.

George made consecutive 3-pointers. He and fellow All-Star Hibbert combined to score 18 of Indiana's final 19 points, with George's free throws giving the Pacers the lead for good at 92-91 with 1:47 remaining. With 1:01 left, Hibbert increased the margin to 94-91 with a 12-footer.

After the teams each hit one free throw, Washington trailed 95-92 with 6.1 seconds to go. The Wizards never got off a potential game-tying attempt, as George stole forward Trevor Ariza's errant pass.

Harrington scored 11 points and Gooden had 10, helping Washington's reserves outscore Indiana's 32-2.

After setting a franchise low for points in an 85-63 loss in Game 3, the Wizards led 55-38 at halftime.

Washington, which made the made the playoffs for the first time since 2008, previously came back from a 3-1 series deficit in 1978 when the organization won the NBA championship.

The Pacers prevailed Sunday despite committing 20 turnovers.

Wizards guard John Wall suffered a scratched right eye during the second half Friday. In between Games 3 and 4, Wall wore a contact lens in the hopes of limiting any swelling or blurriness.

He directed the Wizards to 18 fast-break points in the first half after they managed just nine combined in Games 2 and 3. However, Washington did not add to that total after halftime Sunday. Wall finished 4-for-11 from the field for 12 points, and he handed out seven assists.

Once again, the series pivoted on Hibbert's production. During the opening 32 minutes Sunday, he had just two points as Indiana trailed 70-56 with 3:35 left in the third quarter. The big man then tallied nine of the Pacers' next 11 points as Indiana ended the period with a 15-2 run.

George had the other six in that span. His two 3-pointers and his three-point play early in the fourth quarter tied the game at 74-74, but Gooden, Harrington and guard Andre Miller then scored 11 of Washington's first 13 points in the fourth to give the Wizards an 85-76 lead.

NOTES: Indiana led 27-26 after the first quarter, marking the first time Washington trailed after the opening period in nine playoff games this year. ... Also in the first quarter, Wizards F Trevor Ariza made all four of his field-goal attempts, including two 3-pointers. In the first quarter of games in the series, Ariza is 12-for-15 from field and 7-for-8 on 3-pointers. ... Washington Redskins stars Robert Griffin III and DeSean Jackson watched from courtside. ... Washington's last home playoff appearance beyond the first round came in the 1979 NBA Finals against the Seattle SuperSonics.

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