The Indiana Pacers fight back from 20-points down to pick up a win against the Portland Trail Blazers.
The Good: The Pacers fought back in the second half and somehow, someway, erased a 20-point deficit with a big defensive push late in the game. In the first half, Indiana’s defense was non-existent, but it showed up again and again as the offense kept making their shots.
In the end, forcing a 5-second violation from the Portland Trail Blazers capped off the win and epitomized the effort Indiana brought in the second half.
Paul George was the MVP — more on that later — but the defense came together as a whole to finish the night. It helps when you face the NBA’s second-worst defense, but showing some fight in a game they looked out of is worthy of praise.
Just don’t spot your opponent 20 points next time, OK?
The Bad: The first quarter saw some of the worst defense of the season by the Pacers, allowing 41 points. Portland was shooting 15 of 24 (62.5%), 7 of 11 (63.6%) from 3-point range. They ended up allowing 71 points in the first half.
For comparison of how bad the Pacers defense is this season, they have allowed 70+ points in the first half four times this season. That’s only happened 41 times in Pacers’ history before this season.
MVP: Paul George made play after play — on both sides of the ball — to deliver a win for Pacers in the second half. He closed out the game with several big shots, reminding us of the value of having one of the NBA’s best players when you need to close out.