Game Rewind: Pacers 126, Nuggets 116 (OT)

Game Recap

Victor Oladipo continued his brilliant homestand with perhaps the finest performance yet, scoring a career-high 47 points on Sunday night to lift Indiana (16-11) to a 126-116 overtime win over the Denver Nuggets.

It was just the latest chapter in Oladipo's stunning emergence as a bona fide star over his first 26 games with the Pacers, perhaps the biggest surprise in the NBA this season. At least to everyone except for Oladipo.

"Y'all might be surprised, but I put in the work," Oladipo said after the win. "I work every day. I have no limit to how hard I work. I'm trying to be great. There's no in between and I can't settle for anything less."

The Pacers outscored the Nuggets 12-2 in the extra period, not allowing a point until Kenneth Faried's basket in the closing seconds, and have now won four straight games to open up a season-long, six-game homestand.

The Pacers rallied from an eight-point deficit over the final three minutes of regulation, with Thaddeus Young's putback with 5.5 seconds remaining forcing overtime.

Myles Turner scored a bucket in the post on the opening possession of overtime, and then Oladipo took over. He drove to the rim for a layup with 3:52 remaining, then pulled up for his sixth 3-pointer of the night to make it 121-114 with 3:10 remaining.

Oladipo finished with 47 points, seven rebounds, and six assists, going 15-for-28 from the field and 6-for-12 from 3-point range. As the final seconds ticked away, the Bankers Life Fieldhouse crowd serenaded him with chants of "M-V-P."

"That was incredible," Oladipo said about the chants after the win. "You dream about stuff like that, but I've got a lot of work to do in order to get there."

Turner quickly chided Oladipo's modesty from his nearby locker, chiming in: "It's looking pretty good."

The Blue & Gold took a 90-88 lead into the fourth quarter and quickly stretched their lead to six points. But the Nuggets responded with a 7-0 run — the last five coming from Trey Lyles, the 2014 Indiana Mr. Basketball — to move back in front with 8:04 to play.

After two more ties and a lead change, the Nuggets took the lead once again on Will Barton's 3-pointer with 6:57 remaining. They slowly added to the margin from there, with a 3-pointer from another Indianapolis native, Gary Harris, making it a 114-106 game with 2:54 remaining.

Oladipo scored on each of Indiana's next three possessions to make it 114-112, then corralled a rebound off a Barton miss with 36 seconds to play, raced down the court, and pulled up for the go-ahead 3-pointer.

It was eerily reminiscent of his game-winning shot on Wednesday against Chicago, but this time the former Indiana University All-American couldn't get the shot to fall. The Nuggets knocked the ball out of bounds, however, giving the Pacers a second chance.

Out of a timeout, the Pacers ran an isolation set for Oladipo at the top of the key. He drove past Wilson Chandler, forcing Faried out to contest his shot. Oladipo's high-arcing layup missed, but Young was there on the back side to tip the ball back in with 5.5 seconds remaining.

"I just basically fed off of Victor's play," Young said. "He drove to the basket, he got guys to bite and commit, and I just was in position to get the rebound."

Barton had a look from the right wing to win the game at the buzzer, but couldn't get it to fall, sending the game to extra time.

Turner finished with 24 points, eight rebounds, and three assists for Indiana. The Nuggets tried guarding him with smaller players like Harris, but Turner made them pay, going to work in the post and finishing the night 10-for-15 from the field.

"That's just on me, man," Turner said after the win. "Teams have been doing that a lot and I've been settling for jumpers, settling for fadeaways. I can't do that. When I have a smaller guy on me, I've got to pound them down low.

"I've put in so much work on my post game, so I've just got to keep going to that."

The Nuggets connected on their first six shots — including three from beyond the 3-point arc — to race out to a 15-4 lead. Denver dominated most of the opening period, shooting 52.2 percent from the field and going 6-for-9 from 3-point range to take a 35-22 lead into the second quarter.

Chandler was particularly effective, scoring 14 points in just nine minutes while going 5-for-8 from the field and 3-for-3 from long range.

Denver extended its lead to as many as 19 points in the second quarter. Indiana mounted a late rally, however, closing the half with a 17-8 run to make it 66-59.

