Game Rewind: Pacers 101, 76ers 94
Friday, March 14, 2014 at 7:00 PM ET at Wells Fargo Center
Game Rewind: Pacers 101, 76ers 94
Scott Agness | March 14, 2014
Still looking to return to top form in the final month of the regular season, the Pacers were in Philadelphia Friday night looking to string together wins. They led the entire way, but things didn’t come as easy as one would expect when playing a team that hadn’t posted a win since Jan. 31.
The 76ers threatened late and got as close as three points midway through the fourth quarter on a 17-footer from Thaddeus Young that capped a 6-0 spurt. But the Pacers (48-17) protected the rims late and George Hill provided the dagger with a corner 3-pointer as they fended off a rowdy 76ers (15-50) team, 101-94, at the Wells Fargo Center.
The 76ers were unable to change their luck, as they lost their 19th straight game and 15th in a row at home.
Scoring wasn’t a problem for the Pacers, who shot a season-high 58.2 percent. However, they turned the ball over 22 times, leading to 20 points for the 76ers on the other end.
Indiana jumped out to a 21-9 lead midway through the first quarter, with all five starters scoring and Lance Stephenson contributing seven points.
The Pacers entered the night thin at center, as the team opted to hold Andrew Bynum out on the first night of a back-to-back and Ian Mahinmi was dressed, but did not play as he’s dealing with bruised ribs. In their stead, Lavoy Allen gave the Pacers a nice boost of the bench. Allen was active inside and was a perfect from the field. His first field goal, a mid-range jumper, was his first as a Pacers in four appearances.
With eight quick points, Luis Scola keyed a 12-2 start to the second quarter, helping Indiana to a 17-point lead. The 76ers then answered with a 13-3 spurt, getting to within six points late in the half. Byron Mullens, who averages just 3.4 points per game, exploded for 12 second-quarter points on 5-of-5 shooting off the bench. Still, the Pacers took a seven-point lead into the locker room.
Paul George had a big third quarter, scoring 13 of his team-high 25 points in the frame. He had one impressive sequence where he stole the ball at one end, then made Thaddeus Young fall to floor after a crossover step-back jumper. Down 16 at that point, the 76ers hit consecutive 3-pointers and ran off a 10-2 spurt to cut their deficit to single digits.
The Pacers went through a dangerous lull in the later stages of the fourth quarter. They turned it over four times and were held scoreless over a four-minute stretch. Then, David West came in and made his presence felt with a jumper from the elbow and a fadeaway to get the lead back up by nine.
The Sixers kept battling, but Indiana got stops late when they needed them. West swatted a shot that would have made it a one possession game, then Hill got it in the corner and connected on a 3-point try. That put them Indiana eight and in the driver’s seat with 96 seconds to play, as they’d hold on for the win.
Going into tomorrow night’s game, there’s real concern at point guard. Hill, who was forced to carry the load, gave the Pacers big minutes. After missing the past four games because of a sprained right elbow, C.J. Watson played six minutes but didn’t return in the second half due to a strained right hamstring. And since third-string point guard Donald Sloan isn’t with the team this weekend due to personal reasons, Indiana may have to use some makeshift lineups in Detroit.
Also of note, former Pacers assistant Brian Shaw did his old team a favor as his Denver Nuggets went into Miami and beat the Heat. With tonight's results, the Pacers lead in the Eastern Conference has grown to three games.
Inside the Numbers
Five Pacers finished in double figures, led by Paul George's 25, including a 4-for-7 clip from long range. David West scored 10 of his 18 in the second half, and he pulled down seven rebounds.
Lance Stephenson was quietly effective, finishing with 13 points, 12 rebounds, four assists and four turnovers. With 14 points and nine assists, George Hill was one assist shy of his first double-double of the year.
Lavoy Allen came off the bench and was perfect from the field, 6-for-6. He contributed 13 points, which tied his season-high, in less than 18 minutes.
Thaddeus Young fired up 31 shots, hitting 10, to get his 25 points. He also had a career-high 10 assists to collect his 11th double-double of the season, and was four rebounds shy of a triple-double. Byron Mullens tied his season-high with 15 points on 6-of-9 shooting. Carter-Williams was limited to 12 points, and all but three scored in the first half.
The Pacers struggled at the foul line, going 14-for-22 (63.6 percent). They improve to 31-5, however, when attempting more foul shots than their opponent (they were +4 tonight).
With 22 turnovers tonight, the Pacers have 20 or more in 12 of 65 games (18.5 percent) this season.
“He was great. Like we said all along, this trade was for Evan Turner and Lavoy Allen. He’s a quality big. He showed it tonight, showed it every time we played against the 76ers the last couple of years and I had no hesitation what so ever with Ian [Mahinmi] being banged up putting him in there and knowing we were going to get solid play.” – Frank Vogel on Lavoy Allen
“We just made some good basketball plays down the stretch. We got to continue to be mindful of (our turnovers) and be strong with the basketball, continue to protect the ball and make sure we get a good shot every time.” – David West
“We all have confidence in each other, from the first guy to the last guy on the bench. I felt good out there, had a couple easy buckets early, a couple drop-offs, so it really got me going.” – Lavoy Allen
“We took better care of the basketball and got good shots. Their defense already forces turnovers, so when they're behind, they're really gambling all over the place. We just had to take care of the basketball and find the open man. When we did that, we were able to make shots.” – Frank Vogel on the final minutes of the game
“Yeah, I thought we were sharing too much. We had to understand that they were applying a lot of pressure, and I thought that just sped us up when we had full control of this game tonight.” – Paul George on what caused so many late turnovers
Stat of the Game
With 12 blocks, tied for its second-highest total this season, Indiana moves to 7-0 when rejecting 10 or more shots.
- The Pacers, now 16-2 on the first night of a back-to-back, have won both meetings with the 76ers this season.
- George Hill received his fourth technical foul of the season in the fourth quarter.
- During the first media timeout, the 76ers played a tribute video for Evan Turner and Lavoy Allen, both of whom were drafted by the team but traded to the Pacers last month.
The Pacers head to Detroit to take on the Pistons Saturday night at 7:30 p.m. EDT. Game Preview »