Wednesday, February 12, 2014 at 7:00 PM ET at Bankers Life Fieldhouse
Game Rewind: Pacers 73, Mavericks 81
Scott Agness | February 12, 2014
Ahead of their final game before the All-Star break, Pacers coach Frank Vogel’s message was simple: Don’t even think about it. It begins on Thursday.
Unfortunately for the Pacers, their fatigue and mental errors compounded themselves Wednesday night against the Dallas Mavericks, who were coming off a 25-point blowout in Charlotte the night before. The Pacers followed up season-high numbers in Monday’s win — 119 points and 58 percent shooting — with 73 points and 32 percent shooting, both season-lows, in a 81-73 loss to Dallas (32-22) at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
It was one of those games were shots just weren’t falling for Indiana (40-12), but they also weren’t doing themselves any favors. They turned it over 20 times, resulting in 20 points for the Mavericks, and didn’t get much going inside — normally one of their strengths. Their league-leading defense was again stellar, holding Dallas to 36 percent shooting, but they never really got into a flow offensively.
The first half was forgettable. Indiana’s shooting percentage was low, just 31 percent, and they had 11 turnovers. After a 10-4 start to the game, the Mavericks went on a 13-3 run and then just before the period ended, George Hill and Danny Granger both buried triples to even it up at 19.
Dallas went ahead as many as seven in the half, as the Pacers tried to get anything to go through the hoop. For as poor as they shot it over the first two quarters — 31 percent — the Pacers trailed by only two, 44-42, after Lance Stephenson hit a jumper in the final seconds.
Over a 7:12 span, Indiana’s offensive suffered through a terrible dry spell. They missed eight shots and gave the ball away five times, including on three consecutive possessions. Still, they had a chance.
Once tied at 66 after a mid-range jumper from Paul George, the Mavericks outscored the Pacers 15-7 over the final 5:45. Free throws form Monta Ellis, who scored 15 of his team-high 23 points in the second half, secured the win with six free throws over the final three minutes.
Instead of having 41 wins, at least a 3.5 game lead on Miami in the East and riding a two-game win streak, the Pacers dropped two of their final three games and are a bit irritated, as they should be.
Though he agreed their play over the last few weeks has been disappointing, team leader David West reiterated that they don’t get too high with wins, and so their certainly not going to get too down on this loss. But it is a yellow flag. As guys plan to get away for All-Star break, West insists on guys staying in communication.
Their goal since day one is to lock up the No. 1 seed in the East, and there’s a chance games like this will haunt them down the road. The Pacers will have to move past the loss, get off their feet over break, and come back recharged for the final 30 games of the regular season.
Inside the Numbers
Five Pacers scored in double figures, as George Hill led the way for the third time this season with 14 points, along with five assists. Lance Stephenson registered his 15th double-double of the season, finishing with 13 points and 10 rebounds. Danny Granger his 3-of-5 3-point field goals and ended the night with 13. Paul George was just 4-of-17, but finished with 12 points, six rebounds and seven assists.
Monta Ellis led all scorers with 23 points, and he also contributed nine rebounds and six assists in 42 minutes. Dirk Nowitzki made 7-of-14 shots and scored 18 points, which ended his streak of 18 consecutive games with at least 20 points against the Pacers. Vince Carter nailed three triples and added 11.
More season-lows for Indiana: fourth-quarter points, (11) and second-half points (31), second-chance points (4), and their points in the paint (22, tying their season low).
The Pacers got to the free the line just 14 times, hitting on 12 of their attempts.
“Shots weren’t falling, we weren’t protecting the basketball, we weren’t getting to the line. It was just one of those nights. … We just didn’t play tough enough, in terms of taking care of the basketball and finishing plays on the offensive end.” – Frank Vogel
“We got to be tougher, we got to use the break to get our rest and come back fresh.” – Frank Vogel
“It was just one of those games [where] I thought everybody was on vacation. We tried to avoid that going into [tonight]. We didn’t move the ball like we have in the past and we missed some open shots. … I think our offense was just sputtering along. 73 points is pathetic.” – Danny Granger
“We’re not going to make excuses. Coach did a good job of keeping us rested and fresh so I don’t think anybody’s fatigued. We just never got into a good rhythm.” – David West
“We gave one away. It’s unfortunate but it’s over now. We need to take these next couple of days to get some rest and come back for a heck of a second half.” – George Hill
Stat of the Game
Indiana’s 32.1 percent shooting (27-for-84) was a season-low, and it wasn’t even close. Their previous low was 36.4 percent, on Jan. 5 in Cleveland.
- Dallas’ win ended a streak of three straight head-to-head wins by Indiana.
- Lance Stephenson (9th), David West (4th) and Jose Calderon (3rd) were each given technical fouls.
- Frank Vogel took the microphone pregame and presented Paul George and Roy Hibbert with commemorative All-Star jerseys and thanked the fans for their support.
Tuesday, February 18 vs Atlanta – 7 p.m. EST