But after leading by just three points at the half, Paul George set the tone for a defensive attack in the third quarter to help the starting unit overwhelm the overmatched Lakers and then really give Turner a comfortable environment to go to work.
The Pacers shot over 58 percent and outscored the Lakers 34-16 in the third quarter, but that offensive outburst was fueled by an uptick in defense. Four steals and three blocks kept the Pacers on the run, as George invaded passing lanes all over the perimeter and the team as a whole helped and rotated at the elite level few other teams can reach.
Seems like it has been awhile since the D was that glaringly dominant, even if it was against the Lakers and just for the third quarter. That level of intensity on the defensive end from the starting unit is far more important to the big picture than what the reserve unit delivers.
As for Turner's debut, his skill set in the mix makes the Pacers a different team. We'll see if they are better, and all indications are that they will improve the reserve production, but for now they are definitely different with another player who can go into attack mode with the ball in his hands.
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