Pacers vs 76ers

Game Recap: Pacers 103, Sixers 94

Domantas Sabonis recorded 16 points (7-9 FG), 13 rebounds and a career-high 15 assists for the Pacers as they defeated the 76ers, 103-94. This is Sabonis ninth triple-double of the season and the 13th

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Game Recap: Pacers 103, Sixers 94

Domantas Sabonis recorded 16 points (7-9 FG), 13 rebounds and a career-high 15 assists for the Pacers as they defeated the 76ers, 103-94. This is Sabonis ninth triple-double of the season and the 13th
May 11, 2021  |  00:01

Postgame: Pacers Locker Room – May 11, 2021

May 11, 2021 – Nate Bjorkgren, Caris LeVert, Doug McDermott, and Justin Holiday speak with the media following Indiana’s 103-94 win over the Philadelphia 76ers at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
May 11, 2021  |  03:13

Caris Comes Up Clutch

May 11, 2021: Caris LeVert hits the clutch stepback three.
May 11, 2021  |  00:14

Domantas Sabonis records his 9th triple-double of the season and racks up a career-high 15 assists

Domantas Sabonis records his 9th triple-double of the season and racks up a career-high 15 assists
May 11, 2021  |  00:04

Sabonis All Alone for the Dunk

May 11, 2021: Domantas Sabonis grabs the rebound and finds himself alone under the basket on the other end of the floor for the dunk.
May 11, 2021  |  00:16

LeVert Hits the Tough Shot

May 11, 2021: Caris LeVert hits the midrange shot with a high degree of difficulty.
May 11, 2021  |  00:08

Holiday Regains Control and Hits the Three

May 11, 2021: Justin Holiday keeps control of the ball and creates space for the 3-pointer.
May 11, 2021  |  00:11

LeVert Baseline Dunk

May 11, 2021: Caris LeVert cuts along the baseline, where Domantas Sabonis finds him for the dunk.
May 11, 2021  |  00:09

Holiday Finishes Through Contact

May 11, 2021: Justin Holiday drives through traffic and finishes through the foul.
May 11, 2021  |  00:08

Goga Blocks and Stanley Hits From Deep

May 11, 2021: Goga Bitadze blocks the shot and the Pacers get down the floor, where Cassius Stanley drains the three.
May 11, 2021  |  00:11

Sabonis Finds Holiday For the 3-Pointer

May 11, 2021: Domantas Sabonis runs the break and fires the nice bounce pass to Justin Holiday for the 3-pointer.
May 11, 2021  |  00:11

Caris Dishes to Domas For Three

May 11, 2021: Caris LeVert plays a two-man game with Domantas Sabonis and finds Domas for the open 3-pointer.
May 11, 2021  |  00:08

Game Rewind: Pacers 103, 76ers 94

Tuesday, May 11, 2021 at 8:00 PM ET at Bankers Life Fieldhouse
by Wheat Hotchkiss
Pacers.com Writer/Editor
@Wheat_Hotchkiss

Game Recap

Caris LeVert couldn't buy a shot at the start of Tuesday's game, but he found his shooting stroke in the second half to secure at least one postseason contest for the Pacers.

LeVert scored seven straight points in crunch time to lift Indiana (33-36) to a 103-94 win over the East-leading Philadelphia 76ers (47-22) at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. The win denied Philadelphia's attempt to secure the top seed in the East, but more importantly it (coupled with Chicago's loss to Brooklyn) clinched a spot for the Pacers in the new Play-In Tournament that will determine the final two playoff seeds in the East.

LeVert hit seven of his final 10 shots and finished with a team-high 24 points, seven rebounds, and five assists.

Doug McDermott scored 20 points while going 4-for-10 from 3-point range, while Domantas Sabonis added another triple-double with 16 points, 13 rebounds, and 15 assists.

PLAYOFF PICTURE: Tracking the Latest Standings, Remaining Schedules, and More »

The two teams were tied at 92 before LeVert put Indiana in front with a pair of free throws with 3:49 to play. After turnovers on the next four possessions, Tobias Harris missed a jumper and T.J. McConnell secured the rebound. LeVert then hit a jumper to push Indiana's lead to four with 2:23 remaining.

Indiana's defense continued to lock down on the next two possessions, as Justin Holiday made an athletic play in the corner to block Danny Green and then Goga Bitadze had a strong contest on Mike Scott's shot in the same spot on the next trip down the floor.

That set the stage for LeVert to seal the victory, as he went one-on-one with Scott at the top of the key, draining a stepback three with 57.6 seconds remaining.

"I love those moments," LeVert said after the win. "Those are moments that I live for."

The two teams traded runs at the start of Tuesday's contest. Philadelphia jumped out to an early 7-2 lead before McDermott hit two 3-pointers and Sabonis buried another as the Pacers surged ahead with a 9-0 spurt. The lead was short-lived, however, as the 76ers outscored Indiana 17-5 over the next three minutes.

The Pacers' offense found some life late in the first quarter as Kelan Martin — fresh off a career-high 25-point performance on Monday — checked in and knocked down his first two 3-point attempts. Nevertheless, Philadelphia scored 18 points in the paint in the opening frame and took a 33-26 lead into the second quarter.

