GAME RECAP: Pacers 127, 76ers 121
TJ Warren led Indiana with 53 points as the Pacers beat the 76ers, 127-121.
TJ Warren led Indiana with 53 points as the Pacers beat the 76ers, 127-121.
T.J. Warren scored a career-high 53 points and went 9-for-12 from 3-point range in Satuday's #PacersWin.
Aug. 1, 2020 - After a big 127-121 win over the 76ers, T.J. Warren, Aaron Holiday, Victor Oladipo, and Nate McMillan discuss the victory and Warren's 53 points.
August 1, 2020: T.J. Warren hits the deep three to extend the Pacers' lead and give him a career-high 53 points on the night.
August 1, 2020: Victor Oladipo knifes through the lane and hits the stepback jumper.
August 1, 2020: T.J. Warren hits the bucket to establish a new single-game career high in points.
August 1, 2020: Myles Turner creates space off the dribble and hits the baseline jumper.
August 1, 2020: T.J. McConnell with the sharp bounce pass to Doug McDermott for the dunk.
August 1, 2020: TJ Leaf drives to the basket and throws down the one-handed jam.
August 1, 2020: T.J. Warren steps back and hits the 3-pointer.
August 1, 2020: Victor Oladipo creates space and rises up for three.
August 1, 2020: Victor Oladipo hits the 3-pointer from a few steps behind the line.
August 1, 2020: TJ Leaf follows up the miss with the putback bucket.
August 1, 2020: T.J. Warren knocks the ball away and hits the smooth layup.
August 1, 2020: T.J. Warren gets out on the fastbreak and hits the layup plus the foul.
August 1, 2020: T.J. Warren slows it down and works his defender for a turnaround jumper.
Game Rewind: Pacers 127, 76ers 121
Saturday, August 1, 2020 at 7:00 PM ET at Visa Athletic Center
The Pacers were shorthanded as they resumed the 2019-20 season on Saturday night in Orlando, taking the floor without two of their three leading scorers with Domantas Sabonis out of the bubble receiving treatment for plantar fasciitis and Malcolm Brogdon on the sidelines with a neck strain.
Thankfully for Indiana, they still had T.J. Warren. The Pacers' leading scorer was hotter than an August day at Disney World on Saturday, scorching the nets with a career-high 53 points to lead Indiana (40-26) to a 127-121 win over the Philadelphia 76ers (39-27).
Warren finished the night 20-for-29 from the field, 9-for-12 from 3-point range, and 4-for-4 from the free throw line in a crucial victory. With the win, the Pacers improved to 3-1 on the season against Philadelphia, securing the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Sixers in the fight for playoff seeding.
"It was a special game," Warren said. "Just locked in, just laser focused throughout the whole game. My teammates did a great job of feeding me the ball...just did what I do best, put the ball in the basket."
Philadelphia led 98-88 following Alec Burks' 3-pointer with 8:54 to play before Warren unleashed one of his many flurries of buckets on Saturday night. The 6-8 forward converted a layup with 8:03 remaining, a three with 7:42 to play, and a jumper with 7:21 left to surpass the 40-point mark and pulled Indiana within three at 100-97.
Indiana moved in front shortly thereafter when Victor Oladipo connected with Justin Holiday for a 3-pointer to give the Blue & Gold a 102-101 lead with six minutes to play.
The two teams were tied at 107 before Myles Turner's 3-pointer put the Pacers back in front. After Joel Embiid split a pair of free throws, Warren drilled his seventh 3-pointer of the night to give Indiana a five-point cushion. He converted a three-point play a little over a minute later to push the lead to 118-111 with 2:52 to play.
The 76ers got within five on Embiid's three with 1:11 to play. Aaron Holiday then raced up the court and dished to an open Warren on the left wing, who rose up and swished yet another 3-pointer to reach 50 points.
But Philadelphia wasn't done fighting, stringing together another Embiid bucket, creating a turnover, and getting a 3-pointer from Tobias Harris to make it a three-point game with 30 seconds remaining.
After a timeout, the Pacers turned to — who else? — Warren once again. And once again, he delivered, drilling his ninth 3-pointer to seal the win and send the bench into hysterics.
"A guy that hot, you try to get him the ball," Pacers head coach Nate McMillan said. "All of our guys were just trying to do that and T.J. was as hot as I've ever seen. I thought our guys did a good job sacrificing and screening."
— Indiana Pacers (@Pacers) August 2, 2020
Aaron Holiday finished with 15 points and 10 assists for Indiana, while Oladipo added 15 points and seven rebounds in the win.
The 76ers used their size advantage to jump out to an early lead on Saturday, pounding the ball into the paint while building a 10-2 lead. To make matters worse for the Pacers, starting center Myles Turner had to head to the bench after picking up his second foul just 3:37 into the contest.
