Game Rewind: Pacers 111, Mavericks 100
Monday, November 24, 2014 at 8:30 PM ET at American Airlines Center
The Indiana Pacers held on for a critical 111-100 road win against the Mavericks at the American Airlines Center in Dallas.
From start to finish, Indiana shot the lights out, tying its season-best 48.1% from the field. Paced by Donald Sloan, who scored a game-high 29 points, the Blue-and-Gold grabbed one of its biggest wins of the season against a dangerous Dallas team.
“It must be because he’s back in Dallas," Indiana head coach Frank Vogel said of Sloan, who grew up in Dallas. "No, he’s been showing that all year. He’s been our starting point guard, and a big reason we’ve been able to win some games and weather a storm in this stretch."
The win, which lifted Indiana's record to 6-8 -- and dropped Dallas to 10-5 -- was done without center Roy Hibbert, who sprained his ankle in Saturday night's game against the Suns. So for the third time this season, Pacers head coach Frank Vogel shuffled the starting lineup; this time inserting center Ian Mahinmi and guard Rodney Stuckey.
The results spoke for themselves.
The Pacers ambushed the Mavs early, jumping out to a 55-50 advantage -- a season-high in the first half for Indiana -- and drilling 20 of their 40 field goal attempts.
Dallas was led by Monta Ellis (24 points) and the smooth-scoring veteran Dirk Nowitzki, who tallied 22 points and 11 boards. But Dirk and the Mavs couldn't keep up with Indiana's impressive display of marksmanship, as the Pacers held the lead from mid-way through the second quarter all the way to the final whistle. Their 111 points was a season-high for the Pacers, as they outscored the Mavs in all four quarters.
While Indiana seemed to make every shot it took, none were more noticeable than from beyond the arc, where the Blue-and-Gold drilled 13-of-26, including three from Chris Copeland (11 points), who provided a spark off the bench.
On the glass, Indiana out-muscled center Tyson Chandler and company to the tune of 44-37, as Luis Scola led the way for the Pacers with 11 rebounds and 14 points, his third double-double of the season.
Also having an impressive game in the paint was Mahinmi, who made the most of his first start of the season, going 5-of-7 with 10 points while corralling seven boards. A solid effort versus his former team.
"Ian [Mahinmi] was spectacular protecting the rim," said Vogel. "Lavoy Allen as well. Our guys just dug in and played a scrappy brand of basketball"
Newcomer Damjan Rudez's had one of his strongest outings of the year too, nailing 4-of-5 shots for 11 points.
But from an offensive standpoint, Sloan was unrivaled. His 29 points on 10 field goals -- tying his career high for made shots -- was contagious among the Blue-and-Gold.
"It was kind of good," said Sloan of his game, "Especially to do it here.”
So without any of their five starters from the 2013-14 season playing, this year's Pacers did something last year's could not: beat Dallas, a team Indiana dropped both contests to last season.
With San Antonio up next on Wednesday, the state of Texas might be taking notice, because Indiana seems to have found its shooting stroke.
Inside the Numbers
The Pacers came into the night shooting just 32% from the 3-point range. But against the Mavs, Indiana drained 13-of-26 (50%), both season-bests in terms of made 3-pointers and percentage from beyond the arc.
After out-rebounding Dallas 44-37, Indiana has now out-rebounded 11 of its first 14 opponents this season.
Since their six-game slide earlier this season, the Pacers have now won five of their last seven.
You Can Quote Me On That
"What I’m most impressed with our guys tonight is our offensive confidence. We keep talking about ‘we’ve got to execute,’ OK, but you you’ve got to have confidence to make big shots, and our guys made big shot after big shot most of the night and I’m real proud of all of them." -Coach Vogel
“Surprisingly every game it’s a different guy. Surprisingly it just so happen to be in Dallas, my turn. You don’t control the shots going in. You control the shots that you shoot and the past few games I wasn’t able to find a good rhythm. It just so happened that tonight was the night in my home city.” -Donald Sloan on his special night.
"We’re encouraging him to be very, very confident and aggressive in the catch and shoot game, and he’s making some big shots for us, and then that frees up some driving lanes for him to get to the basket and make plays at the rim.” -Coach Vogel on Donald Sloan's 29 points.
"When you get outscored in every quarter, that's a demolition. It was a physical demolition. We are not the most physical team in terms of our body types, but we have to be real tough mentally. Indiana just played a great game, you have to give them a lot of credit. They played a first class, hard-nosed, mistake-free game and they deserved to win." -Mavericks head coach Rick Carlisle.
"With the amount of guys they have out, these other guys are still legit NBA players. We have to respect that. Just because you haven’t heard a lot of them, or they don’t have a lot of big names playing right now, but they are still good basketball players and they showed that tonight." -Dallas forward Chandler Parsons.
Stat of the Game
Line 'em up: The Pacers had season-highs in both free throw attempts (36) and makes (24).
- In the third quarter, the Mavs trimmed the lead to just one point, but an 18-10 run by Indiana helped build a nine point lead.
- Nowitzki passed Oscar Robertson (9,508) for 16th place on the NBA’s all-time field goals made list with a 17-foot jumper at the 1:16 mark of the first quarter
- Donald Sloan's 29 points were two shy of his career high of 31, which happened on November 5th at Washington
The Pacers will face the defending NBA Champion San Antonio Spurs on the road, Wednesday night at 8:30 PM.