The ways in which the Wizards lost Game 3 are too numerous to chronicle. Three-point shooting. Free-throw shooting. A playoff-high seven turnovers by John Wall. Just 33% field-goal shooting. Only 10 assists. A franchise playoff low 63 points. Add it all up and they now trail 2-1 to the Indiana Pacers entering a must-win Game 4 Sunday at Verizon Center.
"I didn't think we had (four) guys running with him the way we are capable of doing from an offensive standpoint," Wizards coach Randy Wittman said of Wall, who was trying to push the pace but it produced just eight transition points. "That's got to be something we keep working on. It's a series now. That's what seven-game series are about. We need to put this game to rest and come out on Sunday and get a win. That's what it boils down to."
The Pacers have been able to muck up the last two games, erasing their disappointing Game 1 loss at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. The Wizards have shot 60-for-153, or 39%, in that span. They're 9-for-37 from three-point range, or 24%.
Trevor Ariza was the Wizards' only starter to shoot 50%. He made 4 of 8 shots, but he missed 4 of 6 from three-point range. He did have a game- and career-playoff high 15 rebounds but in an 85-63 loss it doesn't really matter.
"We are a team that plays well when we are getting up and down the court and making extra-effort plays and playing with a lot of energy," Ariza said. "In the second half, we got away from that."
The ball stopped moving. On one possession, Beal dribbled the ball until about 11 seconds remained on the shot clock. Paul George was aggressive and bumped Beal as he lost control of the ball for a backcourt violation. Beal had a pass that was too low for Nene in the high post that led to a transition layup for Lance Stephenson. Nene missed two free throws. Marcin Gortat was called for traveling. That's how a 34-33 halftime deficit for the Wizards became 60-45 entering the fourth quarter.
"We had good shots that we wanted. We just didn't make them," Wall said. "We'd turn the ball over too many times."