Indiana Pacers defeated Washington Wizards in the sixth game of the second round of the postseason series 93-80 to move to the Eastern Conference finals on Thursday night at the Verizon Center.
The Pacers will face defending champions Miami Heat in the conference finals for the second straight year at home starting 18 May.
Indiana started the game strongly and built a six-point lead in the first quarter, which was stretched to 12-point by the end of the second half. The Pacers increased their lead to 16 points in the third but the Wizards rallied back with an 11-2 run to cut the deficit.
The Wizards tried to make a comeback in the final run of play with John Wall, who played aggressively but Indiana defended quite well when required.
"It was a poor basketball game all the way around in Game 5, and nobody was happy about it," Indiana coach Frank Vogel said. "And they came out and played angry."
David West racked up 29 points, six rebounds and four assists for the Pacers, while Lance Stephenson finished with 17 points and eight assists. Marcin Gortat had 19 points and six rebounds, and John Wall ended with 12 points and nine assists for the Wizards.
"I think we all felt we had an opportunity here to do more than we did, and that's a good feeling for those guys," Washington coach Randy Wittman said. "They're hurting in there, and when you hurt, that means you care."
Meanwhile, in the second game of the day, Oklahoma City Thunder defeated Los Angeles Clippers 104-98 to book the Western Conference finals clash with San Antonio Spurs.
The Clippers built a 14-point lead in the first quarter of the game but the Thunder rallied back in the next two quarters to even the scores 72-72, heading into the final quarter. OKC then got the better of Los Angeles in the final run of play, to advance into the Western Conference finals for the third time in the last four years.
Kevin Durant scored 39 points and 16 rebounds, Russell Westbrook finished with 19 points and 12 assists for the Thunder. Chris Paul added 25 points and 11 assists for the Clippers, while Blake Griffin finished with 22 points but could not avoid a second straight loss in the playoffs.
Catch the highlights of Indiana Pacers v Washington Wizards HERE.
Catch the highlights of Los Angeles Clippers v Oklahoma City Thunder HERE.