GAME RECAP: Mavericks 112, Pacers 103

Kirstaps Porzingis scores 38 points as the Mavericks get the win over the Pacers, 112-103.

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GAME RECAP: Mavericks 112, Pacers 103

Kirstaps Porzingis scores 38 points as the Mavericks get the win over the Pacers, 112-103.
Feb 3, 2020  |  00:01

Postgame: Pacers Locker Room - Feb. 3, 2020

February 3, 2020 - Pacers players Victor Oladipo, Doug McDermott and Domantas Sabonis discussed Indiana's 112-103 loss to the Dallas Mavericks on Monday night at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
Feb 3, 2020  |  03:54

McDermott And Oladipo Defend The Paint

Doug McDermott and Victor Oladipo shut down two shot attempts inside, leading to a fastbreak for Indy.
Feb 3, 2020  |  00:12

Sabonis Shows The Interior Moves

Domantas Sabonis gets inside and hits his defender with the spin and ball-fake to get free for the basket.
Feb 3, 2020  |  00:08

Victor Drains The Deep Three

Victor Oladipo pulls up from very long range to hit the three as the third quarter winds down.
Feb 3, 2020  |  00:11

Victor Gets Inside For The Basket

Victor Oladipo works his way inside for the nice layup finish.
Feb 3, 2020  |  00:10

Sabonis Through The Lane For The Slam

Domantas Sabonis finishes the pick & roll with a big time slam.
Feb 3, 2020  |  00:08

Brogdon Goes End To End

Malcolm Brogdon snags the rebound and takes it all the way to the other end for the reverse layup.
Feb 3, 2020  |  00:11

McDermott To Sabonis For And-One

Doug McDermott and Domantas Sabonis run the two-man game leading to an and-one finish for the big man.
Feb 3, 2020  |  00:08

Domas Throws It Down Strong

Domantas Sabonis goes to the hole with determination, moving his defender out of the way for the throw down!
Feb 3, 2020  |  00:09

McDermott Leaks Out For The Layup

Doug McDermott hustles down the court after the Dallas shot attempt leading to a quick transition basket.
Feb 3, 2020  |  00:10

McConnell Feeds Sabonis Inside

Domantas Sabonis gets great position inside and receives the pass from T.J. McConnell for the bucket.
Feb 3, 2020  |  00:08

Brogdon Finds Oladipo On The Break

Indy creates the turnover on defense leading to a Brogdon to Oladipo fast break finish.
Feb 3, 2020  |  00:14

Pacers Trying to Avoid Reliving October

by Mark Montieth
Pacers.com Writer
@MarkMontieth

In the rest of the world it's February, but in Indianapolis lately it feels like October. Both for the unseasonably warm temperatures and Victor Oladipo's unseasonably cold shooting.

Everyone expected Oladipo to need time to knock off the rust of a year-long layoff when he returned, but many people probably didn't expect this much rust. He hit just 4-of-17 shots, including 1-of-10 3-point attempts, at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on Monday, a major factor in the Pacers' 112-103 loss to Dallas — although hardly the only one.

Three games into his sandblasting process, Oladipo has hit 8-of-39 shots, including 3-of-21 3-point attempts. His dramatic overtime-forcing 3-pointer from 28 feet against Chicago last Wednesday propelled that victory, but now they've lost consecutive home games for just the second time all season.

T.J. Warren's absence due to the concussion suffered in Saturday's game against New York was sorely felt, but the Mavericks had no reason to sympathize. They were without their best player, All-Star starter Luka Doncic, as well as starting center Dwight Powell and part-time starting guard Seth Curry.

What the Pacers were missing most of all, though, was execution at both ends and shot-making.

They failed to contain Dallas' 3-point barrage, one they knew was coming because the Mavs ranked second in the NBA in 3-point makes and attempts heading into the game. The Pacers, however, failed to consistently execute switches and give help, thus leaving shooters too wide open far too often.

Kristaps Porzingis, all 7-foot-3 of him, hit 6-of-13 3-pointers, 5-of-7 in the first half. He had sat out the Mavericks' previous game and had hit just 4-of-15 3-pointers in his three games prior to that, but he still was a feature of the scouting report given his career production.

Pacers' coach Nate McMillan and point guard Malcolm Brogdon both blamed miscommunication.

The offensive issues were found mostly in the backcourt. Domantas Sabonis fell one assist shy of his third triple-double of the season with 26 points, 12 rebounds, and nine assists. Myles Turner (11 points, three blocks) and Jeremy Lamb (11 points on 5-of-8 shooting) were solid and Justin Holiday, T.J. McConnell, and Doug McDermott all played well off the bench, combining for 25 points on 11-of-19 shooting with no turnovers.

The Pacers, in fact, had just four turnovers for the game, tying a franchise record. But even that wasn't enough to make up for 7-of-34 3-point shooting. Oladipo, Brogdon, and Aaron Holiday, who started in place of Warren, combined to hit 13-of-43 shots, including 4-of-20 3-pointers.

Oladipo presents a dilemma in that he gives the Pacers their best hope of contending in the Eastern Conference and obviously deserves significant patience and freedom as he works his way back from a serious injury. But how much and at what cost? He took 17 shots in 23 minutes against the Mavs, failed to grab a rebound and passed out two assists.

That's why he's Mr. October for the moment, reminding everyone of what all the Pacers experienced at the beginning of the season when they lost their first three games while getting to know one another's habits on a first-name basis.

"You've got play the game," McMillan said. "This is his October. He's trying to play himself into a rhythm. Some of those looks are open looks. He's not going to get a rhythm unless he shoots it and gets his confidence. The only way to get that is to play."

That sentiment echoed through the locker room following the game. Sabonis, for one, talked of the need to get Oladipo open for better shots. The loudest call for understanding came from Oladipo himself.

"I'm going to keep shooting, so it doesn't matter what anyone writes or says or does," he said. "Y'all ain't got to worry about me being aggressive. I could go 0 for a thousand. I worked too hard not to keep being aggressive. Obviously, I missed a year, but I'm going to keep taking good shots and I'm going to keep taking them with confidence and eventually they'll fall."

Brogdon struggled as well, hitting 6-of-17 shots and passing out just three assists, well below his average of 7.5. He made 4-of-13 field goal attempts against New York on Saturday. The Brogdon-Oladipo pairing in the backcourt has been highly anticipated but obviously needs time.

Speaking of time, Oladipo's groove-seeking could benefit from more of it. But he's limited to no more than 24 minutes per game as a precaution to keep him from doing too much too soon and risking another injury, a plan that will remain in place until the All-Star break. It also was decided to bring him off the bench, so that means four appearances of five or six minutes at the end of each quarter.

"It's really different," Oladipo said. "Yeah, it's a tough adjustment because it's hard to figure out when you go out there how to be aggressive in that short time. You'll go in there, then look up and there will only be a minute and a half left. But at the same time, you got to be smart, pick your time and find a flow."

The search for it continues Wednesday at Toronto.


Have a question for Mark? Want it to be on Pacers.com? Email him at askmontieth@gmail.com and you could be featured in his next mailbag.

Mark Montieth's book on the formation and groundbreaking seasons of the Pacers, "Reborn: The Pacers and the Return of Pro Basketball to Indianapolis," is available in bookstores throughout Indiana and on Amazon.com.

Note: The contents of this page have not been reviewed or endorsed by the Indiana Pacers. All opinions expressed by Mark Montieth are solely his own and do not reflect the opinions of the Indiana Pacers, their partners, or sponsors.

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