Rewind: Pacers vs. Warriors
Friday, Jan. 20, 2012 at Oakland, Calif.
The score was tied, the clock ticking down, the crowd roaring and one of the hottest scorers in the league ready to make his move.
But George Hill stole the ball, the moment and the game.
Hill stripped Ellis as he was beginning to make his move, drove the length of the court for a layup, drawing a foul and converting the three-point play with 1.8 seconds remaining to lift the Pacers to a thrilling 94-91 victory over Golden State Friday at Oracle Arena.
The Pacers (10-4) snapped losing streaks of 13 in a row on the road against Western Conference teams and four straight in Oakland thanks to a number of big performances.
Danny Granger (26) and David West (18) both scored season highs while Roy Hibbert had a career-high 16 rebounds. Hill finished with 14 off the bench.
Ellis, who had scored on Golden State's previous three possessions including a tough shot to tie it at 91-all with 45 seconds left, finished with 25 for the Warriors (5-10), who fell short when Stephen Curry's open 3-pointer rimmed out at the buzzer.
BY THE NUMBERS
Granger bounced back from a poor shooting night in a loss to Sacramento Wednesday by hitting 10 of 16 overall including all three of his 3-pointers. West shot 7-of-12 and added seven rebounds and four assists in his best overall game since joining the Pacers. Hibbert had 10 points and two blocks and recorded his seventh double-double of the season. Hill shot 5-of-9 and had two steals. With guards Darren Collison (1 of 12) and Paul George (2 of 8) both struggling, the Pacers turned to their frontcourt, which racked up 54 points. The Pacers shot .422 overall but were 8-of-16 from the 3-point line. They also had 25 assists against just 12 turnovers.
Ellis shot 11 of 20 and added six assists. Dorell Wright made four 3-pointers and scored 18. Curry scored 12 on 5-of-15 shooting and David Lee had 10 points and 14 rebounds. The Warriors shot .463 but committed 18 turnovers that led to 22 Indiana points.
"Obviously the play of the game was George Hill. He was battling Monta Ellis, and Monta Ellis was hitting some terribly difficult shots with good defense on him, which is all we can ask of George Hill. When it came down to it, an iso at the top of the key he made the play of the game." - Pacers Coach Frank Vogel
"We want him to be assertive. He's an All-Star. We want to go to him. We have other weapons, too. We had a lot of mismatches out there, multiple mismatches at multiple times throughout the game but he had a different mindset tonight so that's a good thing." - Vogel
"We're a good defensive team and we were making them take tough shots. When we do that, the odds are in our favor." - Vogel
"They're a tough team and they have probably one of the best one-on-one players in the league in Monta Ellis. We did what we could in terms of just trying to limit him but he's a great player, but G-Hill made a great play at the end. We knew it was going to come down to the last couple of possessions." - West
"In every game that goes by I get more comfortable, get a better feel with the guys and get more acclimated with what we're trying to do. My goal is to continue to improve as every game comes." - Vogel
STAT OF THE GAME
Of the Pacers' first 14 games, just three were against teams that currently have winning records (Miami, Philadelphia and Atlanta). Of their next five, four are against winning teams -- the Lakers, the Magic twice and the Bulls. The only sub-.500 opponent in that stretch is Boston.
Granger and West came out hot in the first half, combining for 25 points on 10-of-15 (.667) shooting but the rest of the Pacers combined for just 18 points on 6-of-28 shooting (.214). Indiana led 27-23 after one quarter but the Warriors switched to a 2-3 zone to start the second period and the defense that led to the Pacers' demise Wednesday in Sacramento was once again effective.
The Pacers came up empty on eight straight possessions, missing seven shots in a row as the Warriors put together a 10-0 run to take a 33-27 lead. With most of that damage done against the second unit, Coach Frank Vogel brought the starters back and found the best way to beat the zone was to prevent it from setting up by shutting down the Warriors at the other end.
The defense yielded just three more buckets to Golden State as the Pacers put together a 12-4 run to wipe out the Warriors' lead and the teams were knotted at 43 heading into the locker room.
Neither team was able to pull away in a tight third quarter that had six ties and eight lead changes, but the Warriors closed the period with an 8-2 burst to take a 69-67 lead into the fourth.
An early 9-3 surge gave the Pacers a 76-72 lead early in the fourth and though it remained close the rest of the way, Indiana would not relinquish the lead. Ellis tied it at 91-all with 45 seconds left on a runner across the lane. When Collison missed a jumper late in the shot clock with 24 seconds left, the Warriors appeared set up for a crowd-pleasing finish -- but Hill intervened on the Pacers' behalf.
West left the game late in the second quarter after apparently taking an inadvertent blow to the throat but returned to start the second half. … Starting point guard Curry returned to the Golden State lineup after missing the last eight games (and nine overall) with a sprained right ankle. Curry ranks third in the Warriors in scoring (15.2) and second in assists (5.6) and steals (1.8). … Jeff Pendergraph returned after missing the loss in Sacramento Wednesday with a concussion. … Jeff Foster (lower back procedure) was not with the team and is expected to miss the rest of this month.
The Pacers wrap up their three-game road trip Sunday in Los Angeles against the Lakers (9:30 p.m., p.m., Fox Sports Indiana, WIBC 93 FM). The Lakers feature a number of familiar faces. Coach Mike Brown and assistant Chuck Person both were assists in Indiana, while reserve forwards Josh McRoberts, Troy Murphy and Metta World Peace all are former Pacers players.