Hibbert, Pacers rebound to beat Wizards

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Roy-Hibbert

Indiana Pacers center Roy Hibbert, right, lies on the court as Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal flips over while they go for a loose ball during the first half of game 2 of the Eastern Conference semifinal NBA basketball playoff series Wednesday, May 7, 2014, in Indianapolis. AP

INDIANAPOLIS, United States—Roy Hibbert overcame his lackluster playoffs with a season-best 28 points and nine rebounds to lead the Indiana Pacers to an 86-82 victory over the Washington Wizards on Thursday (Manila time) to level the Eastern Conference semifinals at 1-1.

It was a stark contrast to Hibbert’s abysmal, scoreless showing in Monday’s loss — and most of this year’s playoffs.

But after hearing 48 hours of constant criticism and continual questions, Hibbert responded with the kind of game Indiana desperately needed. He made his first four shots, dominated the middle and produced big basket after big basket.

Game 3 is Saturday (Manila time) in Washington.

Marcin Gortat had 21 points and Bradley Beal added 17 for the Wizards.

Washington took a 77-74 lead with 5:01 left in the game. Indiana scored six straight and never trailed again.

Washington had won all four of its previous road playoff games — three at Chicago and Monday night in Indy.

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