It was so fun watching Paul George come up huge on the road in one of more impressive Pacers' playoff performances in team history. PG played the role of the lead dog hunting for the kill in the second half and after he bared his team, the rest of the pack was following close behind ready to ravage the Raptors.
While the efforts of PG have been well chronicled, here are a few of the key performances from the pack:
- C.J. Miles didn't have one of his game-altering shooting stretches, but he did have a short burst in the second quarter which helped the Pacers stay in touch as they battled from behind most of the first half. Miles hit a deep three then took a defensive stop in transition and finished with a dunk. Miles gave some much needed help on the glass with five rebounds in the second quarter (seven for the game), as well.
- Solomon Hill adjusted nicely to playing key minutes in a tight playoff game. After getting caught gawking a couple of times early, Hill did his usual dirty work, helping solidify the Pacers on the defensive end. Hill finished with 13 points thanks to making all ten of his free throws after drawing fouls in the paint. Hill's biggest play came with just over two minutes left in the game as the Pacers held an eight point lead, when he battled two other Raptors in a race for a long rebound. The effort drew a sixth foul on Jonas Valanciunas to knock him out of the game and the two free throws put the Pacers up 10.
- As most Pacers fans will readily admit, even that 10-point lead with two minutes left didn't feel safe. But after another stop, Monta Ellis drained a three-pointer to push the lead to 13. That's when I finally exhaled. Monta was active all day, although me missed a few third-quarter scoring opportunities in transition which kept things tight. But Monta was a big net positive finishing with 15 points, including eight points, three assists and two steals in the second half.
- Myles Turner played over 25 minutes thanks to continual foul trouble for Ian Mahinmi and the Rook held up well in his first playoff appearance. His line shows 10 points, five rebounds and five blocked shots but four of those 10 points in the fourth quarter helped put the Raptors away. While Paul George was going nuclear, he started finding teammates after drawing all of the defensive attention. Twice PG dropped a pass for Turner and the Rook handled and finished both dimes which added to the mounting frustration of the home team. Turner had his rookie moments on defense and rushed a few shots, but for the most part stayed in his lane, did his job and made winning plays when the Pacers needed them.
- Finally, the Pacers video coordinators deserve major props for doing their job and giving PG exactly what he needed to review at halftime to adjust and go off. Following the game, George credited his film study at the half with giving him an edge of his second half for the ages.
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