A poor second half effort from the Indiana Pacers led them to another bad loss, dropping to the Los Angeles Lakers on the second game of their West Coast road trip. Despite leading 53-51 at halftime, the Pacers had every opportunity to have a sizable double figure lead, but they squandered countless fast break opportunities and other easy shots, including Aaron Brooks going 0-3 from the free throw line in one trip.
Things took a dive for the Pacers in the third quarter with seven turnovers, all between Jeff Teague and Paul George, setting up the Lakers for a 35-22 quarter, eventually building to a 20-point lead in the fourth and cruising to the win. The turnovers were their own problem, but the overall effort, especially from George, was inexcusable.
George had 21 points and six rebounds on 8-15 shooting, a decent night by his standards, which makes his body language throughout the game more perplexing. He seemed tuned out, trying to draw fouls away from the ball on offense and getting lost on defense.
Elsewhere, the Pacers were outworked on the glass, allowing 16 offensive rebounds, and allowed Los Angeles to hit 14 three pointers, 12 between Nick Young, Lou Williams, and Brandon Ingram. The Pacers only scored 28 points off of 24 Lakers turnovers while allowing 29 off of their 21 turnovers.
Al Jefferson put in work in the first half, scoring 20 points on 7-9 shooting, but came to a complete halt in the second half, going scoreless on 0-6 shooting. Myles Turner also reached double figures with 15, but took defensive cues from Jefferson, getting worked by Tarik Black, who had eight points and 13 rebounds off the Lakers bench.
The takeaways from the loss tonight were pretty straightforward: the Pacers are still inconsistent, and their win over Sacramento on Wednesday didn’t mean much after all. At 6-15 on the road, they’d be wise to petition the league for more home games since they’re bound to have better luck at that than winning on the road.
As it stands, they’ll be forced to finish their three game road trip tomorrow night when they face the Utah Jazz in Salt Lake City. It will be the first chance for the Pacers to see George Hill since the trade last summer, but the Pacers will likely be preoccupied figuring out how to keep Rudy Gobert off the glass one night after he pulled in 25 against Dallas.