Swingman Paul George scored a game-high 23 points with 8 rebounds, 4 assists and 3 steals to lead the No. 1 seed Indiana Pacers to their second straight victory over the Washington Wizards, 85-63, in game three of the Eastern Conference semifinals at the Verizon Center in D.C. The Pacers now lead the series, 2-1.

Washington fell into an awful shooting slump, making just 32 percent of their shots throughout the entire game. The Wizards scored just 33 points in the first half and had just 45 points by the end of the third quarter. Indiana outscored Washington, 26-12, in the third quarter to run away with the game.

Pacers center Roy Hibbert didn’t have the same success he had in game two but still put up solid numbers with 14 points, 5 rebounds and 3 blocks. Hibbert gave Wizards big man Nene problems: Nene scored just 8 points on 3 of 14 shooting.

Wizards guard Brad Beal also struggled to make shots from the field; Beal had a team-high 16 points but made just 6 of 19 shot attempts, 1 of 5 from the arc. John Wall had just 15 points with 6 assists.

“We’re happy with the win but” remain unsatisfied, said Pacers head coach Frank Vogel. “We know we have a lot of games in a tough series left.”

Washington hosts the Pacers again for game 4 of the series at the Verizon Center on May 11. Tip off is at 8 p.m.

Perry Green

AFRO Sports Editor