John Wall also made a statement in his first elimination game. In Game 4, he literally looked afraid to shoot under pressure, but in this game he was a whirlwind of aggression. He scored 27 points and drilled three 3-pointers, leaving his arm in the air after each like he expected to make them. It was a completely different visage than his tentative performance over the weekend. Oddly, the Wizards have just played with more passion on the road in the playoffs than at home. They're now 5-1 on the road, 1-3 in D.C.
Still, it was tough to see past that rebounding number. It exploded out of the box score like a wound. Seeing the Wizards get loose ball after loose ball, it almost seemed staged in an odd way.
After making progress and looking like the No. 1 seed by fighting back from being down 3-2 to the Atlanta Hawks in the last round to seize control by winning three of the first four games against the Wizards, the Pacers took another step backward.
"When you have control over a series and have a chance to end it you have to," George said. "We're a group that's been together for a while. We've been in these situations before; there's no excuse for this."