When it was over and the Indiana Pacers sent the red-and-white-clad crowd home wondering if Verizon Center had hosted its final game of the NBA postseason, the only clues that star Paul George had just finished a virtuoso playoff performance Sunday night came from his sweat-soaked yellow jersey and the ice packs wrapped around his quads, knees and calves. But with his hands interlocked behind his head and legs stretched out across a folding chair, he was otherwise a postgame picture of satisfaction. George had willed his team back from a 19-point second-half deficit with a steady barrage of big three-pointers. He refused to leave the game or abandon his defensive assignment on Washington Wizards star Bradley Beal. When Coach Frank Vogel pleaded with him to take a breather, George refused. He even ended Game 4 with the ball in his hands, moments after grabbing the final rebound that ultimately clinched Indiana’s 95-92 victory. “What Paul George did tonight was special,” Vogel said. “There’s no way else to put it.” The Pacers grabbed a 3-1 lead over the Wizards in this Eastern Conference semifinal series behind George’s 39 points — a career playoff high — and 12 rebounds, a scintillating effort that allowd Indiana to head back home for Game 5 confident it will have the best player on the floor. George was electric, scoring 11 points in the first quarter. He was just starting. He had 13 points in the third quarter, combining with Roy Hibbert for Indiana’s final 18 points of the period when Washington’s lead was trimmed to one. When the Wizards regained a nine-point advantage in the fourth quarter, George answered with two consecutive three-pointers and Indiana’s next eight points. He then delivered the Pacers the lead for the first time since the end of the first quarter on two free throws with 2 minutes 24 seconds remaining in regulation, part of a 15-point fourth quarter.
Paul George carries Pacers to Game 4 win over the Wizards
Washington Post | May 12