The Indiana Pacers put on a show against the Phoenix Suns to kick start their five game road trip on the right track. The Pacers used a 15-4 run in the first quarter to push themselves into a double figure lead, one they would balloon up to 32 in the third quarter.
Through the first three quarters, the Pacers shot 55% from the floor, all while holding Phoenix to 37% shooting. The Suns were trigger happy from three point range, but shot just 9-37, a quantity over quality effort, with the Pacers hitting 11 on the night on 23 attempts.
It was a total team effort for the Pacers, who got numerous contributions from their 10-man rotation, including a 17-point night from Victor Oladipo. Oladipo looked as comfortable as he’s looked in a while, taking full advantage of the Phoenix defense, shooting 6-11 with a pair of threes and finishing an alley oop for style points.
Oladipo also had four steals, leading the way for Indiana’s nine as a team, leading to a 21-6 advantage in points off turnovers. Darren Collison led the way for the Pacers with 19, scoring 10 of those in the third quarter, finishing 8-14 from the floor. Bojan Bogdanovic also reached double figures with 14, hitting a pair of threes himself.
Thaddeus Young scored 10, bringing his own double figure scoring streak to four. How he got to 10 tonight was unique for him, in its featuring numerous step back jumpers. The only starter that didn’t reach double figures was Domantas Sabonis, but he did pull in 14 rebounds to go with his four points.
The impressive play of the Pacers wasn’t limited to just the starters, their bench played very well rounded. Al Jefferson looked very good, scoring 10 with seven rebounds and even a pair of steals. Cory Joseph led the bench with 16 points, leading the way with six assists. Lance Stephenson had five assists himself to go along with nine points, as all five second unit players shot 50% or better.
T.J. Leaf did shoot well, scoring nine on 4-6 shooting, hitting his lone three. Joe Young became the eighth Pacer to reach double figures with in the fourth quarter to finish with 10, including a nice reverse layup in the first half.
This was exactly what the Pacers needed to come in and do to not only get their road trip off on the right start, but to keep them from needing to take tired legs into a difficult matchup against the Utah Jazz on the second night of a back-to-back. None of the Pacers starters played more than 27 minutes tonight, including just 21 for Oladipo and Bogdanovic.