The Indiana Pacers came through late against the Los Angeles Clippers to secure their sixth straight win. The Pacers and Clippers swapped leads, but it was Indiana who spent most of the night int he lead. But every time the Pacers would push the lead, the Clippers were there to close the gap right back to zero. Indiana went back up 16 in the fourth quarter, and after another Clippers run, the Pacers and hack-a-Ian helped push Indiana into the win column.
Indiana struggled offensively in the second quarter with shooting and for a stretch in the third with turnovers, but Los Angeles's own struggles helped the game stay well within reach for the Pacers, who took off once they got things sorted out in the second half, holding the Clippers to 33% shooting in the second half.
Paul George led the Pacers with 31 as part of a double double, pulling in 10 rebounds. George also had four assists and three steals, leading in assists on a night the Pacers struggled with assists. After seven first half assists, Indiana had nine in the second half, which moved them to assisting on 50% of their baskets. George enjoyed the challenge tonight from Lance Stephenson, who had 19 for the Clippers.
George was joined in double figures by Ian Mahinmi who had 14 points, seven rebounds, and four blocks, going 5-6 from the floor, and 4-6 from the free throw line. The Clippers used the hack-a-Ian strategy that has become commonplace in the last three games and Mahinmi responded in kind, hitting his free throws at a more than acceptable rate to help keep LA at bay.
Rodney Stuckey had a big game off the bench with 18 points, scoring 12 of those in the second half. Stuckey bowled his way into the Clippers defense. Jordan Hill had a good game as well, pulling in a team high eight rebounds and scoring 13. C.J. Miles and Monta Ellis each reached 10, both coming up when needed. Miles put in a crucial three to end the third, giving Indiana a three point lead heading into the fourth, and Ellis had a key steal to sink the dagger into the Clippers late.
Indiana at 12-5 extends their Eastern Conference best six game winning streak, moving them to 6-3 on the road and to a half game of first place in the East. They'll face a tough test tomorrow night when they travel north to Portland to face the Trail Blazers on the second night of a back-to-back.
While Portland's struggled with their transition, the Blazers still boast a lethal scoring duo of Damian Lillard (24.4 PPG) and C.J. McCollum (19.5 PPG) that could put Indiana in a difficult position if it bears any resemblance to the shootout between the two teams the last time George played in the Moda Center.