Pacers at Nuggets

Game Recap: Nuggets 121, Pacers 106

The Nuggets defeated the Pacers, 121-106. Nikola Jokic recorded 32 points, 14 rebounds, five assists and four steals for the Nuggets, while Jamal Murray added 16 points and eight assists in the victor

Postgame 210315

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Game Recap: Nuggets 121, Pacers 106

The Nuggets defeated the Pacers, 121-106. Nikola Jokic recorded 32 points, 14 rebounds, five assists and four steals for the Nuggets, while Jamal Murray added 16 points and eight assists in the victor
Mar 16, 2021  |  00:02

Postgame: Pacers Locker Room – March 15, 2021

March 15, 2021 – Nate Bjorkgren, Caris LeVert, Malcolm Brogdon, and Justin Holiday speak with the media following Indiana’s 106-121 loss to the Denver Nuggets.
Mar 16, 2021  |  01:58

Sabonis Offensive Rebound

Domantas Sabonis taps it in after Justin Holiday works the paint
Mar 16, 2021  |  00:06

Bitadze And 1

March 15, 2021 - Goga Bitadze drives to the basket for a three-point play.
Mar 15, 2021  |  00:06

Smothered Chicken for Myles

March 15, 2021: Myles Turner's big block gets a classic reaction from Quinn Buckner.
Mar 16, 2021  |  00:11

Brogdon Top of the Key

Malcolm Brogdon sinks a three from the top of the key
Mar 15, 2021  |  00:10

Brogdon Hits From the Corner

Malcolm Brogdon drains the three from the corner
Mar 15, 2021  |  00:07

Holiday Finds the Bottom of the Net

Justin Holiday finds a three
Mar 15, 2021  |  00:07

Turner Three-Point Play

March 15, 2021 - Myles Turner makes the putback for a three-point play.
Mar 15, 2021  |  00:08

Steal and a Three

March 15, 2021 - Caris LeVert forces the turnover and dishes to Justin Holiday for a 3-pointer.
Mar 15, 2021  |  00:09

Game Rewind: Pacers 106, Nuggets 121

Monday, March 15, 2021 at 10:00 PM ET at Ball Arena
by Brendan Rourke
Pacers.com Contributor

Game Recap

After three quarters of play, Indiana (17-21) appeared to be in a prime position to come away with a win over the Denver Nuggets (23-16). However, when the fourth quarter arrived, the Pacers’ play turned as cold as the snowstorm outside Ball Arena.

After climbing back from a 20-point deficit to take a 91-87 lead into the fourth, Indiana scored just two points over the first 7:04 of the final frame. The Nuggets scored 22 in that time period and outscored the Pacers 34-15 in the quarter. The hosts topped the Pacers, 121-106. Potential MVP candidate Nikola Jokic finished with a game-high 32 points and 14 rebounds.

“I think we got away from ourselves a little bit in the fourth quarter,” Brogdon said postgame. “I just think we didn’t get the stops that we got on that run, coming back down from 20 points.”

Five Pacers ended up in double figures, with Malcolm Brogdon leading the way with 24 points on 9-of-16 shooting. Justin Holiday added 19, including five 3-pointers, while Caris LeVert finished with 17. Despite struggling for a portion of the night, Domantas Sabonis narrowly missed a triple-double. The All-Star finished with 10 points, 10 assists, and nine boards.

It was a quiet start for the Blue & Gold on offense. The Nuggets jumped out to an early 19-9 lead, including 11 from eight-year NBA veteran Will Barton, with 6:42 to play. The former Memphis guard recorded the first eight Denver points of the game.

Denver remained in control for the majority of the frame, extending the lead to as many as 12, after Paul Millsap muscled in a layup with 4:58 to go. However, the Pacers’ reserves would fight back.

Three consecutive triples from Edmond Sumner, Justin Holiday, and Doug McDermott in a 54-second span swiftly closed the deficit to 30-29 with 1:12 to go. After Denver quelled the spree with a pair of free throws from P.J. Dozier, McDermott sank his third three of the opening frame to knot the score at 32 heading into the second.

The squads found themselves in a close battle early in the second as the Pacers’ bench continued to execute solidly. With 10:33 to play, Goga Bitadze completed a tough and-one finish in the paint to tie things at 35 apiece. But, that would be the last Indiana bucket for the next 4:21.

