The bench kept hope alive most of the night and played a huge role in the 38-point fourth quarter. After starting the fourth down 10, the Holiday brother, T.J. McConnell and Doug McDermott teamed up with Domas Sabonis to level the score at 102 apiece before Malcolm Brogdon and T.J. Warren replaced TJMacs and McBuckets.
Nate McMillan stuck with the Holiday brothers and they delivered at both ends, finally finding a way to slow down Kemba Walker when it mattered most with some timely switches while also combining for 20 points at the other end.
The Pacers were up five with 1:26 to go and it was hard not to wonder how they might blow the two-possession lead since late-game execution against quality teams like Boston has been an issue.
Not this time, though. Aside from a shaky possession around the one minute mark which led to an awkward three-point shot and miss by Warren, the Pacers put the ball in the right hands and didn’t flinch. Malcolm Brogdon played the role of closer getting the ball, getting fouled and making free throws. Brogdon made 10 fourth-quarter free throws including all six of his attempts in the final 20 seconds.
The Pacers maintained their spot in the standings, sitting in sixth place in the East and drawing within a half game of the Toronto Raptors who lost to the Clippers last night, the Raps’ fourth loss in their last five games. The Pacers remain six games behind the East’s top team, Milwaukee but just 2.5 games behind second place Philadelphia as they try to maintain a presence among the top teams.
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