Pacers at Lakers

GAME RECAP: Lakers 104, Pacers 96

LeBron James drops 38 points and grabs nine rebounds to help the Lakers get a home win over the Pacers, 127-113.

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GAME RECAP: Lakers 104, Pacers 96

LeBron James drops 38 points and grabs nine rebounds to help the Lakers get a home win over the Pacers, 127-113.
Nov 30, 2018  |  00:00

Postgame: Pacers Locker Room - Nov. 29, 2018

November 29, 2018 - Pacers coach Nate McMillan and players Thaddeus Young and Domantas Sabonis discuss Indiana's 104-96 loss to the Lakers on Thursday night at Staples Center.
Nov 30, 2018  |  01:12

Sabonis with Another Big Night in L.A.

Nov. 29, 2018 - Pacers center Domantas Sabonis recorded his fourth straight double-double off the bench, tallying 20 points and 15 rebounds in a 104-96 road loss to the Lakers.
Nov 30, 2018  |  00:55

Holiday Takes The Bump And Finishes

November 29, 2018: Indiana Pacers vs. Los Angeles Lakers - Highlights
Nov 30, 2018  |  03:40

Tyreke Gives Indy The Lead

November 29, 2018: Indiana Pacers vs. Los Angeles Lakers - Highlights
Nov 30, 2018  |  03:14

Bogey Knots It Up

November 29, 2018: Indiana Pacers vs. Los Angeles Lakers - Highlights
Nov 30, 2018  |  02:47

Thad Attacks The Rim

November 29, 2018: Indiana Pacers vs. Los Angeles Lakers - Highlights
Nov 30, 2018  |  02:30

Turner Runs End to End

November 29, 2018: Indiana Pacers vs. Los Angeles Lakers - Highlights
Nov 30, 2018  |  02:12

DC Drops The Corner Three

November 29, 2018: Indiana Pacers vs. Los Angeles Lakers - Highlights
Nov 29, 2018  |  01:48

Indy Turns Defense Into Three

November 29, 2018: Indiana Pacers vs. Los Angeles Lakers - Highlights
Nov 29, 2018  |  01:18

Domas Spins Inside

November 29, 2018: Indiana Pacers vs. Los Angeles Lakers - Highlights
Nov 29, 2018  |  00:54

Bojan Earns the And-One

November 29, 2018: Indiana Pacers vs. Los Angeles Lakers - Highlights
Nov 29, 2018  |  01:18

Game Rewind: Pacers 96, Lakers 104

Thursday, November 29, 2018 at 10:30 PM ET at Staples Center
by Wheat Hotchkiss
Pacers.com Writer/Editor
@Wheat_Hotchkiss

Game Recap

Pacers fans who stayed up late enough to watch Thursday's game at the Lakers went on quite the roller coaster ride.

Unfortunately, the ending was an all-too-familiar disappointment, as LeBron James scored 21 points in the second half, including 12 of the last 15 for the Lakers (12-9) in a 104-96 win over Indiana (13-9).

The stakes were lower than the five postseason series James' teams in Miami and Cleveland won over the Pacers, but he prevailed once again in his first game against the Blue & Gold in a Lakers uniform, ruining Indiana's bid for a 4-0 Western Conference road trip in the process.

James finished the night with 38 points on 15-of-27 shooting to go along with nine rebounds and seven assists.

"Late in the game, he went and got aggressive, looking to attack and make something happen," Pacers head coach Nate McMillan said.

Indiana fell behind by 24 points early in the first half, but rallied to retake the lead midway through the third quarter. The Lakers responded with a prolonged run of their own to retake control, taking an eight-point lead into the fourth quarter.

With James on the bench for the first 4:32 of the final frame, Indiana managed to cut that lead in half. The rally continued even after he returned, as Domantas Sabonis' one-handed jumper trimmed the deficit to 89-88 with 4:56 remaining.

James responded by drilling a three on the ensuing possession, then converted an old-fashioned three-point play on his next trip down the court. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope added a 3-pointer two possessions later, pushing the lead back to double digits with 3:22 to play.

The Lakers then held the Pacers at bay down the stretch to preserve the victory.

Sabonis led Indiana with 20 points and 15 rebounds in the loss, while Bojan Bogdanovic added 14 points.

"You have to burn a lot of energy (playing from behind)," Sabonis said. "It's tough to come back in 48 minutes. It's unnecessary, but we will figure it out."

The game got off to a disastrous start for the Blue & Gold, who missed their first 11 attempts and fell into a 13-0 hole.

Thaddeus Young finally got a layup to put the Pacers on the board, but things would get worse before they got better.

The Lakers protected the rim at one end and got to the basket seemingly at will on the other for the better part of the first quarter. Indiana started the game 2-for-20, with Los Angeles blocking seven of those attempts. The Lakers, meanwhile, started 11-for-15 and led 23-5 with 4:37 remaining.