Thankfully for the Blue & Gold, Warren took over shortly thereafter. Warren buried a 3-pointer on his first attempt of the night at the 8:11 mark. Embiid converted a putback layup on the other end, but Warren answered with a jumper. Then after baskets by Aaron Holiday and Oladipo, Warren caught fire.
He scored on each of the Pacers' next four possessions, converting a three-point play at 6:03, a jumper at 5:33, a layup at 5:11, and another jumper at 4:41. Oladipo added a jumper of his own at 4:17 to cap a 17-0 Indiana run and give the Pacers a 24-14 lead.
Warren later added a layup and a 3-pointer to cap off a 19-point first quarter as the Pacers took a 35-29 lead into the opening quarter break.
"If you know T.J. Warren, you know he's a bucket," Holiday said. "So it's not surprising. We just kept trying to find him."
Philadelphia surged back in front, however, early in the second quarter. Burks hit two 3-pointers and Ben Simmons scored twice in the post as part of a 15-5 Sixers run to open the frame.
The Pacers managed to tie the game at 47 and moved ahead when Oladipo buried a long three with the shot clock winding down with 4:05 remaining in the first half. Then Warren caught fire once again, drilling a 3-pointer at 3:34, a long two at 3:13, and yet another triple at 2:55 to give Indiana a 58-49 lead.
"He's been a scorer since as long as I've known him," Oladipo said.
"He was born to get buckets. It's no surprise to any of us that he was able to do what he did tonight. It's great to have him on our team. It was amazing to watch...things like that don't happen often."
The Blue & Gold took a 61-55 advantage into the break, but the 76ers opened the second half with a 14-5 surge to move back in front.
Indiana briefly tied the game at 69 with just under five minutes remaining in the third quarter on Warren's fifth 3-pointer of the night, but Harris scored five straight points to give Philadelphia a lead it would not relinquish for the rest of the frame.
Embiid scored 10 points and Harris added nine in the period as the 76ers took an 87-81 lead into the fourth quarter.
Embiid finished with 41 points, 21 rebounds, four assists, and three blocks in the loss. Harris added 30 points and eight boards, while Simmons finished with 19 points, 13 rebounds, and four assists.
Doug McDermott and T.J. McConnell each contributed 10 points off the bench in the winning effort for Indiana.
The Pacers will be off Sunday before their only back-to-back during the eight seeding games. They face Washington on Monday and then take on Orlando on Tuesday.
Inside the Numbers
Warren shattered his previous career high of 40 points, set while with Phoenix on Nov. 1, 2017. His previous season high was 36 points in a win at Charlotte on Jan. 6.
Warren's nine 3-pointers were five more than his previous career high and matched the Pacers franchise record. Paul George also made nine threes on Nov. 21, 2012.
The Pacers outscored Philadelphia 46-34 in the fourth quarter. It was Indiana's highest-scoring quarter this season and tied the franchise record for most points in the fourth quarter.
Indiana finished the night with 31 assists and just 10 turnovers, as Aaron Holiday dished out 10 assists and McConnell added eight. Philadelphia, on the other hand, had just 20 assists and 21 giveaways.
The 76ers outscored Indiana 68-44 in points in the paint.
Turner fouled out in just 19:45, but did manage nine points on 4-of-5 shooting, including the go-ahead 3-pointer in the fourth quarter.
You Can Me On That
"I play a lot of basketball. When I'm at home with my friends, playing pickup games, anywhere. I'm just born to be a hooper...It doesn't matter the environment. You've got to come with it every game." -Warren
"I told him that I really wanted him to work on his 3-point shooting during the time that we (were) off...I just felt that it was going to be something that we needed from him if we were able to restart this season." -McMillan on his phone call with Warren at the start of the hiatus
"It was good to just be out there competing, playing the game I love...I'm glad I could go out there and help the team." -Oladipo, who did not officially commit to playing in the restart until hours before Saturday's game
"I feel like we got the ball movement...I tried my best to get everybody involved." -Holiday on his 10 assists
Stat of the Night
Warren became just the fourth player in franchise history to score 50 points in an NBA game. He joins Reggie Miller (57 points on Nov. 28, 1992), Jermaine O'Neal (55 points on Jan. 4, 2005), and Billy Knight (52 points on Nov. 11, 1982).
Warren also scored 19 points in each of the first and fourth quarters and now shares the franchise record for most points in the fourth quarter with Miller, O'Neal, George, and Jalen Rose.
- All players and coaches from both teams took a knee during the national anthem prior to the game. McMillan and 76ers head coach Brett Brown traded sidelines, with McMillan kneeling alongside and locking arms with the 76ers players and Brown doing the same with the Pacers players.
- Brogdon was declared out hours prior to the game due to a neck injury sustained in Tuesday's scrimmage against San Antonio. Justin Holiday joined the starting lineup in his absence.
- The 76ers were without Glenn Robinson III (left hip pointer) and Mike Scott (right knee soreness).
Indiana takes on the Washington Wizards on Monday, Aug. 3 at 4:00 PM ET.