Sleep? Who needs sleep?
After staying up to watch the Indiana Pacers hold on to beat the Los Angels Clippers in a game that didn't want to end, the alarm clock this morning spewed a vicious sound. But that big W in Staples Center last night sure helped my groggy disposition this morning.
The Pacers dominated the bulk of the minutes against the Clippers but were combined -8 in the final minute of the second and third quarters which dulled the pain the Clips felt and kept them in the hunt. Vinny Del Negro threw a zone and some odd player combinations at the Pacers in the second half, the most effective of which had Chris Paul and Blake Griffin on the bench, which turned the Pacers offensive into a grinding mess.
Adding to the comeback momentum for LAC were enough missed free throws to let the Clippers continue to nudge their way back into the game until it was a one-possession thriller down the stretch. But in a surprising development, George Hill, Tyler Hansbrough and Paul George combined to make eight consecutive free throws in the final 32 second to close out the win without ever relinquishing the lead.
With more than enough opportunities to fold and return home with a 3-1 road trip, the Pacers clutched that W like grim death then were able to exhale and fly home where they'll enjoy three full days off before Kevin Durant and the Oklahoma City Thunder arrive at the Fieldhouse for their next challenge.
The win also helped the Pacer reach their goal of returning to a .500 road record after starting the season 1-6 away from BLF.
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