INDIANAPOLIS -- The home team in this series is 1-4 which means even though the Wizards are at Verizon Center vs. the Indiana Pacers for Game 6 Thursday it's hardly an advantage. "This sounds crazy," center Marcin Gortat said, "but unfortunately we're going to play at home. Everybody knows how we play at home."
Instead of giving the sellout of 20,000-plus shirts or rally towels in the Wizards' colors of red, white and blue, maybe they should make them the Pacers' gold and blue.
Including the Wizards' first-round series with the Chicago Bulls, the home teams are 2-8. Gortat made those remarks after his 31 points and 16 rebounds sparked the Wizards to a 102-79 win in Game 5 at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. They trail the Pacers in the series 3-2.
"Our biggest focus was let's just get it back to D.C., regardless of how we play," said Bradley Beal, who had 18 points in Game 5. "Let's get it back to D.C., man. We accomplished that goal. We're confident moving forward."
The last time the Wizards played at Verizon, however, they squandered a 19-point lead in a 95-92 loss which was their second home defeat in a row. Paul George took over the game in the second half and scored a career playoff-high 39 points while being defended by Trevor Ariza.
"I don't know. I guess that's just the way the game is now," Ariza said when asked about the difficulty winning at home. "I remember when I first came in (to the NBA), it was hard to win in other places. Things have changed a little bit. Our crowd has been great these playoffs.
"We're cornered so we got to fight our way out that corner. If we keep the same intensity, the same mentality, we give ourselves a chance."
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Drew Gooden, who has been a spark off the bench because of his energy and rebounding more than his scoring, believes the Wizards can win three in a row to take the series.
"We definitely feel like we can finish this," Gooden said. "This series could be the other way around with us leading. We are still confident in this series. We're going to take it a possession at a time, not a game at a time, and see where we're at."