Denver then used the long ball to open up some space. The hosts connected on four straight 3-point attempts to start a 17-0 run and leap ahead 52-35 with 6:24 to play. A pair of free throws from All-Star Nikola Jokic pushed Denver’s lead to 57-37 at the 5:23 mark.

But, Indiana began clawing back. The squad posted eight unanswered points over the next 1:16 to trim the deficit to 57-45 and force the Nuggets to call a timeout.

The timeout did little to stop the Blue & Gold, as the Holiday brothers combined to close the gap to 57-49 with 2:22 to go. As time ticked down, Denver threatened to leave the half with a double-digit lead. However, Brogdon drove past his defender for an easy layup to cut the Nuggets lead to 65-56 before the break.

Murray started the third with a trey as Denver appeared prime to start another run. However, Brogdon found LeVert for a baseline triple and took the leftovers from a Myles Turner block coast-to-coast to cut the Nuggets’ lead to 68-61 at the 9:59 mark. Then, Justin Holiday’s fifth 3-pointer of the game completed an 8-0 Pacers run and trimmed the deficit to four.

Indiana earned its first lead of the game, 73-72, at the 6:47 mark of the third. Trailing by two, LeVert picked off Barton’s pass and kicked it to Sabonis. The big man found Brogdon on the left baseline for a wide-open 3-pointer. After Jokic responded with a 15-foot jumper, the Blue & Gold used consecutive snipes from Turner and LeVert to extend their lead to 79-74 with 5:36 remaining.

Later, trailing 85-84, McDermott fired in a trey from the top of the key off a screen to push the Pacers ahead by two. On the ensuring Nuggets possession, Aaron Holiday picked the pocket of Jokic and the ball bounced to Turner. Turner found Holiday sprinting down the court for an easy bucket to extend the lead to 89-85. Despite a wild sequence of events to end the frame, including a sequence of seven consecutive offensive rebounds for Denver, Indiana remained tough and closed the quarter with a 91-87 lead.

However, the squad stumbled to open the fourth, committing four turnovers over the first three minutes. Denver soon capitalized on Indiana’s struggles. Starting with a Green 3-pointer, the hosts scored the first 14 points of the frame. Dozier’s dunk with 8:34 to play pushed the Nuggets’ lead to 101-91. The Pacers’ first bucket of the frame, a putback by Sabonis, came with 7:05 remaining.

The bucket did little to spark the Blue & Gold as the squad remained stuck at 93 points well into the fourth. A Barton 3-pointer and five more points from Jokic soon put the Pacers into a 109-93 hole with 4:56 to go.

From there, the Pacers never contested for the lead again. After Jokic’s turnaround bank shot extended the lead to 119-102 with 1:29 to play, both teams rotated in their deep bench to finish out the game.

Indiana hopes to rebound at home on Wednesday night as LeVert faces his former team, the Brooklyn Nets, for the first time since being traded.

Inside the Numbers

After starting the game 1-for-5 from deep, Justin Holiday connected on four of his last six attempts in the game

The Blue and Gold lost the rebound battle, 54-39

The Nuggets finished 15-for-28 (53.6 percent) from beyond the arc, setting a new season-high in 3-point percentage from a Pacers’ opponent

You Can Quote Me On That

“I would battle back-and-forth with being this way, sometimes in the past. But…in college, once I started shooting threes well, that’s kind of when I got to the point of, ‘regardless of how much you miss, you have to keep shooting.’” – Justin Holiday on shooting his way out of his slump tonight

“I’m pretty close. I don’t like to put percentages on it, or anything like that. I feel close to myself, though. Today, in the altitude, definitely was another test for my conditioning. I feel like it was definitely better than last game, which is good. We’re just trying to build each and every day. That’s my focus right now.” – LeVert on how close he is to feeling 100-percent healthy

“I expect to win as our chemistry gets better. Caris (LeVert) is a dominant scorer. So, having him back on the floor is huge. It really helps us. I think we saw that against Phoenix. Even tonight I think it helped us. We just weren’t able to keep that lead when we got back in the game.” – Brogdon on his expectations with LeVert playing

Stat Of The Night

Indiana scored just 15 points on 5-of-20 (25.0 percent) shooting in the fourth. The total ties the Pacers’ season-low for scoring in a period.

Noteworthy

  • Indiana falls to 13-5 on the season when leading after the third quarter
  • The Pacers have won just one road game against the Nuggets since 2007
  • The tip-off time was delayed by one hour due to a record-setting snowstorm that postponed the Pacers’ flight into Denver





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