The Indiana Pacers desperately needed a break to go their way.
But after the score was tied at 93 with five minutes left to play last night against the Houston Rockets, there were no breaks to be had from outside sources. The Rockets had given away so many breaks in the waning minutes of previous games that they were fresh out of donations and determined to close out a tight game on the winning side.
The referees certainly weren't doling out favorable whistles for the Pacers and in fact kept catching the Pacers on the wrong end as they fluctuated between quick whistles and allowing physical play. Shortly after a critical technical foul was called on Josh McRobertsafter HE was fouled in a physical collision with Kyle Lowry, the Pacers grabbed two offensive rebounds and had three point-blank shots they couldn't convert. Of course, the Rockets were going after Danny Granger and Mike Dunleavy on the play appearing to want to stop the bunny and make them earn it at the line. But no call.
But begging for a break won't get it done over the long haul. The Pacers have to make their own breaks and it starts with executing the offense. I was disappointed to hear Mike Dunleavy complain about the offense and admit they had a poor couple of days of practice after the big win on Tuesday. How is that possible with this group? They have to know the razor thin margin of error they play with and in a game like last night, which was a replica of the Milwaukee loss, where the game is hanging in the balance late at home there's no excuse for the breakdowns in execution.
Fortunately, the Pacers take that bitter taste in their mouth to Cleveland tonight with a chance to immediately make amends.
After the jump, a few links of interest from last night's game along with the latest news on the Cavaliers and their injury issues.
- Box score
PACERS: Game Rewind: Rockets 102, Pacers 99
Game Rewind has video highlights, analysis, stats, quotes, notes, photos, and much, much more from Friday night's Pacers-Rockets game.
Pacers play out familiar story line
Mike Wells reports on a story he's written many times before.
- AP: Scola, Miller help Rockets beat Pacers
- Hoopdata Advanced Box Score - Houston Rockets vs Indiana Pacers 11/12/2010
Rockets edge Pacers 102-99 for 1st road win of season
Jonathan Feigen reports on the Rockets finally closing out a win after a frustrating start to the season.
- Rockets play like the Rockets. Win game. Correlation? - The Dream Shake
- Cavaliers: No Mo should mean more Sessions vs. Pacers
- Ohio.com - Cavs' depth on bench shrinking