The best and worst (but mainly the worst) moments from Washington’s 85-63 loss to Indiana at the Verizon Center.
Worst Game: After Wednesday’s Game 2 loss in Indianapolis, Wizards center Marcin Gortat urged fans to arrive early and ‘destroy the arena’ for Washington’s first second-round game at home since 2005. Dr. James Naismith would be happy to destroy the Verizon Center and any record of Friday’s debacle after the Wizards played one of the ugliest games in postseason history. Washington’s 63 points were its lowest ever in a playoff game.
Best News: Washington gets a chance to even the series on Sunday at home. Hooray!
Worst News: The team that has won Game 3 of a best-of-seven series when the series was tied 1-1 has gone on to win the series 75.9 percent of the time in NBA history. Boo statistics!
Worst Lines: The Verizon Center doors opened too late, the fans didn’t arrive early enough to clear security, or maybe it was a combination of the two. In any event, the crowd minutes before tip-off was surprisingly thin.
Worst Performance: It would’ve been better to arrive never than late. The Wizards shot 33 percent from the field and missed 10 of their 21 free throw attempts. Nene and Gortat combined for 12 points on 5-of-21 shooting and Bradley Beal didn’t get things going until the fourth quarter. Watching from home, the crowd sounded into it early in the fourth quarter despite the Wizards trailing by double digits.
Best Wizard: Trevor Ariza had 12 points and 15 rebounds, though he didn’t fare as well defensively on Paul George as he did in the first two games.
Best Play: On one of the rare occasions that the Wizards managed to turn a defensive rebound into a transition opportunity, John Wall lofted a perfect pass to Beal for an alley-oop that gave Washington a 37-36 lead early in the third quarter. You could feel #dcRising.
Worst Buzzkill: And then, before fans could reach for their Boom Banners, George Hill drilled a three-pointer on the Pacers’ ensuing possession to regain the lead. Hill’s shot sparked a 14-0 Indiana run that sucked the life out of the building.
Best Optimism: We’re struggling offensively,” Wizards coach Randy Wittman told Chris Broussard between the third and fourth quarters. “Our defense hasn’t been that bad, we just haven’t made shots. … We still have a chance here.”
Worst Remix: Drake has a reputation for being a bandwagon fan, so perhaps it was fitting that one of his songs made a surprise appearance during the Star Spangled Banner.
Worst Second-Round Drought: Washington hasn’t won a second-round game at home since the Bullets defeated the Spurs to advance to the NBA Finals on May 18, 1979.
Worst Jinx: “Washington has not played a bad game in the playoffs yet.” – Bill Simmons on the ESPN pregame show.
Best Half: For the Wizards, anyway. Washington scored 33 points in the first half and only 30 after the break. Gross.
Worst Turnovers: Indiana forced Washington to play at its mind-numbing pace for a second consecutive game and when the Wizards tried to force the issue, it didn’t turn out well. Wall had seven turnovers after having two in the first two games combined.
Best Support: As promised, John Thompson III was at the Verizon Center, rooting for both the Wizards and former Hoya Roy Hibbert. “I’m rocking the red, but I want the big dog to get 30 tonight,” Thompson said during the Comcast SportsNet pregame show. “… I’ve got D.C. flowing through my veins. I want the Wizards to win, but I want the big dog to have an even better game than last time.” Sorry, JTIII, this arrangement just isn’t working out. Hibbert had his second consecutive productive game with 14 points on 6-of-9 shooting and five rebounds.
Worst Flop: Drew Gooden made like ESPN’s NBA playoff anthem and went Timber twice in the second quarter, one of them resulting in a foul. David West was not amused.
Best Food: No wonder Andre Miller has been seen in the media dining room.
The Wizards treat the Media so well. We get amazing dinner (prime rib and scallops) but the best part? Halftime. Hot Waffles and ice cream — Dianna Marie Russini (@NBCdianna) May 10, 2014
Worst Payback: Maybe tonight’s game was the curse of the Little Monsters.