The Indiana Pacers finally closed strong, breaking a 76-76 tie in the final minute of the third quarter, outscoring the Phoenix Suns 40-21 over the final 13 minutes to seal the victory. Indiana outscored Phoenix 12-0 out of the gate, but the Suns established themselves behind three point shooting from Mirza Teletovic in the second quarter, going up 36-34 when a power outage delayed action for 20 minutes.
When action resumed, the Pacers found a groove, outscoring Phoenix 18-6 in the final four and a half minutes, led by Ian Mahinmi, who scored seven of his 10 to close the half. But after pushing their lead to 13 early in the third, Phoenix ran off a 12-1 run to put them right back in the flow of the game, taking a brief 75-74 lead late in the quarter on a Devin Booker three pointer until Indiana pushed their lead to 80-76 at the end of the third.
The Pacers shot 52% from the floor and while Teletovic and the Suns appeared to control things from three point range, Indiana came on top, hitting 10 on 42% from deep, including four from George Hill, who was lethal from the corner yet again scoring 20 on the night. Paul George led Indiana with 21, getting to the line eight times, a solid outing considering he was limited in the first half with foul trouble.
C.J. Miles also had four threes as part of his 19, coming out of his recent struggles with a 4-6 night from deep, also coming up with a team high eight rebounds. Indiana struggled somewhat on the glass, allowing 14 offensive boards, and only coming up with eight themselves, led by Lavoy Allen, who had three offensive boards and seven overall to go with eight points.
Indiana did have 13 steals, eventually scoring 27 points off of 19 Phoenix turnovers, cruising in transition to outscore the Suns 27-11 in fast break points. All 13 players got minutes tonight, all scoring except for Rodney Stuckey, who left after four minutes with a sore right foot, not returning. In his absence, Glenn Robinson III had a pair of points and four boards. Myles Turner was out of the regular rotation tonight, but scored four in the final minutes.
The Pacers looked sharp in their fourth quarter performance, though the Suns who had hung around to that point struggled to keep pace with Indiana in the final quarter as the Pacers stepped up defensively. The Pacers for tonight found answers to their late game struggles, but will next tackle their struggles on back-to-backs when they face the Boston Celtics on the road tomorrow night.