Sunday, December 1, 2013 at 3:30 PM ET at the STAPLES Center
Game Rewind: Pacers 105, Clippers 100
Scott Agness | December 1, 2013
The Pacers ventured out West for five games, their first big road trip of the season. It began in Los Angeles, against the Clippers (12-6) who added some pieces in the offseason, including famed coach Doc Rivers, looking to make a run at their first NBA title.
Though field goals weren’t dropping in the fourth quarter (5-of-22), the Pacers sank 11 free throws and came away with a couple huge offensive boards to secure their 16th win of the season, 105-100, Sunday afternoon at the STAPLES Center.
The Pacers (16-1) shot 50 percent and moved the ball exceptionally well in opening quarter. Getting everyone involved, they assisted on nine of their 13 field goals and led by seven at the end of the first quarter, 29-22. Earlier, they used a 12-2 run to go ahead by eleven, 24-13.
Indiana’s second unit struggled in the early minutes of the next quarter. The Clippers tied the game at 35, and later led, 41-40, after a jam from Blake Griffin. Paul George was responsible for the Pacers’ next six points and they never trailed the rest of the way. Just before the halftime buzzer sounded and much like the "tips" game played on basketball courts around the world, David West rebounded a Roy Hibbert miss and immediately put it up and in for a 53-47 halftime lead.
David ‘Bad Man’ West had more in store in the second half. The third quarter, where he scored 14 of his season-high 24 points, was his best of the season. Frank Vogel recognized that his power forward was feeling it and left him in the entire quarter. In typical fashion, the Pacers won the quarter (by four this time) to extend their lead to ten with 12 minutes to play.
Possession by possession, the Clippers worked themselves back into the game. Sixth Man of the Year candidate Jamal Crawford had 10 in a period of just two minutes, which cut the Clippers’ deficit to four—all while point guard Chris Paul rested on the bench. Former Pacers guard Darren Collison made a wide-open layup in transition to tie the game at 94 with just under five minutes remaining.
George Hill responded with a three-point play, and then later sank all three free throws after Collison fouled him in the act of shooting. Those three put the Pacers over the century mark for the fourth time this season and up by four with three minutes to play. While the Pacers suffered ice-cold shooting in the fourth (22.7 percent), they stayed in control of the game by converting on their free throws and keeping possessions alive with key offensive rebounds. With four seconds left, Hill sank two more free throws and the Pacers exited with a five-point victory.
Coming into the game, players felt this first game would be the toughest and most important because it sets the tone for this five-game trek. A win over a quality Clippers team, on their home floor, is an excellent start.
Inside the Numbers
Paul George scored more than 20 points for the 14th time this season, finishing with a game-high 27 points on 10-of-23 shooting. Five of his six 25-plus efforts have come on the road. With a season-high 24 points and 12 rebounds, David West posted his fourth double-double of the season. Roy Hibbert made half of his 16 shots and scored 19.
The Clippers had six players in double figures, led by Jamal Crawford’s 20 points off the bench, 10 of which was scored in the final quarter. Chris Paul registered his 15th double-double (17 points, 10 assists) of the season. Blake Griffin had 16 points and 12 rebounds and DeAndre Jordan added 11 and 12.
Just the second team to score 100 points on the Pacers, the Clippers were still held below their season average of 106.8 points per game, which ranks second in the NBA.
The Clippers turned the ball over just 12 times, but the Pacers converted those in 17 points – to negate the 17 points the Clippers scored off their 16 giveaways.
The Clippers scored 12 points in transition to the Pacers’ two, and they were +6 in the paint. The Pacers, however, won the rebounding battle, 50-41.
“Heck of a win for our guys against a great basketball team in their building. Our defense tried to stay the course with what we’re trying to do and not overreact to a couple lob dunks that they were getting. They’re difficult plays to guard, but we didn’t want to come off 3-point shooters to guard it. They average eight-and-a-half 3s a game. We held them to four 3s on only fifteen attempts.” – Frank Vogel
“Big time. He’s always there. We’ve had some other guys getting going early. Lance [Stephenson] with his triple-doubles, Paul George doing what he’s doing, Roy [Hibbert] had some big nights. David [West] is just kind of picking his spots, letting everybody else grow and do his thing. When we needed him, he just stepped up and was a beast.” – Vogel on David West
“Our team got in a good rhythm. We were getting some stops on defense and we were able to get the ball moving from side-to-side. I just took advantage of where my spots were and knocked down some shots.” – David West
"[Indiana] came in with a purpose. This was their first game on the west coast trip and you could see their seriousness at the beginning of the game was locked in and we were not.” – Clippers coach Doc Rivers
Stat of the Game
The Pacers pulled down 10 of their 17 offensive rebounds in the final quarter, including five in the final 30 seconds to retain possession.
- Dating back to last season, the Pacers have won six consecutive road games vs. Western Conference opponents.
- The Pacers were in gold, while the Clippers wore their powder blue sleeved jerseys for the second time this season.
- In the stands: Aaron Rodgers, Master P, and Jimmy Goldstein.
Monday, Dec. 2 at Portland – 10 p.m. EST