WASHINGTON – With an emphasis on defense, Paul George, Roy Hibbert and the rest of the Indiana Pacers are suddenly performing the way they did at the start of the season.
And they don’t care how ugly the product looks.
Playing the way they did to earn the No. 1 seed — before a late-season swoon — the Pacers held the Wizards to a franchise-low scoring total Friday to win 85-63 and take a 2-1 lead in their best-of-seven Eastern Conference semifinal series.
“Listen, we don’t worry about if we’re looking good for TV. The other teams can do that, can fill that void with fancy basketball. We don’t worry about that,” Indiana forward David West said.
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Set aside George’s 23 points, and neither team looked good on offense.
Washington never had scored fewer than 75 points in a playoff game or fewer than 64 in a regular-season game.
“A clunker,” Wizards coach Randy Wittman called the performance.
LOS ANGELES – Kevin Durant scored 36 points, Russell Westbrook added 23 and Oklahoma City outplayed the Los Angeles Clippers in the fourth quarter for a 118-112 victory and a 2-1 lead in their West semifinal series.
Serge Ibaka added 20 points and Westbrook had 13 assists for the Thunder.
Blake Griffin scored 34 points, and Chris Paul had 21 points and 16 assists for the Clippers. Jamal Crawford, a graduate of Rainier Beach High School in Seattle, added 20 points.
• The NBA has selected Dick Parsons, a former Citigroup chairman and former Time Warner chairman and chief executive officer, to be interim CEO of the Los Angeles Clippers.
League officials are trying to force Clippers owner Donald Sterling to sell the franchise; he has been given a lifetime ban by the NBA for making racist remarks. Sterling is white. Parsons is black.
• Sacramento officials have completed a 35-year lease agreement for a downtown arena for the Kings that is scheduled to open in 2016. The Sacramento City Council is scheduled to vote on the deal May 20.
The arena will cost an estimated $477 million, with the city to pay $223 million.