The Indiana Pacers earned a much needed win the night after Thanksgiving as the city of Indianapolis held its annual Christmas tree lighting downtown. The Pacers held a players-only meeting following yesterday’s practice to discuss their recent offensive struggles, and saw the offense explode for a blowout win over the Brooklyn Nets.
The Pacers shot over 60% for much of the night, hitting 11-26 from three-point range to overwhelm the Nets. Brooklyn played well early, jumping ahead on an 11-0 run in the first quarter as the Pacers committed 10 early turnovers, but once Indiana cleaned up their mistakes, the game wasn’t close as the Pacers went up by as many as 31 in the fourth quarter.
Indiana was led early and often by Glenn Robinson III, who had a career high 20 points to lead the Pacers, hitting four three pointers. Robinson has made the most of his starts in place of an injured Paul George, averaging 14.7 points per game in his three starts with eight of his 10 three pointers of the season coming in those three games. Robinson will have to make the most of his minutes in the next two games as George will continue to sit.
Robinson led six Pacers in double figures, including big nights from Rodney Stuckey and Al Jefferson. Stuckey led Indiana’s bench with 18 points while Jefferson had 16. For Jefferson especially, finding a touch on his shot with 8-14 shooting was a huge boost for a Pacers team that needs his contributions, especially right now with the injury situation continuing to plague Indiana without Kevin Seraphin and C.J. Miles to help bolster the bench.
Monta Ellis has struggled lately, but pitched a perfect game tonight, shooting 6-6 from the floor with a pair of threes to score 14 with zero turnovers. After a rocky start with turnovers, the Pacers righted the ship despite a game high four from Jeff Teague, who played the distributor with a nine point, nine rebound, eight assist night.
On the opposite end of the point guard battle, Hoosiers fans were given a treat getting to watch former IU and Park Tudor standout Yogi Ferrell return to Bankers Life Fieldhouse to score 10 points in 21 minutes, including a pair of threes and four trips to the line.
Myles Turner played well, especially early, en route to a 16 point, eight rebound night. Turner had four blocks as well, holding down the Pacers front line with Thaddeus Young fighting through a slow start to finish with 11 points on 5-9 shooting. The Indiana offense was on point with 25 assists, setting up the rest of the team for success.
That kind of team success will be necessary as the Pacers continue to be without their best player in George and will face the fast starting Los Angeles Clippers. The Clippers sit at 14-3 on the season, but will be looking for revenge when they face Indiana on Sunday, having lost their first road game of the season to Detroit tonight.