Wizards-Pacers, Game 6: Live updates

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Home crowd salutes the Wizards

Wizards get a standing ovation from the slowly emptying Verizon Center crowd. Chants of ‘Let’s go Wizards!’ as well.

Wizards fans heading to exits

With 90 seconds to play and the Wizards trailing, 89-76, fans are beginning to hit the exits. Barring a miracle, the Wizards’ season ends two games short of the Eastern Conference Finals. Washington falls to 1-4 at home during this postseason.

Beal gives Wizards lead, 74-73

Bradley Beal rips a rebound from Roy Hibbert on the defensive end, then sinks three-pointer with 8:31 left in regulation for a 74-73 lead. It’s the Wizards’ first lead since 8-7.

Three Pacers in foul trouble

Paul George, Lance Stephenson and George Hill all have three personal fouls for the Pacers. George has just seven points, yet Indiana is well in front late in the third quarter.

Difficult to watch

After cutting the Pacers’ lead to seven, the Wizards trail by 13 with 3:52 to play in the third. It’s been an ugly game to watch, especially if you don’t have a rooting interest. Former Nationals catching prospect Derek Norris is not impressed.

 

Stephenson sinks huge three-pointer

Just when the Wizards appeared poised to cut deeper into their deficit, Lance Stephenson answers for the Pacers with a three-pointer from the left baseline as the shot clock expired. Indiana has the Wizards on the ropes with a 68-55 lead with 3:52 left in the third quarter.

Wizards finally attacking the basket

The Wizards were able to go on an 11-2 run to open the second half because they decided to go hard to the rim. John Wall in particular has been much more aggressive, including switching hands in mid-air on a layup that cut the deficit to 58-51.

The Verizon Center crowd

There are plenty of good seats available if you’re in the area. The Wizards have cut the deficit to seven with 7:46 to play in the third.

Wizards cut margin to 58-51

Nene sinks 1 of 2 FTs, and John Wall goes end to end before finishing with a tough contested layup to bring Wizards within 58-51 via an 11-2 run to open second half. Timeout Pacers.

Halftime adjustments

None of these are jokes:

 

Wizards trail at halftime, 52-40

If you’re a glass half-full type of Wizards fan, then consider the margin at halftime could be far larger given how poorly they played. Washington missed 12 of 18 shots and was disjointed offensively. Nene (team-high 10 points) showed signs of being engaged but wasn’t able establish a consistent rhythm. The Pacers, meanwhile, shot 59 percent (20 for 34), with Lance Stephenson and David West each scoring 11 and combining to shoot 9 for 16.

No way to end a drought

The Wizards do know this is an elimination game, right? Trailing 52-40 at halftime and with no spark, Washington is 24 minutes away from its sixth consecutive loss at home in an elimination game. Nene has to channel his inner Elvin Hayes in the second half.

Shooting woes in second quarter

Wizards are shooting 5 for 15 in the second quarter. They need a push in the final two minutes to get the margin below double figures if possible heading into the locker room.

Wizards showing no urgency

Pacers are playing much more like it’s an elimination game for them, not the other way around. Sloppy possessions for the Wizards, who haven’t been able to get into any rhythm offensively.

Wizards call timeout

Coach Randy Wittman has seen enough after Lance Stephenson scores on breakaway dunk to give Pacers 39-27 lead with 6:36 left until halftime. Pacers are shooting 62 percent (16 for 26).

It’s beginning to feel a lot like Game 3

The Wizards were historically bad in Game 3, and while they’re on pace for more than 63 points tonight, their energy is lacking and they haven’t made a field goal in nearly five minutes.

Perhaps Randy Wittman can wake up his team during this timeout.

Danger zone for Wizards

Washington trails by 10 points, 37-27, with 8:38 to play until halftime. Wizards are having issues getting stops.

Nene starting slowly

Nene has missed 4 of 6 shots and missed the rim completely on his last attempt, leading to a turnover as the shot clock expired. Wizards aren’t going to win this game without more contributions from their starting power forward.

Veteran backups enter for Wizards

Drew Gooden, Al Harrington and Andre Miller start the second quarter for the Wizards along with Martell Webster and Bradley Beal.

Pacers can’t miss

Well, they missed six shots in the first quarter, but they made 13.

