With the Pacers nursing a one-point lead with 3:24 to play, Lance Stephenson drove along the left baseline and rose up for a dunk. Clippers All-Star center DeAndre Jordan shoved Stephenson to the ground and — after a quick video review — was given a flagrant foul.
After Stephenson knocked down one of two free throws, the Pacers kept the ball and Jordan got switched onto Victor Oladipo. The Pacers' All-Star guard sensed the mismatch, and pulled up for a 3-pointer to give Indiana a 99-94 lead with 3:07 remaining.
It was the signature sequence of a 111-104 win for the Pacers (46-31) and reminiscent of the many big shots Oladipo has hit over the course of the season.
Oladipo was brilliant once again on Sunday, racking up a game-high 30 points on 11-of-17 shooting, a season-high 12 assists, and five steals to lead the Blue & Gold to their fifth straight victory, including three straight to begin a four-game Western Conference road trip.
"Tonight, when he had single coverage, he tried to take advantage of that," Pacers head coach Nate McMillan said. "They started to double-team him, which he's seen a lot lately here in the season, and he gave up the ball. He gave up the ball and he trusted his teammates."
On the other side, the loss was a devastating blow to the playoff hopes of the Clippers (41-36), who are now three games back in the loss column with just five games remaining.
PLAYOFF PICTURE: Track the Pacers' Playoff Push »
The Clippers scored the first five points on Sunday and remained in front for the rest of the first half. Tobias Harris scored nine points and Austin Rivers added seven in the opening frame, which ended with third-year center Montrezl Harrell making just his second career 3-pointer to beat the buzzer and give Los Angeles a 30-22 lead.
Things went from bad to worse for Indiana to start the second quarter, as the Clippers open the frame with an 8-2 run to extend their lead to 14 points.
L.A. led by as many as 16 points before the Pacers mounted a rally. The Blue & Gold used a 16-2 run (featuring eight points from Oladipo and six from Myles Turner) to cut the deficit to two.
Harrell's dunk with 16.2 seconds remaining in the half ended a five-minute scoreless drought for the Clippers, but Oladipo answered with a 3-pointer on the other end to make it a 51-50 game at the break.
"It was tough, they had a great startand we kind of started off a little slow, but we regrouped in thes econd quarter and things started grooving for us," Oladipo said. "We settled down, regrouped, got our legs under us and started being effective."
The Pacers moved in front for the first time in the third quarter and led 65-61 after Turner's dunk with 5:10 left in the frame. Los Angeles surged back ahead with a 13-2 run to open up a seven-point lead, but Indiana put together another strong close to the quarter, with Cory Joseph's buzzer-beating three trimming the Clippers' lead to 78-76.
The Pacers tied the game on three occasions in the first half of the fourth quarter but didn't move back in front until Darren Collison's three from the left corner gave Indiana a 91-90 lead with 5:25 to play.
The Pacers wound up stretching the margin to five points. The Clippers mounted a final charge, with Harris' 3-pointer with 1:11 remaining making it a 105-104 game, but Bojan Bogdanovic's 3-pointer on the other end provided the proverbial nail in the coffin.
Four other Pacers players joined Oladipo in double figures in the victory. Turner went 9-for-15 from the field on his way to 24 points and eight rebounds. Bogdanovic added 15 points, Collison scored 14, and Joseph chipped in 10 off the bench.
"I thought we did a good job of executing down the stretch," McMillan said. "They continue to show growth and learn how to play in tough situations. We had some really good ball movement late in the game and knocked down some shots."
Harris led the Clippers with 21 points on 9-of-16 shooting and dished out seven assists. Lou Williams added 20 points, Harrell scored 19, and Rivers finished with 18 points and seven assists.
The Pacers return to action on Tuesday, when they will close out their road trip in Denver. Their matchup with the Nuggets — another team currently on the outside looking in in the West playoff race — will tip off at 9:00 PM ET.
Inside the Numbers
Oladipo recorded his third double-double of the season on Sunday and his first with points and assists.
The Pacers had 15 offensive rebounds on Sunday, one shy of their season high. Thaddeus Young had five offensive boards, Turner collected four, and Domantas Sabonis pulled down three.
Collison scored 11 of his 14 points in the fourth quarter and scored or assisted on each of Indiana's final four field goals to close out the game.
The Pacers were +25 on the night with Young on the floor. The veteran forward finished with eight points, nine rebounds, and one steal in 39 minutes.
The Clippers outscored Indiana 60-44 in points in the paint and 24-15 in fastbreak points in the loss.
You Can Quote Me On That
"My teammates did a great job of stepping up and doing great things today, making shots. Darren Collison has been great down the stretch, and Myles played awesome, Thad, and Bojan hit a big shot down the stretch as well. Its huge for us when guys step up and play like that, so we’re really good when we do that." -Oladipo
"We moved the ball. These guys can knock down shots when they’re open, and Victor did a good job of getting the ball out of double teams, and we found the open man. (All of) Darren, Bojan, and Myles knocked down big shots in the last five minutes." -McMillan
"It's difficult, but at the end of the day we need to stay with it to see what we can get. We need every single game, so this loss hurts, the last one hurt. I thought at the beginning of this game we put good effort into it to get where we needed to go. In the second quarter, we broke down and I thought they did a good job of capitalizing on the different scenarios." -Harris
"I thought that they came up with the loose balls, the offensive rebounds, that was a huge one, led to a flagrant and possession. Those are the plays that the end of a game that you have to make. I just thought they made the plays." -Clippers head coach Doc Rivers
Stat of the Night
Oladipo is just the second player in the NBA this season to score 30 or more points, dish out 10 or more assists, and collect five or more steals in a single game.
The other? MVP frontrunner James Harden, who had 35 points, 13 assists, and five steals for the Rockets in a win over Cleveland on Nov. 9.
- With 46 wins, the Pacers have now surpassed their win total from two seasons ago and will finish with their best record since they led the Eastern Conference with a 56-26 mark in the 2013-14 season.
- Indiana has now swept the season series with the Clippers in two straight seasons and three of the last five. The Blue & Gold have also won three straight and five of their last six on the road against the Clips.
- Oladipo extended his franchise-record streak of games with at least one steal to 60 on Sunday.
Indiana heads to Denver to take on Nikola Jokic and the Nuggets on Tuesday, April 3 at 9:00 PM ET.
Following a four-game road trip, the Pacers return to Bankers Life Fieldhouse to host the Golden State Warriors on Thursday, April 5 at 7:00 PM ET. Find Tickets »
The Pacers wore their Hickory uniforms on Sunday, their final road game this season in Hickory gear. Learn more about the uniforms and why we wear them at Pacers.com/Hickory.