The Pacers used a monster third quarter, outscoring the Blazers 31-14 after the half, to take control of their early December matchup in Indy. The Blazers rallied in the fourth but the Pacers hung on for a 99-92 win at the Fieldhouse.
This is when Paul George started trending as a beast, following up his 34-point game in Chicago with a solid 22 points and eight rebounds. Blazers wing Nicolas Batum also came down with PG disease, scoring just five points as a non-factor for Portland.
The key for the Pacers will be to keep Batum and Damian Lillard (who was fantastic in the last meeting, btw) under control while winning the front court battle. LaMarcus Aldridge presents plenty of problems but as a whole, the Blazers front court doesn't intimidate anyone and the Pacers need to take advantage around the bucket.
As a tasty subplot, keep an eye on Portland's rookie Meyers Leonard and Tyler Hansbrough. Leonard returned to action in Porltand's last game against Washington after missing 11 games with a bad ankle sprain. During the last game, Hansbrough took residence under Leonard's skin, as he is wont to do, and the big fella out of Illinois struggled to hide his exasperation while Hansbrough ended up with 10 points. Personally, I'm looking forward to the pair reacquainting tonight.
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