Wizards top Pacers in NBA series opener
Lance Stephenson (L) of the Indiana Pacers and Bradley Beal of the Washington Wizards during Game One of the Eastern Conference Semifinals at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on May 5, 2014 - by Andy Lyons
The Wizards improved to 4-0 on the road in this post-season as they seized the lead in the best-of-seven Eastern Conference second-round series.
Beal added seven rebounds, seven assists and five steals on Monday as Ariza connected on six of six attempts from three-point range for the Wizards, who hadn't played since wrapping up a 4-1 first-round series win over Chicago Bulls last Tuesday.
The Pacers, meanwhile, needed seven games to get past Atlanta, advancing with a game-seven win on Saturday.
Marcin Gortat and Drew Gooden each posted double-doubles in the comprehensive triumph -- Washington's first since 1982 in the second round of the playoffs.
Gortat finished with 12 points and 15 rebounds and Gooden posted 12 points and pulled down 13 rebounds in less than 18 minutes off the bench.
John Wall did his part also, contributing 13 points and nine assists.
The Pacers, who earned the top seed in the East with a 56-26 regular season record, won back-to-back games to squeeze past the Hawks n the first round.
But they haven't won three games in a row since a four-game winning streak against non-playoff teams back in March.
Paul George and George Hill scored 18 points apiece in the defeat, which leaves the Pacers hoping to even the score when they host game two on Wednesday.
The Eastern Conference semi-finals continue on Tuesday when two-time defending NBA champions Miami host the Brooklyn Nets.
The Nets won all four regular-season games against the Heat, but three of those games were decided by a single point and Brooklyn won't be taking anything for granted.
"We know we can beat them, but there's a difference between regular season and the playoffs," Brooklyn All-Star guard Joe Johnson said.
While the Nets battled out a seven-game first-round victory over Toronto, Miami swept the Charlotte Bobcats in the first round.
Heat superstar LeBron James said the extra rest had let players -- including himself -- recover from injuries.
Now the Heat are poised to continue their pursuit of a third straight title.
"This is going to be a very challenging round," Miami's Dwyane Wade said. "You wouldn't want it any other way."