The Sixers extended their lead to 48-35 following Ben Simmons' dunk with 5:45 remaining in the first half. Sabonis hit another three and then connected with McDermott and Holiday on a pair of assists during a subsequent 7-2 run, but Philadelphia responded with seven unanswered points in the next 55 seconds.

The visitors pushed the margin to 16 on Harris' 3-pointer with 1:48 to play, but Indiana closed the half with a 7-2 run to trim the deficit to 62-51 entering the intermission.

The Pacers opened the third quarter with a charge. Back-to-back threes by McDermott trimmed the deficit to 66-61 entering the first timeout of the second half. Out of the break, McDermott scored again on a backdoor cut and then a putback jumper by Sabonis made it a one-point game and capped a 14-4 run to open the half.

The 76ers answered with a pair of baskets by Simmons and Harris and remained in front for a few more minutes. Indiana finally surged ahead late in the frame, with Justin Holiday's 3-pointer tying the game at 72 with 1:54 remaining and LeVert's stepback three 40 seconds later giving the Blue & Gold their first lead since early in the first quarter.

Isaiah Joe's layup and a George Hill free throw in the final minute of the frame tied the game at 75 entering the fourth quarter.

Philadelphia scored the first five points of the fourth quarter to surge back in front. The visitors maintained a narrow lead for the next several minutes before Indiana finally tied the game once again at 92 on Sabonis' dunk with 4:34 remaining.

The Pacers locked down in the final minutes, holding the Sixers without a field goal over the final 5:26 to secure their second victory in as many nights and their third in their last four games.

"As that game went on, we kept feeding off our energy," Pacers head coach Nate Bjorkgren said. "The energy on our bench, the energy of the guys on the floor, the energy in the building. When you're playing that way, it feels good."

The joy was palpable afterwards as several teammates bombarded LeVert during his postgame interview with Bally Sports Indiana, dousing him with water.

"That's how it's supposed to be," LeVert said. "We get paid to play a game that we've been playing since we were kids. I think sometimes within the business that gets lost. I think for us, getting that joy back is going to help us down the stretch."

Justin Holiday added 16 points and five rebounds, while T.J. McConnell (10 points and six rebounds) also finished in double figures in the win.

Harris led Philadelphia with 27 points in the loss, while Simmons added 20 points, eight boards, and seven assists.

The 76ers were without MVP candidate Joel Embiid due to a non-COVID illness on Tuesday, but the Pacers were missing more key players. Malcolm Brogdon, Jeremy Lamb, and Myles Turner remained out due to injury and they were joined on the sidelines by Edmond Sumner (left knee contusion) and Aaron Holiday (right great toe sprain).

The Pacers continue a three-game homestand on Thursday against the Milwaukee Bucks.

Inside the Numbers

Indiana outscored Philadelphia 52-32 in the second half. The Sixers' 13 points in the third quarter were the fewest in that frame by a Pacers opponent all season.

Sabonis collected his ninth triple-double of the season and his third in his past seven games in the win.

McDermott topped 20 points for the 11th time this season.

The Pacers outrebounded the Sixers, 45-35.

The Blue & Gold went 14-for-41 from 3-point range, outscoring Philadelphia by 18 points from beyond the arc.

You Can Quote Me On That

"We tried to put more size on Simmons and Harris as the game went. You saw Domas guarding Harris, he guarded Simmons tonight. And then when we had Goga out there, we were able to have more length and more size and I just thought that that bigger lineup against that Philadelphia team tonight was the one that worked." -Bjorkgren on Indiana's defensive adjustments in the second half

"We did great in transition. Coach has been preaching that for about two weeks now. I think it came together for us in the second half. We knew if we kept them out of transition it was tough for them to score in the half court. And we took care of business on that end." -LeVert

"We ended up playing team defense, really being in the gaps, getting out and playing fast. I think that helped us. We were moving the ball, we were getting baskets at the basket, we were getting threes. But defensively, we were playing together and showed our help a lot better than we did in the first half." -Holiday

"He's really in tune with keeping that ball moving and keeping others involved. He was really focusing on the defensive end. That's what he can control the most — your effort and your defense. And then his offense started to come and he hit some big shots, especially late." -Bjorkgren on LeVert staying with it after a slow start shooting the ball

"We know what's on the line. We're not going to fold. We're going to keep playing through whatever comes our way. We've had a lot of adversity this year, but we know we can finish strong and finish on a positive note. That's what's in front of us. We've got a great locker room led by a great staff and we're going to keep fighting." -McDermott on the Pacers' mentality as the regular season comes to a close

Stat of the Night

The Pacers stopped Philadelphia on 11 of their final 12 possessions on Tuesday, with the 76ers' only points over that stretch coming on a pair of free throws by Harris with 55.7 seconds remaining. Philadelphia went 0-for-10 from the field with two turnovers over the final 5:05.

Noteworthy

  • With the win, the Pacers improved to 11-5 on the season when playing on the second night of a back-to-back.
  • Tuesday's victory prevented Philadelphia from sweeping the season series with Indiana for the first time since 2004-05.
  • Reserve forward JaKarr Sampson returned after missing six games with a concussion. He played 3:56 in the first half, scoring two points.

Up Next

The Pacers host Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on Thursday, May 13 at 7:00 PM ET.

Tickets

A limited number of tickets for all remaining Pacers home games are now on sale. Single Game Tickets »   Health & Safety Guidelines »





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