On the bright side, the Indiana Pacers didn’t suffer a loss in the same way they have in recent games. The downside to that is that they still lost, getting blown out by the Philadelphia 76ers to extend their losing streak to four games.
For as bad as things ended up, the Pacers actually started out pretty well. They jumped out to a 16-9 lead, led by six early points on three drives by Myles Turner. Unfortunately, one missed three and a turnover later, the game was suddenly tied, Philadelphia running off a 10-0 run to take a lead.
The lead changed hands four more times in the quarter, but the Pacers were never able to get it above one, trailing by a point heading into the second. It was a point early in the second when things went south almost instantly. Furkan Korkmaz unloaded from three, benefiting from Indiana’s double teams of Joel Embiid, hitting four in the quarter.
Indiana’s offense meanwhile was stifled thanks to a large number of turnovers, a mismatch that quickly reflected itself on the scoreboard as the 76ers outscored Indiana 32-13 to go ahead by 20. For as bad as things were in the first half, Indiana did have a nice push to open the third, scoring the first six.
Unfortunately, that was the last of the good times. At that point, the Sixers outscored Indiana 20-2, putting the game on ice. Garbage Time Pacers did manage to dip into the score somewhat, but a 130-114 loss still looks pretty bad even if it’s about half of what it was at its apex.
Offense continued to be a big struggle for the Pacers. They were without Jeremy Lamb tonight and lost Doug McDermott in the third quarter with a broken tooth, compounding their issues with shooting. For the game, Indiana shot 8-29 from three, many of those misses continuing to come on wide open shots while the game was still somewhat in reach.
The 76ers had no problem hitting their own threes, or shots in general, shooting 56.8% for the game, connecting on 15 from deep. Indiana attempted to limit Embiid early by doubling him very early in the possession, which worked fine until it didn’t. There just wasn’t anything close to efficient resistance in limiting Philadelphia’s offense, a concern Philly didn’t have on their defensive end.
The Indiana offense really struggled against Philadelphia’s length, committing _ turnovers, leading to 22 Sixer points. That, combined with their poor shooting, was a disastrous combination in the second and third quarters, getting outscored 72-45. The Sixers bench won big as well, topping Indiana’s reserves 67-46.
Malcolm Brogdon returned to lead the Pacers with 20 points. The Pacers as a team had 27 assists, but he had just four, though he and Turner were the only players to not have any turnovers to their name. Brogdon’s scoring was much needed, especially late in the third when they couldn’t get anything else going. Off the bench, Edmond Sumner had a solid night, scoring 18 points with a pair of steals. He was joined in double figures by Aaron Holiday, finishing with 11.
Though the losses have been piling up recently, blowouts have not. Tonight was just the 5th double figure loss of the season for the Pacers, but that number could skyrocket in the coming weeks as the schedule becomes nightmarishly difficult starting later this week to close out the First Half of the season.
Indiana’s lone game against a below .500 team will come Wednesday night when they face the Cleveland Cavaliers on the road, looking to avoid an 0-4 trip. Unfortunately for Indiana, the Cavaliers have been playing solid ball of late, beating this Sixers team in overtime and winning three straight entering tonight’s game after a 10-game skid of their own.