 

Wizards trail after 1Q, 29-23

Pacers shoot 13 for 19 (68.4 percent). Wizards shoot 10 for 21 (47.6). Bradley Beal having all kinds of trouble defending Lance Stephenson (nine points, 4-for-5 shooting, two assists), who has gotten to the rim virtually at will.

Lance Stephenson on the attack

Lance Stephenson has seven points on 3-for-4 shooting, including posting up Bradley Beal, then sinking floater over Marcin Gortat. Bad news for Wizards if Stephenson continues with this type of focus.

Gortat on the spot

When you’re hot, you’re hot…and you get a bit lucky. Marcin Gortat already has six points on 3-of-4 shooting. He also grabbed an offensive rebound on this wild shot by John Wall.

RGIII is in the house

JTIII’s reportedly not in the building, but RGIII is. The Redskins quarterback is sitting with rapper Wale.

Hey, Bruce Smith.

David West in rhythm early

Pacers forward David West is 3 for 4 from the field, including a pair of step-back jumpers. His first field goal came after sinking a jumper and drawing contact for a three-point play.

No-call on Beal jumper

Bradley Beal takes it strong to the rim, draws contact, but no foul called. Fans not happy.

Put your shirts on

The Wizards gave out red, white and blue T-shirts tonight. Unlike the T-shirt giveaway during the first-round series against Chicago, when the colors were arranged by level, tonight they’re arranged by section. Theoretically, this should create beautiful vertical stripes of red, white and blue. Unfortunately, many fans are choosing not to wear the freebies.

Nene picks up early foul

David West sinks turnaround jumper after Nene hits him om the arm. His bonus FT makes it 3-2 Pacers.

Wizards about to tip-off

After a rousing national anthem, we’re about to tip at Verizon Center. Looks like a partial sellout. Some empty seats in the rafters.

Pregame prediction

Maybe this guy knows what’s going to happen tonight…

The Wizards have had different players step up throughout the series. In Tuesday’s must-win game in Indiana, it was Marcin Gortat, who had 31 points and 16 rebounds and caused Shaquille O’Neal to lose his mind.

Should we sound the Barbecue Pierogi Alert again tonight, or will another player be the star for Washington? Gortat’s big game overshadowed John Wall’s 27-point effort in Game 5. Even if he doesn’t reach that point total again, I think Wall will be the difference for the Wizards tonight. What about you?

‘You the man! You the man!’


‘That’s the reason I’m a Bullets fan!’

We looked back at the classic Bullets anthem from the mid-90s before Game 5 and that worked out pretty well, so give it another play before tip-off tonight if you’re superstitious.

Whatever happens tonight…

A loss tonight would certainly be disappointing, but it’s important to put the Wizards’ postseason run to this point in perspective.

“If we had said six months ago that come May 15th there would be six teams left in the NBA season and the Wizards would be one of them, what would you have said?” Steve Buckhantz asked during the Comcast SportsNet pregame show.

“We’ll take it,” Ron Thompson replied.

Sounds about right.

The good dudes at Bullets Forever emphasized that point with a series of tweets earlier today.

Homecourt disadvantage?

The Wizards are 5-1 on the road this postseason and 1-3 at Verizon Center. Washington’s NBA franchise hasn’t won a second-round playoff game at home since 1979 and it’s lost its previous five games when facing elimination on its own court. Things are so bad that Marcin Gortat said it’s unfortunate Game 6 is at home and Wizards coach Randy Wittman was looking for ways to replicate the feeling of being in Indianapolis.

It’s not easy being a D.C. sports fan. Can the Wizards exorcise some of their demons tonight and force a Game 7?

Wizards vs. Pacers: Game 6

Welcome to tonight’s live blog for Game 6 of the Eastern Conference semifinals between the Washington Wizards and Indiana Pacers from Verizon Center. The Wizards are trying to force a Game 7 in Indianapolis after extending the series with a 102-79 win on the road Tuesday night.

The Wizards are playing on the same night Lady Gaga had originally scheduled a show at Verizon Center that wound up being moved to Monday, much to the relief of the Little Monsters.

Michael Lee has the story on John Wall telling home fans: “We owe them a win.”

Dan Steinberg writes on John Thompson III skipping tonight’s tilt, according to the Hoyas coach’s brother.

Mike Wise columnizes on Randy Wittman.

Gene Wang is a sports reporter covering multiple beats, including Navy football, the Capitals, Wizards, Nationals, women’s basketball, auto racing, boxing and golf. He also covers Fantasy Football.
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