As MVP chants rained down for Anthony Davis, the Indiana Pacers drop a road contest versus the New Orleans Pelicans, 96-92. The game was a make-up of the February 7th rain-out and roof leak mishap. This is the Pacers third loss in their last four games. The remain ten games over .500 at 41-31 on the season. With the loss the Pacers fall to fifth in the Eastern Conference, the Washington Wizards hold the tiebreaker on the season head to head. They enter a virtual three team tie in the standings along with the 76ers.
The Pacers held a lead through the third quarter, but were outscored 29-23 in the fourth. They also shot an abysmal 36 percent from the floor tonight. The turnover battle was “won” by the Pacers 15-20. That being said the Pelicans scored 15 points off those takeaways, versus eight for the Pacers. Simply put, the Pacers lost this game due to poor execution. On the bright side, however, the Pacers did pick up 15 offensive rebounds (five from Thad Young) against the Pelicans ten as they try to close the rebounding margins.
Statistically, Victor Oladipo led the way with 21 points on 7 of 16 shooting. That was in addition to his eight rebounds and three assists. Myles Turner posted a double-double with 13 points and ten rebounds, though he was inefficient at 4/15 shooting. On the bench, Trevor Booker was the lone bright spot with a gritty ten points on 5/8 from the floor.
MVP candidate Anthony Davis led the charge for the Pelicans with 28 and 13 boards, or just another day at the office. More impressively, he would end up with five blocks as the Pacers had no answers at the rim all night. His partner in crime and former Purdue standout, Etwuan Moore, stepped up with 23 points that catalyzed an otherwise stagnant Pelicans offense in the first half. The Pelicans are now 42-30 on the year and sit in fifth place in the tight Western Conference race.
The Pacers return home to Bankers Life Fieldhouse on Friday to take on the Los Angeles Clippers (37-33) for the first time this year. This matchup should be a test for Myles Turner as he goes up against DeAndre Jordan. Tip-off for that game will be 7 pm, Indy time. Beyond that, the Pacers will see Miami, Golden State, and Sacremento over the next week.