The Indiana Pacers fell behind early, stormed back, went up big, and held on late to secure a season sweeping victory over the Los Angeles Clippers on the road. The Clippers blitzed the Pacers to start, going up 9-0 and led 27-12 late in the first quarter. The game had all the makings of a typical road showing by Indiana, but the play of the second unit, particularly that of Rodney Stuckey, allowed the Pacers to chip away in the second quarter.
Indiana took their first lead at 41-40, but trailed by four at the break. Despite falling behind, the Pacers came out of the half on fire, outscoring the Clippers 19-2 to take a double figure lead. Indiana would build their lead up to 20 early in the fourth, but couldn’t cut Los Angeles’s final push short, allowing the Clippers to climb to within four points at 104-100.
With the shot clock winding down and a minute remaining in the game, the Pacers found a returning Paul George in the corner for a dagger three pointer that sealed the 111-102 win. The Pacers return to .500 and improve to 2-6 on the road. Winning in Staples Center against the Clippers hasn’t been foreign to the Pacers, who have won four of five.
Indiana accomplished their win with balanced scoring; getting seven double figure scorers on the night. All five starters scored in double figures, led by Thaddeus Young with 17. Young led the Pacers with two offensive rebounds on a night the Pacers were blasted on the offensive glass 16-5, getting outrebounded by 15. Young scored seven in the fourth, taking advantage of a small Clippers lineup, putting in work against Jamal Crawford.
Stuckey led the bench with 16 points on 7-10 shooting, bringing much needed energy to a Pacers team looking to wake up. C.J. Miles also returned tonight, scoring 12 points including a pair of offensive rebounds of his own and the three-pointer that put Indiana up 20 early in the fourth on a basket the Pacers were fortunate to get due to a clock malfunction.
George scored 16 in his return. He was rusty early, but eventually fought through a bloody nose to score the first five in the second half for the Pacers, looking like the leader the Pacers missed with him out with seven rebounds, five assists, and three steals contributing to the victory.
The starting backcourt of Jeff Teague and Monta Ellis combined for 29 points in a balanced attack and Myles Turner had 12, working his way to the line for 10 free throws. Unfortunately, early misses threw Turner, who only made six, but he did line up a pair late to put a cap on the victory.
The Pacers once again forced the Clippers into a hefty number of turnovers, 20 of them, while only committing 11 themselves. Unfortunately, that extra hustle didn’t give Indiana an edge on the scoreboard, as they were outscored 20-18 in points off turnovers. Simply taking away shots from the Clippers, who only had two extra attempts despite the rebounding edge, worked in Indiana’s favor with the win.
Working back to .500 for the seventh time this season, the Pacers will once again have to try and break through against the Golden State Warriors on the second night of a back-to-back. The Pacers are 0-3 on second nights this season while the Warriors will once again face the Pacers on a day’s rest. Indiana wasn’t given any favors in this particular matchup, but should also have the luxury of their full lineup tomorrow.