The Pacers' new additions shined in their preseason opener, leading Indiana to a 113-96 road win over the New Orleans Pelicans. Seven Pacers players scored in double figures in the victory, including four players making their debut in a Pacers uniform.
The two teams traded the lead over the first quarter and a half, but the visitors seized control midway through the second period. Indiana outscored New Orleans 33-24 in the second period to open up a nine-point halftime lead and never relinquished it over the final two quarters.
Al Jefferson, the Pacers' marquee free agent signing over the summer, led the team with 14 points on 7-of-12 shooting in 17:58 off the bench. Big Al also pulled down five rebounds.
The Pacers also got big contributions from their two new starters acquired via trade over the summer. Power forward Thaddeus Young had a double-double, finishing with 12 points and 10 rebound. Point guard and Pike High School alum Jeff Teague added 10 points, four rebounds, four assists, and two steals.
Georges Niang, Indiana's lone draft pick, was also impressive in his first preseason contest. The former Iowa State standout had 12 points on 5-of-11 shooting and eight rebounds off the bench.
The Pacers' new additions were joined in double figures by Paul George (11 points, seven rebounds, two assists, and two steals), Joe Young (12 points, four rebounds, and two assists), and Rodney Stuckey (11 points, three boards, and three assists).
Pelicans rookie guard Buddy Hield led all scorers with 18 points on 7-of-14 shooting, 16 of them coming in the first half. All-Star forward Anthony Davis added 12 points, six rebounds, and two blocks in 18:18.
Inside the Numbers
The Pacers played a pretty efficient game offensively. They shot 43.3 percent from the field and 32.4 percent from 3-point range (11-for-34), but committed just 11 turnovers in the victory.
New head coach Nate McMillan played 14 players in the game and all but training camp invitee Julyan Stone scored.
Starting shooting guard Monta Ellis scored all eight of his points in the first half. Backup swingman C.J. Miles added seven points, knocking down a pair of 3-pointers.
Backup big man Lavoy Allen surprisingly tied for the team lead in assists, matching Teague with four dimes.
You Can Quote Me On That
"I thought we really tried to commit to establishing our tempo on both ends of the floor. We don't want to be a team that just runs and doesn't play defense. I thought we established our defense really well. We did a good job of attacking the basket. We were moving the ball and that's what we wanted to do." -McMillan
"It's really nice. It's definitely a weapon that I haven't been used to. He's so fast and able to play-make and get in the paint. We've seen a lot of plays where he got in the paint their big man came over to help and got it to the big man on the duck-in. That's going to happen a lot this year." -George on playing with Teague
"When you've been around as long as I have, playing with new guys and new offenses comes easy. Either you’ve played in the same kind of offense or you’ve played against it. So you get it pretty fast." -Jefferson on adjusting to a new team
Stat of the Night
The Pacers outrebounded New Orleans 67-50 overall and 16-3 on the offensive glass. Allen had five offensive boards and Kevin Seraphin (starting at center for the injured Myles Turner) collected three.
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