Monday, February 10, 2014 at 7:00 PM ET at Bankers Life Fieldhouse
Game Rewind: Pacers 119, Nuggets 80
Scott Agness | February 10, 2014
The Pacers learned a lesson after suffering arguably their most frustrating loss of the season, a collapse Sunday night in Orlando: Play all 48 minutes. Facing a Denver Nuggets team decimated by injuries on Monday night, the Pacers also leaned on an overtime win in Sacramento, where they learned not to take a shorthanded team lightly.
The Pacers (40-11) had their best offensive performance of the season, shooting a season-best 57.5 percent from the field and scoring a season-high 119 points en route to their largest win the season, 119-78 over the Nuggets (24-26), at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
David West was blistering hot in the first quarter, so much so that coach Frank Vogel left him in the entire quarter rather than subbing him out at the 4-minute mark, as is Vogel's customary substitution pattern. West, who was 8-for-10 in the period, was effective from all spots — first with an 8-footer, then a long 2-pointer, plus a couple of layups. Though the Pacers trailed 11-10, West tallied 17 and propelled them in front, 31-20, by quarter’s end.
Over an eight-minute stretch, the Pacers outscored the Nuggets 27-10. The Nuggets did respond with a 10-2 spurt, but then finished the half poorly, fouling George Hill in the act of shooting a triple in the final seconds. His free throws were good, giving Indiana its largest lead of the half, 61-40.
With balanced contributions from its roster, the Pacers continued to add to their lead in the second half. If not for seven turnovers in the third quarter, the margin would’ve been even greater. The Nuggets, who shot just 31.5 percent on the night, struggled to get much to fall, particularly from the 3-point line (23 percent).
With an 85-56 advantage entering the fourth quarter, Vogel was able to rest his starters and play all 13 active players at least seven minutes. Every player scored in the victory. Rookie Solomon Hill got his first basket (and minutes) in 10 games. The hoop put the Pacers over the century mark for the 19th time this season.
The game was in hand so early that the G2 Zone, George Hill and Paul George’s section, chanted all the bench player’s names, Larry Bird’s, and many more.
The 39-point win, the widest margin in the history of the series, helped the Pacers snap a five-game losing streak to the Nuggets. Now, they have one more game to go before All-Star break. Indiana hosts Dallas on Wednesday.
Inside the Numbers
David West scored a game-high 25 points in just 27 minutes, 17 coming in the first quarter alone. He was 11-of-13 from the floor and connected on his last nine shots.
Roy Hibbert finished with 14 points and 12 rebounds for his 13th double-double of the season, to go along with four blocks. In the last meeting with Denver, Hibbert fouled out with five points and three rebounds. George Hill efficiently contributed 10 points, seven rebounds and five assists. Ian Mahinmi had seven points and a season-best nine rebounds.
In addition to every active Pacers player scoring (for the first time this year), all five starters finished in double figures for the 12th time.
Wilson Chandler paced the Nuggets with 17 points. Randy Foye, who started at point guard, finished with nine points and 10 assists.
Indiana had a 56-37 rebounding advantage and scored 58 points in the paint, tying their season high.
After limiting Denver to 31.5 percent from the field, the Pacers move to 22-0 when holding opponents below 40 percent shooting.
“I thought we played a complete game. We shared the basketball, we kept the turnovers down for the most part, and he guarded really well.” – Frank Vogel
“I just thought we played the game the right way. We finished what we talked about doing, in terms of finishing around the rim and concentrating late in our shots. We didn’t shoot the ball great from the 3-point line but our defense was engaged and in the right mode to get us some extra possessions.” – David West
“Our team had a good flow, we were making the right reads, making the right passes, and sharing the ball.” – David West on the team’s offensive production
“We knew we had to come out and play a full 48 minutes. We thought last night was a game that got away from us. … So tonight we wanted to jump on this team early and learn from our mistakes last night.” – Paul George
“With this team, everybody makes everybody else look good, honestly. We have so many weapons that you just pass the ball and somebody will make a shot. … We can call so many plays for so many different people.” – Danny Granger on the team’s depth
Stat of the Game
Indiana’s 39-point margin of victory is its largest since a 140-89 (51 points) win over the Chicago Bulls in 2003 (via ESPN Stats & Info)
- The Pacers split the season series with Denver, with both teams winning on their home floor.
- With the win, Frank Vogel now has a win over each of the other 29 NBA teams. He was previously 0-4 vs. the Nuggets.
- Denver was without the services of Ty Lawson (fractured rib), Javale McGee (tibia stress fracture), Danilo Gallinari (ACL tear) and Nate Robinson (ACL sprain).
- Prior to the game, the Pacers held a special presentation at center court, as General Martin Umbarger of the Indiana National Guard presented Panther Racing managing partner John Barnes with his Spirit of Hope Award. Read More »