Game Rewind: Pacers 103, Clippers 91
Make it six straight wins for the Indiana Pacers, as the Blue & Gold knocked off the Los Angeles Clippers 104-91 in the Staples Center. This victory though, has a special feel to it, as it’s the franchise’s 2,000th regular season win.
Basketball is often referred to as “a game of runs,” and victory No. 2,000 certainly proved the motto true.
Indiana got off to a great start, amassing a 16-5 lead in the early going. But Los Angeles responded with a 14-5 run to bring the score to 21-19 midway through the first quarter. When the period was said and done, the teams were all even at 29.
The teams traded buckets for much of the second quarter, with neither one really able to take a noteworthy advantage, until a 7-0 spurt gave the Clips a 48-42 lead with 4:24 to play. Indiana would cut the L.A. lead to three by halftime.
The offenses struggled to get things going in the second half, with each scoring less than 10 points in the first six minutes of the third quarter. But soon after, Indiana’s offense awoke with a 14-2 run to give the visitors a 68-59 advantage.
Los Angeles wasted no time answering though, putting together a 10-1 run of its own to tie the game, but things wouldn’t be even for long. C.J. Miles’ buzzer-beating triple gave Indiana a 72-69 lead at the end of the third period.
Indiana started the fourth with a flurry of scoring. A Blue & Gold 14-1 run, capped by back-to-back Paul George 3-pointers, gave the Pacers an 86-70 lead.
“We did not play well,” Clippers guard Austin Rivers said of the fourth quarter. “I do not know what else to say. We did not execute and we did not play defense.”
But once again, the Clippers came roaring back, cutting the lead to six with less than four minutes remaining courtesy of a 14-4 spurt.
From there, Los Angeles intentionally fouled Ian Mahinmi three times in an attempt to slow Indiana down, but the big man made 4-of-6 attempts to keep his team in the lead and thwart the Clippers’ plan. After, Indiana controlled the game until the final buzzer.
“We know what we’re doing with this group,” Pacers head coach Frank Vogel said. “We had a good preseason. We had three bad games to start. We are still finding our way a little bit. We are just playing with confidence.”
Paul George led Indiana in scoring once again with 31 points on 9-of-23 shooting. He was 8-of-10 from the free-throw line and also grabbed 10 rebounds. Rodney Stuckey contributed 18 points off the bench.
Blake Griffin and former Pacers guard Lance Stephenson led the Clippers with 19 points apiece. Griffin added four rebounds and six assists.
Inside the Numbers
Ian Mahinmi’s four blocks are a season high.
For the first time this season, Paul George didn’t commit a turnover.
George Hill’s +/- rating of +22 was the game’s highest.
What They’re Saying
“‘Do not change a thing’. Literally, I have said that to him. He (Paul George) is playing with great confidence on the offensive end and doing what he has always done all over the court: rebounding, defending, passing the basketball, sharing [the ball], and just being a complete player.” -Frank Vogel
“It hurts (to play without Chris Paul and J.J. Redick) but we have guys that are capable of stepping up and playing well, and they did. We just have to be better. I have to be better.” – Blake Griffin
“Well, we just had no movement. It was a slow-paced game in a lot of ways with two fast teams. It was strange. A lot of fouls were called tonight and there were a lot of touch fouls early, so I thought that set the tone of the game.” -Doc Rivers
by Kyle Grand