Tuesday, March 13 at Bankers Life Fieldhouse
Game Rewind: Pacers 92, Blazers 75
By Conrad Brunner
With the trade deadline looming Thursday, Lou Amundson did everything he could to suggest the Pacers might not need to make a move for another big man, after all.
The energetic 6-9 veteran produced a career-high 21 points, made 10-of-11 shots and provided a lion's share of the highlights as the Pacers snapped a four-game losing streak with a methodical 92-75 rout of Portland Tuesday before 10,933 in Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
With the second unit providing the spark, the Pacers opened an 18-point lead in the second quarter. The starters then pushed it to 25 in the third and the rout was on. Indiana improved to 24-16 while Portland, playing the fourth of a seven-game road trip, dropped to 20-22.
BY THE NUMBERS
Danny Granger scored 11 with six rebounds in 17½ minutes for the Pacers. David West had 10 point sand 10 rebounds in 27 minutes, while Paul George scored 11. George Hill returned from a two-game absence and had 11 points and three assists in 23 minutes off the bench. The Pacers shot .488.
LaMarcus Aldridge led Portland with 17 points and five rebounds. Nolan Smith had 10 off the bench. Portland shot just .313 overall but outscored the Pacers 30-8 from the free-throw line.
"Really proud of our guys responding from a tough week last week, playing with energy and effort and playing together." - Coach Frank Vogel
"Our bench was spectacular. They took charge in the second quarter and Lou Amundson was MVP. It was a really good team effort all the way around." - Vogel
"I know Coach Harter would be proud of our 31 percent field goal defense tonight." - Vogel
"I’m really feeling confident and tonight it felt really good out there. I feel I’m getting a lot more comfortable in our system and with the players’ and coaches’ encouragement." - Amundson
"We planned to come out aggressive and we did. Our defense was tough. We’re beating the good teams. We now have to beat the great teams to be the kind of team that we really want to be." - George
"I’ll tell you the guy couldn’t miss. He’s been coming in off the bench and really giving us a lift. He’s coming in and playing great." - George on Amundson
STAT OF THE GAME
The Pacers won all the hustle stats, beating Portland 50-38 on the boards, 19-3 on the fast break, 11-4 on second-chance points and 50-16 in the paint.
Portland came out ice-cold, missing its first six shots and going 2-of-15 in the first quarter but the Pacers couldn't take full advantage because early foul trouble sent Granger and George to the bench and Portland was able to stay close at the line, making 11 of 14 free throws and trailing just 19-15 after one.
The second unit did a nice job extending the lead in the second quarter as Hill made his presence felt right away, racking up nine points and three assists in the period, while West scored 10 and Amundson eight with four rebounds in 11 minutes. The lead grew to 44-26 but Aldridge heated up after missing his first five shots and sparked a 12-4 finishing kick for the Blazers, who cut the lead to 48-38 at halftime.
Portland shot just 30 percent (9 of 30) in the half but outscored the Pacers 19-3 from the free-throw line. The Pacers shot 54 percent, had 13 assists and controlled the boards 26-18.
The starters put the game out of reach quickly in the third period as Granger hit a pair of 3-pointers in a 10-2 run that pushed the lead to 58-41, and it grew steadily from there as Portland continued to struggle for offense. The Blazers shot 4 of 15 and totaled just 14 points in the period as the Pacers took a 75-52 lead into the fourth quarter and pushed it to as many as 29 in the final period as both coaches emptied their benches.
The Pacers won their seventh game in a row against an opponent with a losing record. They will get the opportunity to snap their eight-game losing streak against teams with winning records Wednesday when Philadelphia comes to town. … Portland center Marcus Camby went to the locker room midway through the first quarter with an apparent left shoulder injury. … The Blazers went 8:21 without a field goal in the first half, missing eight shots in a row spanning the first and second periods. … Jeff Foster missed his sixth game in a row and 28th of the season with a sore back.
Completing the first set of back-to-back home games this season, the Pacers play host to Andre Iguodala, Lou Williams and the Philadelphia 76ers Wednesday at Bankers Life Fieldhouse (7 p.m., Fox Sports Indiana, WIBC 93 FM). The Sixers (25-17) lead the Atlantic Division and entered play Tuesday standing fourth in the Eastern Conference.