James tallied 14 points and four assists in the first quarter alone, nearly outscoring the Pacers by himself, as the hosts took a commanding 38-15 into the second quarter.

"I don't have words for that," McMillan said about his team's start. "You just can't dig a hole for yourself and not come in here ready to play."

Sabonis finally gave the Pacers some life in the second quarter. The 6-11 center scored 12 points during a 22-7 run by Indiana that trimmed the deficit to 52-40 with five minutes left in the first half.

The charge continued from there. Indiana reeled off 10 unanswered points to close the half, making it just a six-point game, 56-50, heading into the break.

The Pacers continued to rally after halftime, tying the game at 66 on Bogdanovic's 3-pointer with 5:34 remaining in the third quarter and then taking their first lead of the night on Tyreke Evans' triple 49 seconds later.

After a timeout, however, James scored on L.A.'s next two possessions to put the hosts back in front. That was the start of a 17-6 run by the Lakers to close the quarter (with nine points coming from James), giving them an 83-75 lead heading into the fourth.

"No excuses," Pacers point guard Darren Collison said after the loss. "We had this game. We were up and we did some good things and we didn't do some good things."

Five Pacers players finished in double figures on the night. Sabonis and Bogdanovic were joined by Young (11 points, five rebounds, and five steals), Cory Joseph (10 points, six rebounds, and six assists), and Doug McDermott (10 points).

Brandon Ingram scored 14 points for the Lakers, Josh Hart added 13 off the bench on 6-of-7 shooting, and Kyle Kuzma tallied 11 points and nine rebounds.

All-Star guard Victor Oladipo missed his sixth straight game with a sore right knee, but is hopeful he can practice on Friday afternoon in Sacramento and potentially play against the Kings on Saturday night in the final game of a four-game trip.

Inside the Numbers

Sabonis notched his fourth consecutive double-double and his 10th of the season on Thursday. It was also his second straight game with 20+ points and 15+ rebounds. According to STATS, Sabonis is the first player to record consecutive 20/15 games off the bench since Shawn Kemp on Jan. 29 and 31, 1992.

McDermott went 2-for-3 from 3-point range and is now 9-for-13 from beyond the arc over the first three games of the Pacers' road trip.

Indiana's bench outscored the Lakers reserves 57-33 on the night. The Pacers entered the night a perfect 6-0 when getting 50 or more points from their second unit.

The Lakers had a commanding edge in points in the paint, outscoring the Blue & Gold 58-38.

Lance Stephenson, who left the Pacers to sign with the Lakers in free agency this summer, played just 4:34 against his former team, going scoreless and missing his only two shot attempts. He did not play in the second half.

LeBron James, Thaddeus Young

Photo Credit: NBAE/Getty Images

You Can Quote Me On That

"He's playing really good basketball. (We) tried to play him pretty much that whole second half. He's doing some good things for us, but we need (it to be) collectively. As a unit, (we) need to be collective out there and play good basketball." -McMillan on Sabonis

"3-1 (on a road trip) is really good, especially on the West Coast. It would be our fault if we lose our minds and don't get the next game. Let's focus on the next game. We know we didn't play our best basketball. Neither one of us shot the ball well. The NBA is about bouncing back. Let’s see what we do next game." -Collison

"We kept everybody in front of us. We ran their shooters off the line, Bogdanovic,  we ran him off the line. McDermott, we ran him off the line as well and tried to make him play in the paint. We were really solid on our rotations. We got a couple of charges as well. And when they missed, we rebounded. So that was a big fourth quarter for us defensively." -James

"There are times in a game when you're LeBron James or the best player on the team that you're going to take over. He knows when those times are. He's good at that." -Lakers coach Luke Walton

Stat of the Night

Even though they came back to briefly retake the lead, the disastrous first quarter on Thursday night proved too much for the Pacers to overcome. How bad was it?

The Lakers' 38 points in the first quarter were the most by a Pacers opponent in the opening frame all season. At the same time, Indiana's 15 points in the period were its fewest in any quarter all year.

Noteworthy

  • The Pacers have dropped their last three games against the Lakers in Los Angeles.
  • Indiana is just 29-60 all-time against the Lakers, including a 9-37 record in L.A.
  • James became just the fifth player ever to amass more than 1,500 career points against the Pacers on Thursday. He joins Michael Jordan, Dominique Wilkins, Moses Malone, and Larry Bird in that exclusive club.

Up Next

Indiana concludes its road trip in Sacramento against De'Aaron Fox and the Kings on Saturday, Dec. 1 at 10:00 PM ET.

Tickets

After a four-game road trip, the Pacers return to Bankers Life Fieldhouse to host the Chicago Bulls on Tuesday, Dec. 4 at 7:00 PM ET. Find Tickets »

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