The Indiana Pacers used a 12-0 run after falling behind 6-2 and wouldn’t look back, answering every push from the Orlando Magic to cruise to a 117-104 victory. The Pacers begin 2017 with a win, grabbing their second straight win for the fifth time this season. Indiana was efficient offensively, shooting 50% for the game with 40.9% from three point range and 22-24 from the free throw line.
Indiana got solid contributions from everyone in a good team effort, led by Myles Turner who had a 23 point, 12 rebound double double, leading Indiana with four offensive rebounds. Turner got a big boost from Jeff Teague, who worked the two-man game with Turner brilliantly, with Turner scoring 11 on five Teague assists.
Teague finished with nine assists on the night, not quite the 17 he had against Chicago, but Indiana as a team did rack up 28 assists, after 26 against the Bulls. Teague scored 12 points, but turned an ankle late in the first half. He would return for the second half unfazed.
Aaron Brooks filled in for Teague to finish the half, scoring the final five points of the half after Orlando had trimmed the lead to six with 30 seconds in the first half. Brooks finished the half with a buzzer beater three-pointer as part of his 14 to lead the bench unit.
Second half is starting now.— Indiana Pacers (@Pacers) January 2, 2017
Here's Aaron Brooks' buzzer beater that ended the first: pic.twitter.com/8E1UoK2stg
End of quarter points worked in Indiana’s favor, with the Pacers outscoring Orlando 6-0 in the final possession of the first and second quarters (Paul George was fouled on a three point shot in the first). This worked in Indiana’s favor not only on the scoreboard, but rewarded their effort in a game that could’ve otherwise been much more competitive.
George finished with 19 points, doing most of his work scoring from three point range (3-5) and the free throw line (6-7). He was joined by Thaddeus Young in double figures, scoring 10 with a pair of threes. Glenn Robinson III had a solid follow-up performance to his Chicago game with nine points and eight rebounds, using free throw trips to his advantage, going 4-4.
Off the bench, the second unit had double figure scorers in Brooks and Al Jefferson (12). Jefferson scored eight of his own points off of assists, including a pair from Monta Ellis, who had four points and four assists. Jefferson also played well alongside Kevin Seraphin who had six points and six rebounds. C.J. Miles blanked from three point range, but was perfect inside the arc, scoring eight.
Indiana moves back to within a game of .500, familiar territory for a team that had spent the entire season on either side of that mark before their recent four game skid. In an effort to make up for that stretch and return to .500, the Pacers will look for a win when they travel north to face the Detroit Pistons.
The Pacers have not only been a disastrous road team (4-13), but haven’t won three games all season, which sets up Tuesday’s game against the Pistons to be the important game of the season thus far. The Pacers have been trying to turn the corner all year, but lack of consistency has kept them from building a win streak that could solidify their standing in an equally inconsistent Eastern Conference, where it doesn’t take much to be in the home court discussion.