Saturday, December 7, 2013 at 8:30 PM ET at the AT&T Center
Game Rewind: Pacers 111, Spurs 100
Scott Agness | December 7, 2013
Beyond the Indiana Pacers’ journey out West, they have as challenging of schedule as there is over four nights. The Pacers would have to bring their lunch pails against the top echelon of the Association: San Antonio, Oklahoma City, and then back home against Miami.
After going two days between games, the Pacers (18-2) returned to the court Saturday night in San Antonio against the Spurs (15-4), who hadn’t played since Monday. The Pacers turned a 13-point deficit into a 22-point cushion entering the fourth. Despite a late push by San Antonio’s reserves, the Pacers turned in their most impressive victory of the season.
The Pacers left the AT&T Center with a 111-100 win, snapping an 11-game losing streak to the steady Spurs. It was the team’s first win in San Antonio since Jan. 4, 2002.
The Spurs shot 55 percent in the opening quarter and took the lead early on a 9-2 spurt. Roy Hibbert was active early and had eight of his 12 points in the first quarter. The Pacers went nearly 10 minutes until their first turnover but they failed to hit a 3-pointer in the first period and got behind 28-20.
The Spurs scored seven of the first nine points in the second quarter and went ahead by 13, their largest lead of the game. David West, in for Ian Mahinmi who had three quick fouls, and Luis Scola teamed up for 12 of Indiana’s first 14 in the quarter before the starters returned. Playing more assertive and with an extra bounce in their step, the Pacers used an 18-4 run to take their first lead since 6-4. Paul George then had a sensational stretch in which he scored 11 straight for the Pacers, who hit 63 percent of their shots in the period and took a 52-48 lead at intermission.
Indiana’s typically is at its best during the third quarter, and tonight was no different. They scored on their opening seven possessions, made 68 percent of their field goals, held the Spurs to a 29 percent clip, and controlled the period, 35-17.
All five starters, who each finished in double figures, scored at least four in the period — led by nine from George. After missing their first six tries from long distance, they drilled seven straight and that helped push them to an 87-65 cushion at the conclusion of the third.
The final score wasn’t indicative of how dominant the Pacers were after the first period. Midway through the fourth, after the Pacers had taken a 26-point lead, Vogel pulled the starters. The Spurs’ bench then scored 15 straight, trimming their deficit to 10, but it was too late. The Pacers played outstanding, put an end to the Spurs’ supremacy over them, and improved to 3-1 on the road trip with one to play.
Oklahoma City awaits.
Inside the Numbers
Every Indiana player that scored (7), tallied 12 or more points. Paul George posted a game-high 28 points on 9 of 14 shooting—4 for 4 from outside and 6 for 6 at the line. The Pacers were +33 with David West on the floor. He scored 20, just his second game with 20 or more and Lance Stephenson added 15.
Roy Hibbert (12 points, 10 rebounds) finished in double figures for the sixth consecutive game and he registered his seventh double-double of the season. Luis Scola also had 12 and 10 for his first double-double with the Pacers.
Kawhi Leonard led the Spurs in scoring with a season-high 18, seven coming with the game in hand. Manu Ginobili was 6-9 from the floor and had 16 points. Tony Parker ended the night with 13 points and Tim Duncan added 10.
Both teams were blazing hot from beyond the arc. The Spurs made 50 percent of their attempts (13-for-26) and the Pacers were one extra attempt and make away from matching that clip, 47 percent (9-19).
The Pacers were 26-of-28 at the free throw line, +21, compared the Spurs’ 5-of-6.
Through 20 games, the Pacers are +129 in the third quarter of games.
With a season-high 111 points tonight, the Pacers are now 5-1 when scoring at least 100.
“Yeah, I think so. You have to play great to beat this basketball team, especially here and we did in the second and third quarter. We were operating on all cylinders. Offensively, moving the basketball, being shot-ready on the perimeter and knocking down big shots and we got stops as well.” – Frank Vogel on whether this was their best effort of the year
“Nothing. It’s a regular season game. What if we won game seven (of the Eastern Conference Finals) and played these guys? I don’t think it would have been anything like today. This is a regular season game. I know we could play with these guys.” – Vogel on what he learned tonight
“Not only did we do it defensively, we played great offensively as well. That’s really been a struggle for us, executing and playing consistently on the offensive end. That was a huge step for us tonight and it was good that we were able to match their energy early on.” – Paul George on their big run
“I thought we put together one of our more complete games. I thought we were connected, even when we got down in that second quarter. We had that belief like, if we put together some stops, obviously we felt like we could get some good shots offensively, and we just converted. We got some steals, got a little bit more active.” – David West
“We just didn't make stops in the second and third quarter. They (Pacers) scored 32 in the second quarter and 35 in the third quarter. End of story. Against a team as good as Indiana, you can't allow those kinds of points. You’re going to be in big trouble.” – Spurs coach Gregg Popovich
Stat of the Game
The Pacers outscored the Spurs 67-37 in the middle two quarters.
- Spurs center Tiago Splitter has been dealing with tightness in his left calf and, though he started the game, didn’t play in the second half.
- Today was Pacers President Larry Bird’s 57th birthday.
Sunday, Dec. 8 at Oklahoma City – 7:00 p.m. EST