The Indiana Pacers’ game-winner was nearly answered by the Washington Wizards, but they held on for the win.
The Indiana Pacers held on to win despite blowing a 7-point lead late in the 4th quarter and a wide open Bradley Beal three that could have won it at the buzzer for the Washington Wizards. Paul George emerged like a boss from the bullpen to close out yet another game and push the blue and gold back above .500.
The Good: The Pacers looked very strong in the middle portion of the game (outscored the Wizards 59-43 in the 2nd and 3rd quarters) and showed just enough juice to outlast a team that had won their last 3 games and set the tone early on the second night of a back to back. The 3-point defense is slowly improving as the Wizards shot just 24% (8-33) from beyond the arc.
The Bad: Got beat on the defensive glass repeatedly (Washington had 14 offensive rebounds) and more than half of the Pacers turnovers were unforced errors that appeared as if they were trying to get the crowd more involved in the game by throwing to fans instead of teammates. You hate to see another 4th quarter lead fade away so easily too.
MVP: Paul George continues to show why he’s one of the game’s best in the 4th quarter, scoring 9 points late in a run that should have iced it.
LVP: Glenn Robinson III. For the first time all season he looked out of place in the starting lineup. He committed 3 turnovers while scoring just 5 points and allowed Bradley Beal to get far too comfortable in the 1st quarter. He didn’t miss all 15 Gortat moving screens at the end of the game, so he’s got that going for him which is nice.
Had some trouble finishing at the rim early in this one, but he went nuts in the 3rd quarter. Finished with 23 points, 10 assists, 3 steals and hit all 7 of his free throws.
The rim protector we all hoped he could become is rounding into form. Tied his career high with 5 blocks (6 if you count the block on Gortat that was somehow called a foul). Great to see him continue to shoot well (20 points on 8-13 from the field). The only blemish was allowing Marcin Gortat to get several easy buckets underneath late in the game before he fouled out.
Power Forward,Indiana Pacers
A couple of really bad turnovers (led the team with 4), but he fought hard tonight and took it upon himself to find a way to win the game after PG was double-teamed on the last play.
Shooting Guard,Indiana Pacers
C.J. is becoming more efficient every game. Taking on the 6th man role very well (30 minutes) in Stuckey’s absence and joined 5 other Pacers in double figures (10 points). He willed his way to an ORB and-1 in the 1st quarter that was sorely needed when the team was down 10 and beginning to unravel.
Uncle Al’s post game is a thing of beauty when it’s working (10 points on 5-10 shooting). Bonus points for trying to take several charges throughout the game.
Power Forward,Indiana Pacers
Only played 6 minutes and wasn’t missed.
Point Guard,Indiana Pacers
Didn’t score, but good to see him distribute as the backup point guard (3 assists) in just 9 minutes.