I enjoyed a lovely Christmas musical show at my kids' school last night while occasionally peering at the score of the Pacers game during the first half.
It appeared like it was going to be one of those nights when a player, in this case C.J. Miles, comes out of nowhere to ambush the Pacers and send them to a loss. But when I hopped in the car and saw that, yes, the Pacers had given up 58 first half points, but Miles had 23 and made five of six three-pointers and yet the Pacers were still only down six points, I figured they home team was in pretty good shape.
Surely, Miles would mellow and if he goes for 46, then you tip your hat and suck up the loss. But instead the Pacers stayed the course and the Cavs came back down to Earth where they found a stingy defense hounding the ball. That was one crazy turnaround as the Pacers held the Cavs to eight made FGs in the second half, which helped the Pacers maintain their standing among the elite defensive teams in the NBA.
Ben and Tyler Hansbrough sure shook things up and drew plenty of attention, but again, the starters made things happen. Paul George had an extremely quiet 27 points which is a beautiful thing. Quiet because it suddenly isn't so surprising to see PG take on a big chunk of the scoring load.
The subtle change of B-Hansbrough (OK, nothing is subtle about the Hansbroughs) with the second unit seemed to shake up the team dynamic a bit. He certainly played his role well last night. But this was a sound team effort, pulling together when the going got tough and finding a way to get going and earn another win.
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