Inside the Game: Spurs 90, Pacers 87 100217
Player of the Game
Battled ferociously against Tim Duncan and DeJuan Blair throughout the game and produced 14 points, seven rebounds and six blocked shots in 32 remarkably active and aggressive minutes.
Points in the paint:
Pacers 42, Spurs 34
Pacers 18, Spurs 13
Spurs 20, Pacers 12
Points off turnovers:
Pacers 15, Spurs 13
Pacers 64, Spurs 48
Spurs 42, Pacers 23
Stat of the Night
Tim Duncan shot 4-of-23 Wednesday night and was 12-of-41 (.293) in two games against them this season.
The Pacers open a four-game road trip, their longest of the season, Friday in New Orleans (8 p.m., Fox Sports Indiana, 1070 The Fan).
Two times, the Pacers got the stop they needed in the closing seconds against the Spurs. Two times, they were foiled by Tim Duncan's offensive rebounding.
Danny Granger's 3-pointer cut the San Antonio lead to 90-87 with 30 seconds left but they never got the ball back as Duncan tapped out two missed shots, the second just before the buzzer expired, to preserve the Spurs' victory before 14,947 Wednesday in Conseco Fieldhouse.
When the teams met in San Antonio on Dec. 19, Roy Hibbert blocked Duncan's shot but the veteran grabbed the rebound and dunked to give the Spurs a 100-99 victory.
The Pacers put forth a noble effort, particularly on defense, but emerged with their third straight loss and sixth in eight games to fall to 18-35 overall, 12-15 at home. It was their sixth straight loss to the Spurs, who improved to 31-21 overall, 12-11 on the road.
The Pacers jumped out to a 20-10 lead but the Spurs countered with a 20-4 run in the second quarter to build a 44-35 advantage. Manu Ginobili's drive put San Antonio up 66-52 with 4:21 left in the third quarter but the small backcourt of Earl Watson and T.J. Ford sparked the Pacers on a remarkable 23-3 run bridging the quarters. Watson's tip of a Ford miss in transition gave the Pacers a 75-69 lead with 9:43 left in the game.
With Duncan struggling through a nightmarish offensive night (4-of-23), Tony Parker and Ginobili took over down the stretch. Parker scored seven in a 13-4 counterpunch that put the Spurs up 82-79 with 5:33 remaining. Ginobili then had a three-point play and a jumper to make it 90-84 with 1:16 left.
After Granger cut it to three, Ginobili missed on a drive but Duncan tapped it back out. With the shot-clock expiring, George Hill tossed up a desperation 26-footer that missed but Duncan tapped that one out, as well, and the buzzer sounded.
BY THE NUMBERS
Granger's 23 points led the Pacers. He was 8-of-17 from the field and pulled eight rebounds but committed four turnovers. Roy Hibbert battled Duncan throughout the game and produced 14 points, seven rebounds and six blocked shots (tying his career high). Ford had 14 points on 6-of-12 shooting off the bench, adding three assists, three rebounds and two steals. Troy Murphy had 16 rebounds but fell one point shy of a double-double. Watson flirted with a triple-double, producing nine points, eight assists and six rebounds as well as three steals. The Pacers shot .422 overall but were just 5-of-19 from the 3-point line. They were outrebounded 56-47.
The Spurs shot .354 and were 7-of-24 from the 3-point line but had 17 offensive rebounds and as a result attempted 16 more shots than the Pacers. Parker had a game-high 28 points on 11-of-20 shooting and Ginobili had 18 points, seven assists and six rebounds. Richard Jefferson had 13 with six rebounds off the bench. Duncan came up one short of career highs in total rebounds (26) and offensive boards (11), adding five assists and two blocks. He scored eight points.