Rewind: Pacers vs. Nuggets 120211
Saturday, Feb. 11 at Bankers Life Fieldhouse
Game Rewind: Nuggets 113, Pacers 109
By Conrad Brunner
In a shootout reminiscent of the era when the Pacers and Nuggets traded jump shots in the ABA, brought to life by the electric retro uniforms worn by both teams, Denver held on in the face of a valiant rally to beat Indiana 113-109 Saturday before 15,313 in Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
Danny Granger scored 26 and David West 22 for the Pacers (17-10), who lost their third in a row.
Ty Lawson scored 27 and Arron Afflalo 23 for the Nuggets (16-12), who snapped a five-game losing streak.
Trailing 104-92 with 5:12 remaining, the Pacers put together a 13-2 run that included a pair of 3-pointers from Paul George and a three-point play by Darren Collison that cut the deficit to 106-105 with 2:40 left.
Afflalo hit a 3-pointer to put Denver up 111-105 with 1:35 left but West scored twice in a row to make it a two-point game. After Afflalo missed a fadeaway with 30 seconds left, the Pacers had an opportunity to tie or take the lead but West's return pass sailed wide of Collison, giving the ball back to the Nuggets with 10.6 seconds remaining and Afflalo iced it at the line.
BY THE NUMBERS
Granger shot 10 of 18, but made just three buckets after the first quarter. West was 10-of-11 from the field, adding seven rebounds to his 22 points. George scored 15 on 5-of-9 shooting with six rebounds and Roy Hibbert had 12 points, five rebounds and four assists. A.J. Price had a season high 13 points off the bench, all in the second quarter. The Pacers shot .532 from the field but committed 20 turnovers.
Lawson was 10-of-17 for the Nuggets, while Afflalo was 8-of-11. Corey Brewer scored 19 with five rebounds and Al Harrington scored 10, shooting 4-of-18 from the field. Nene scored 11 points in 22 minutes before leaving with a strained calf muscle.
"Obviously disappointed in the loss. We’re proud of our guys’ effort and fight to get back in the game. I thought our transition defense was good most of the night, which it has to be against this team. We had too many turnovers. That probably cost us the game." - Pacers Coach Frank Vogel
"It’s a tough stretch but we’ll stay positive and I’m encouraged about what this team can be. We’re not wavering in our confidence. We understand with a schedule like this and little practice time there will be slippage." - Vogel
"We played hard tonight. But they played a little harder and executed a little better. We know we can bounce back. We don’t have much time, but we can be ready for Tuesday." - Price
"They got out in transition on us and it cost us some buckets. We had some pretty good looks but they just didn’t fall. We must bond and come back tougher and smarter and play to win and not to lose. We know what we’re made of so we know we can do it." - Hibbert
"We won the game because we had more effort and energy." - Denver Coach George Karl
STAT OF THE GAME
The Pacers entered the weekend 16-0 when they score at least 90 points, then lost two in a row to Memphis and Denver. They were 9-0 with at least 20 assists until tonight.
No more than six points separated the teams in the third quarter, though Denver held a tenuous lead most of the period. The Pacers got a big energy boost from the bench late in the period, including a couple of buckets from Tyler Hansbrough and a putback by Lance Stephenson that cut it to 85-84 late in the period, but Denver answered with a 10-1 run to push the lead to 95-85 with 9:01 remaining.
The Pacers controlled most of the first half but even the briefest lapse can prove costly against an explosive team like the Nuggets. The Pacers had theirs in the final minutes of the second quarter as Denver tore off a 15-2 run to wipe out what had been a 13-point lead just minutes before. The Pacers built that lead behind the hot shooting of Price, who scored 13 in the period, but the Nuggets came back behind Lawson and Brewer, who combined for 17 in the comeback.
Granger scored 20 in the half, 18 as the Pacers rolled up a season-high 35 points in the first quarter, building a nine-point lead in the process.
Already without leading scorer Danilo Gallinari (ankle), Denver lost power forward Nene in the third quarter to a strained left calf. He did not return. … Nuggets guard Andre Miller picked up a technical foul with 9:10 left in the first half for slamming the ball to the floor on the way to the bench for a timeout, and Corey Brewer was whistled for pulling up on the rim while dunking. … Both teams wore Hardwood Classics uniforms. It was the third time in the 1971-74 ABA return gear for the Pacers. They'll wear them again next week against the Nets. … Though Jeff Foster played well Friday in Memphis, producing six points and seven rebounds in 13 minutes in his first appearance in 14 games, the veteran center sat out tonight as the Pacers exercise caution bringing him back from a lower back problem. … Corey Brewer started for the Nuggets after missing the previous three games for personal reasons. … Nuggets Coach George Karl also opted to start Kosta Koufous at center with Nene at power forward to better match up with Hibbert and West. … George Hill missed his seventh consecutive game with a chip fracture in his left ankle and Coach Frank Vogel said before game there still is no timetable for his return.
LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh and the Miami Heat make their first visit to Bankers Life Fieldhouse Tuesday (7 p.m., Fox Sports Indiana, NBA TV, WIBC 93 FM). The Pacers will be trying to avenge their most lopsided loss of the season, a 118-83 decision in Miami on Jan. 4. Wade missed that game, but James and Bosh combined for 55 points as the Pacers shot just .348 from the field, including a 1-of-15 performance in the second quarter. The game begins the first back-to-back-to-back set of the season for the Pacers, who play at Cleveland Wednesday and back home against New Jersey Thursday.