The Pacers are where they were supposed to be all along. In the Eastern Conference Finals, with homecourt advantage, against the Heat.
It was not easy. It was a long and winding road to get there. But here they are.
On the back of David West, a rock offensively this postseason who has found the big shots when his team needed a big offensive performance desperately. He scored 29 points as the Pacers used a 20-6 run to put the Wizards away and finish off their second round series with a 93-80 win at Verizon Center.
Washington rallied from a double-digit deficit and took the lead behind a Bradley Beal 3-pointer. John Wall used his blinding speed to get out in the open court as the Wizards were finally able to push the pace. Indiana lost control over the game.
West calmed the Pacers down. That is what he has done time and time again. He hit jumpers and got post ups to go around the basket.
The Wizards began pressing and the shots stopped falling. That momentary lead was gone in a hurry and the Pacers finished things off.
Lance Stephenson woke up from his season-long slumber to support West, scoring 17 points. That is just in time too with the Heat coming up.
Marcin Gortat scored 19 points as Wall and Beal struggled from the floor. Washington had the effort and nearly got it. But experience and poise won the day for Indiana. Now the Pacers get exactly what they have wanted all year.