The Pacers continued their comeback in the third quarter, eventually tying the game at 79 on Turner's fastbreak dunk with 4:11 remaining in the frame. The hosts took their first lead of the night shortly thereafter on Oladipo's third 3-pointer of the quarter with 2:10 left.

Oladipo brought the house down a few minutes later, when he cut baseline, took a pass from Stephenson, and threw down a two-handed, 180-degree slam to give Indiana an 88-85 lead and force a Denver timeout.

"He's such a pleasure to work with...the kid just brings such a positive attitude to the locker room and to the game," Pacers head coach Nate McMillan said of Oladipo. "He's playing with a great deal of confidence and with people like that, good things are going to happen to them."

Young (18 points and six boards), Domantas Sabonis (14 points), and Stephenson (12 points, six rebounds, and six assists) also scored in double figures for Indiana.

Lyles scored 15 of his team-high 25 points for Denver in the fourth quarter. Barton added 21 points, six rebounds, and nine assists, while Harris also scored 21.

Indiana returns to action on Wednesday for a much-anticipated, nationally televised showdown against Paul George and the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Pacers fans circled that game on their calendar the day the schedule came out, but for Oladipo — who, along with Sabonis, was traded to Indiana over the summer in exchange for George — his mindset is no different.

"We want to win every game really bad, no matter who we're playing," Oladipo said.

Inside the Numbers

Oladipo topped 40 points for just the second time in his career. He scored 45 for Orlando in a loss to Cleveland on March 18, 2016. He scored 32 points after halftime on Sunday.

Oladipo is now tied for the fifth-most points by a Pacers player in a single game in NBA franchise history. The only players ahead of him are Reggie Miller (57 points), Jermaine O'Neal (55), Billy Knight (52), and Paul George (48). Chuck Person also scored 47 on Jan. 31, 1989.

Turner was one point shy of his season high and topped 20 points for the fourth time this year.

Indiana outscored Denver 62-40 in the paint.

The Pacers scored 34 points off 22 Nuggets turnovers. On the other end, Indiana turned the ball over just 11 times.

Denver finished the night 17-for-42 from 3-point range (40.5 percent).

You Can Quote Me On That

"I think we just did a great job of just calming down. I believe we went down 103-111, I'm not sure, and Nate called a timeout and all I said was 'There's a lot of time left.' We just gotta take it one possession at a time and we did a great job." -Oladipo on the Pacers' late-game adjustments

"We started to pressure up and started to get back to Pacers basketball, which is pressuring up and getting into guys on the defensive end and just making great reads and plays. We did a good job of taking advantage of our opportunities, our mismatches and on the defensive end, being aggressive and forcing a lot of pressure." -Young

"You have to give your home crowd something to cheer for. We want to try and make this a special building. A building that is tough for other teams to win in. When we’re playing the way we’ve played, our crowd gets fired up and it fires up the players." -McMillan

"They're a very good basketball team, Oladipo is a great player, but I am very proud of the way my guys played tonight, how we competed, and how we gave ourselves a chance to win on the road." -Nuggets head coach Mike Malone

"They got what they wanted, our defense was nonexistent and our coverages weren't working. We didn't take care of the ball and turnovers hurt us a lot tonight, and they killed us, especially in the paint, in overtime." -Lyles on the difference down the stretch

Stat of the Night

The Pacers held the Nuggets without a point for over 7:50 of game time down the stretch, from 2:54 remaining in regulation until 13.2 seconds left in overtime.


  • The Pacers were without starting point guard Darren Collison on Sunday. Collison missed his first game of the season due to soreness in his left knee. Cory Joseph started in his place.
  • Denver's star center Nikola Jokic missed his fifth consecutive game with a sprained left ankle. He is expected to return soon.
  • The Pacers now hold a 44-43 lead in the all-time series with the Nuggets, including a 29-16 record in games played in Indianapolis.

Up Next

Limited seats remain for Paul George's return to Bankers Life Fieldhouse with the Oklahoma City Thunder on Wednesday, Dec. 13 at 7:00 PM ET. Find Tickets »