Game Rewind: Pacers 122, Clippers 116

Game Recap

The Pacers were undermanned once again on Monday night, without seven players due to injury, including their top three centers. But injuries beget opportunities for young players in the NBA and the three youngest members of Indiana's roster made the most of extended playing time.

The rookie trio of Isaiah Jackson, Duane Washington Jr., and Terry Taylor combined for 57 points to lead Indiana (19-33) to a 122-116 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers (26-27).

The 20-year-old Jackson recorded his first double-double in his first career start, tallying a team-high 26 points on 12-of-19 shooting, 10 rebounds, and two blocks.

21-year-old Washington scored 14 of his 16 points off the bench in the fourth quarter, going 4-for-7 from 3-point range.

And 22-year-old Taylor played backup center minutes out of necessity, tallying a career-best 15 points on 7-of-11 shooting and eight rebounds.

The trio bonded earlier this season in training camp and playing in the G League for the Fort Wayne Mad Ants, but they have all made the most of their opportunities in the NBA over the last few weeks.

"We always talk about how blessed we are," Washington said. "This is our dream literally coming true and we all feel like we're supposed to be here."

Fellow rookie Chris Duarte battled through an off night shooting the ball, but made a couple huge plays down the stretch to help Indiana seal the victory, making it a memorable night all around for the Pacers' first-year players.

"The contributions of Isaiah Jackson, Terry Taylor, and Duane Washington were just tremendous tonight," Pacers head coach Rick Carlisle said. "So great to see, so heartwarming."

All-Star big man Domantas Sabonis entered the NBA's health and safety protocols on Monday, a move that left Jackson as the team's lone available big man and into the starting lineup for the first time in his career. He made his presence felt early, racking up seven points and three rebounds over the first three minutes — a sequence that saw him confidently step into and knock down a 3-pointer from the top of the key.

"I found out today that Domas wasn't playing so I had to really lock in...I knew today my teammates needed me real bad," Jackson said.

Justin Holiday and Torrey Craig also made threes in the opening minutes as Indiana jumped out to a 13-6 lead.

The Clippers rallied to tie the game twice late in the frame, but Jeremy Lamb's trey from the left corner in the final minute gave Indiana a 30-27 lead after one.

The two teams went back and forth in the ensuing quarter. Los Angeles surged ahead with a 7-0 run to go up 44-42 midway through the frame. The Pacers responded with five straight, but Reggie Jackson's four-point play put the Clippers back in front by one.

The Pacers answered again, this time with a flourish. With 5:18 remaining, Caris LeVert drove and tossed up a lob to Jackson, who got caught the ball with one hand and threw down a massive slam. LeVert added a floater the next trip down the floor, then buried a three on the very next possession.

Indiana led by as many as seven points down the stretch and took a 60-55 advantage into the break.

The Clippers stormed back with an 8-0 run early in the third quarter featuring back-to-back 3-pointers by Amir Coffey. That was the first of ultimately seven lead changes in the frame.

Los Angeles led 82-74 after Serge Ibaka's layup at 3:29, but the Blue & Gold bounced back with 10 straight, scoring on their next four possessions. Lamb started the run with a three at 3:17. Taylor then added a layup and a triple before Jackson caught a baseline dish from Washington and threw down a two-hand slam to give the hosts a two-point lead with 1:54 remaining in the quarter.

But on the other end, Nicolas Batum spotted up in the right corner and knocked down his third three of the night to give the Clippers an 85-84 lead that they would take into the fourth quarter.

Batum made another three on the opening possession of the final frame before Lance Stephenson took over. The fan favorite dished to Washington for a layup at 11:00, knocked down a jumper at 10:43, threw a fullcourt pass to Washington for a corner three 17 seconds later, then finally drove and dished to Jackson in traffic for a layup at 9:51.

That nine-points-in-69-seconds outburst gave the hosts a 93-88 lead and forced a timeout from Clippers head coach Tyronn Lue.

The damage was already done, however, as that stretch was enough to get Washington cooking. The rookie microwave out of Ohio State came out firing out of the timeout, knocking down three more threes at 9:18, 8:45, and 7:32 to extend Indiana's lead to 106-94.

The Clippers came charging back, however, cutting the deficit to 112-109 after Reggie Jackson's 3-pointer with 3:12 to play. But another rookie stepped up to quell the comeback.

Just 2-for-10 from the field to that point, Duarte drove baseline and scored with 2:21 remaining. On the other end, he then swatted Reggie Jackson from behind, springing a fastbreak where LeVert dished to Isaiah Jackson for another slam.

After a timeout, another LeVert-to-Jackson lob at 1:40 put the game on ice.

It was a raucous celebration in the Pacers locker room. After Jackson returned from doing a walk-off interview with Bally Sports Indiana's Jeremiah Johnson, his teammates dumped a cooler of water on him.

"That was really cold, I'm not going to lie," Jackson said. "It surprised me. I didn't know the guys (were) going to do that. But it was a fun experience. That was the first time it happened to me...I'm going to remember that the rest of my life."

LeVert flirted with a triple-double in the victory, finishing with 17 points, seven rebounds, and nine assists. Holiday added 13 points, five boards, and six assists, while Stephenson chipped in 10 points and four assists off the bench.

Coffey had a team-high 27 points for the Clippers, going 5-for-9 from beyond the arc, while Jackson added 21 and five assists.

The Pacers continue a three-game homestand this week by hosting Orlando on Wednesday and Chicago on Wednesday.

Inside the Numbers

Playing in his 18th game, Jackson set new career highs for points, rebounds, minutes (29), field goals made, and field goals attempted.

Washington finished in double figures for the ninth time in 15 games in January. He made at least three 3-pointers in five of those contests.

Taylor played in just his sixth career game and set new career-best marks for points, total rebounds, and offensive rebounds (five).

LeVert's nine assists matched his second most in a game this season.

Indiana shot 52.6 percent from the field and 48.3 percent from 3-point range in the win.

You Can Quote Me On That

"He did just such a great job in every area tonight. When we talked in the draft when we picked him at 22 about the need for athleticism and a rim threat, this is what we're talking about. Caris threw him some lobs, Justin Holiday threw him one...This is a dimension that this team has not had." -Carlisle on Jackson's play

"Playing up there in Fort Wayne, we had fun playing with each other. We know each other's tendencies and we know what each other likes to do. We kind of do have a chemistry." -Taylor on the bond he's built with Jackson and Washington

"I felt like I missed some open ones and some good ones early in the first couple minutes that I got. Went into halftime and kind of cleared my head...We talked about just coming out with confidence and staying poised." -Washington on his hot shooting in the fourth quarter

"This is just his personality. He's an animated guy and he plays an aggressive, animated kind of game. He's done a ton of good things." -Carlisle on Washington's energy

"I just got my mind ready to go in there and do what got me here in the first place. I played hard, I rebounded, and I just stayed true to who I am." -Taylor on getting extended minutes

Stat of the Night

With Jackson leading the way, Indiana outscored the Clippers 68-46 in points in the paint, matching their season high for points in the paint.


  • Carlisle picked up his 200th career win with the Pacers on Monday.
  • Monday's win snapped a five-game losing streak for Indiana against the Clippers. It was the Pacers' first win against Los Angeles since Feb. 7, 2019.
  • Pacers center Goga Bitadze missed his second straight game with a sore right foot, while forward Oshae Brissett did not dress due to a sore right ankle.

Up Next

The Pacers continue their three-game homestand on Wednesday, Feb. 2 at 7:00 PM ET, when they welcome Cole Anthony and the Orlando Magic to Gainbridge Fieldhoouse. Find Tickets »