GAME RECAP: Pacers 120 , Sixers 111
Paul George scores 27 points as the Pacers knock off the Sixers, 120-111.
Paul George scores 27 points as the Pacers knock off the Sixers, 120-111.
Paul George scores 27 points as the Pacers defeat the Sixers.
April 10, 2017 - Pacers strip the ball on defense and quickly move the ball on offense leading to an open three for Lance Stephenson.
April 10, 2017 - Paul George crosses halfcourt and spots a cutting CJ Miles under the basket for the easy two.
April 10, 2017 - Paul George gets the isolation at the top of the key and nails the step back jumper.
April 10, 2017 - Indiana makes the steal on defense and pushes the fast break for the Thaddeus Young slam dunk.
April 10, 2017 - Thaddeus Young makes a risky pass, leading to an open Paul George from behind the arc.
April 10, 2017 - Jeff Teague looks up court to find Thaddeus Young for the easy finish.
Game Rewind: Pacers 120, 76ers 111
Monday, April 10, 2017 at 7:00 PM ET at the Wells Fargo Center
Needing a win on the road to stay in control of their playoff destiny, the Pacers sprinted out to an early lead over the 76ers and never gave it up, going on to win 120-111 on Monday night at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia.
The victory moves Indiana's "Magic Number" to just one, making the playoff math for the Pacers' final game on Wednesday against the Hawks simple: win and they're in.
While the Pacers (41-40) led from the moment they went ahead 4-2 to the final whistle, it was hardly a comfortable game for the Blue & Gold, who withstood impressive runs from the plucky 76ers (28-53) throughout the night.
Yet every time the margin tightened, the Pacers were able to find an answer, and that answer often included the reigning Eastern Conference Player of the Week in Paul George.
"They were hot, but we still did a great job offensively with the flow of the game," George said. "I thought when we needed to play defense and lock in, we did that really quick. They definitely had some good runs, but we held up against a team that plays hard."
Indiana's four-time All-Star followed up his 37-point game on Sunday with a 17-point first quarter, going on to finish the night with a game-high 27 points.
In the third quarter, it was Kevin Seraphin who answered the call for the Pacers when Philly got within five points of the lead, as the center scored seven straight Pacers points. Seraphin ended up finishing the night with a season-best 17 points.
"Well he's doing some good things and that's why we're playing him. I think some good things on both ends of the floor. It's not just the scoring," said Pacers head coach Nate McMillan. "It's defensively, being able to get up and defend and play our rules in the pick and roll defense and rebound and defend the basket. So he's given us solid minutes the last few games and we've just stayed with that rotation."
With 5:25 remaining in the game, Thaddeus Young collected an errant shot from George, slamming it home to put the Pacers up 109-98. On their following offensive possession, George and his defender Gerald Henderson got tangled up in a minor altercation, resulting in technical fouls for both players.
With emotions running hot and the Pacers looking to put the game out of reach for good, Young came up with yet another tip-in for his 20th point of the night.
The 76ers, however, weren't willing to call it a night, with Alex Poythress coming up with consecutive 3-pointers to cut Indiana's lead down to 111-104 with 3:20 left in the game.
Following a leaning jumper in the lane from George to put the Pacers up 113-104, Henderson threw an elbow to George's face while driving the lane, getting whistled for an offensive foul and then ejected when an official review ruled it a flagrant II foul. The review, however, also showed that George had elbowed Henderson in the back while running down the floor, resulting in George's second technical foul as well, sending PG to the locker room early. The ejection of George left Indiana without its leading scorer for the final 2:59.
But even without George, the Pacers were still able to extend their lead, breaking the 76ers trap defense as Myles Turner slammed in a missed shot to put Indiana up 116-105 with two minutes left.
Despite another 3-pointer from Poythress — the Pacers' former training camp player and All-Star with the Fort Wayne Mad Ants — Indiana was able to hang on, grabbing the nine-point win and putting themselves the best possible position to clinch the postseason.
The Pacers looked dominant for much of the first half against the 76ers — who entered Monday's matchup losers of their last six games — holding a double-digit lead for the majority of the half. The 76ers, however, showed resiliency, getting their 21-point deficit down to just seven points late in the second quarter.
PLAYOFF PICTURE: Track the Pacers' Playoff Push »
Indiana opened the game on fire, spiriting out to an 11-2 lead following a 3-pointer from George. In an attempt to slow the early onslaught of scoring, 76ers head coach Brett Brown called the game's first timeout just 2:35 into the contest.
George continued his torrid play of late, racking up 17 points in the first quarter alone to help the Pacers enter the second quarter leading 35-20.
PG wasn't the only Pacers player feeling it early. As a team, Indiana shot 66.7 percent in the opening frame while holding the 76ers to just 7-of-20 shooting and seven turnovers.
To open the second quarter, Indiana's bench kept the pressure on, using an Aaron Brooks 3-pointer to give the Pacers a 19-point lead with 8:51 remaining in the half.
But down the stretch of the half, the 76ers — who had trailed by 21 earlier — battled back with an 11-0 run, winnowing their deficit to just seven points with four minutes remaining. By the end of the first half, the Pacers led the 76ers 64-54.
To open up the second half, the 76ers continued to chip into the Pacers' lead, getting it down to just five. But just as he did in the opening quarter, George got hot, connecting on back-to-back midrange jumpers to give the Pacers a nine-point lead as he surpassed 20 points for the 11th consecutive game.
With both bench units in the game, the 76ers made yet another run, getting the lead back down to single digits. As the game began to look in doubt for Indiana, the Pacers found an unlikely source of offense: Kevin Seraphin. The center scored seven straight points for the Pacers, surpassing his season-high in scoring in the process and pushing Indiana's lead back to 10.
Despite the testy finish to the game, Indiana controlled throughout and collected the road win, further increasing the likelihood of a postseason for the Pacers.
Inside the Numbers
The Pacers had five players score 15 or more points (George, Young, Turner, Seraphin, and Teague).
Indiana shot 57 percent from the field while holding the 76ers to 47 percent shooting.
The Pacers outscored the 76ers 35-20 in the game's opening quarter.
Indiana outrebounded the 76ers 44-33 on the glass.
You Can Quote Me On That
"Yeah, I thought we did a solid job. In the fourth quarter we started fouling a little too much and allowed them to get into the penalty with nine minutes to go in the game and the thing we talked about was: got to be disciplined, you've got to be disciplined with your defensive rules and play defense with your feet not with your hands. We started hacking early in that fourth quarter which allowed them to really start marching to the free throw line and we've got to be more disciplined with that." -Pacers head coach Nate McMillan
"It's great that he's back in his rhythm with the team. The team uses Lance to his ability. He needs the ball in his hands, he makes plays with the ball, and that's what this team needs. He's really aggressive and we benefit off of him looking up court and pushing the ball. I think he's found home and it shows. He's playing the same basketball as he was in 2012." -Paul George on Lance Stephenson's play
"We played good as a team. We made a strong effort to play together, and execute on offense and defense. I think we did a really good job with playing and having fun, and just doing the things we need to do." -Thaddeus Young
- Former Pacers training camp member and Fort Wayne Mad Ants All-Star Alex Poythress scored 15 points by making 5-of-7 3-pointers
- Myles Turner posted a double-double with 18 points and 13 rebounds. Turner also notched four blocks.
- Indiana passed out 30 assists as a team, compared to 20 from the 76ers
Stat of the Night
Paul George has now scored 20 or more points in 11 consecutive games, the second longest streak of his NBA career.
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