Just after the Colts redefined epic comeback a few blocks away, the Pacer delivered what has become a run-of-the-mill comeback this season, absolutely ambushing the New Orleans Pelicans in the third quarter and then never looking back en route to a 17-point win. Here are a few thoughts before the links:
- Lance Stephenson triggered the Pacers attack mode in the third quarter which had the Pacers taking over the game by being the aggressor on the court. As the Pacers learned in Toronto, where the Raptors took that roll, the aggressor not only gets to loose balls first but also gets the benefit of the doubt in bang-bang, 50/50 calls with the refs. The Pelicans and Anthony Davis in particular took exception to the physical play but all their protests earned them were three technical fouls.
- Stephenson scored 12 of this 19 points in the fourth quarter, making all five of his shots on plays at the rim. He even managed to turn a late foul New Orleans was trying to give into a shot attempt for a pair of free throws. To the aggressor goes the calls.
- Paul George needed 24 shots to score his 24 points as the Pacers star continues to struggle with his perimeter shot. After a couple of early makes it seemed like PG might be finding his shooting stroke, but he was unable to sustain his rhythm. George has made just four of his last 25 three-point attempts dating back to the fourth quarter of the Brooklyn win at home. Of course, PG finished with 24 points, 10 rebounds and shut down Eric Gordon in the second half. The young fella's ability to impact the game in so many different ways remains a beautiful things, even if his shot isn't right now.
- New Orleans fortified their early lead on perimeter shots Frank Vogel probably didn't mind seeing until they splashed through the net. In particular, center Alexis Ajinca drained three 20-foot two-point shots in the first quarter.
- It was nice to see former North Central/IU star Eric Gordon making plays with physical drives in the lane and that sweet and easy perimeter jumper that hasn't changed since ninth grade. Gordon scored 17 of his 21 points in the first half before getting a heavy dose of Paul George in the second half.
- The Pacers reserve unit deserves a lot of credit for the W, as well. While the starters took over the game in the third quarter, Danny Granger, Luis Scola and C.J. Watson kept the Pacers within touch in the second quarter and then continued their strong play to help finish off the 'Cans in the second half.
- Granger scored 13 points for his third consecutive double-figure game, but also did plenty of other little things on the court. He had a steal and also tied up Tyreke Evan on a drive to the hole, forcing a jump ball. Granger grabbed five rebounds including digging out an offensive board among the New Orleans bigs and then earning a foul. Granger and Scola combined to give the Pacers 21 points and 14 rebounds off the bench.
- The moment Andrew Luck hit T.Y. Hilton behind the Kansas City defense for the Colts game-winning touchdown, the Fieldhouse reaction spread quickly to an outburst of emotion from the stands. The jolt of positive energy in the joint sure didn't hurt the Pacers at the time. Pretty cool moment.
- The Pacers also beat Frankenstorm out of Indy to get to Cleveland where they will play the Cavaliers tonight.
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