Pacers vs Rockets

Pacers vs. Rockets

James Harden goes off for 45 points as the Rockets defeat the Pacers 110-98.

Postgame 150119

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Pacers vs. Rockets

James Harden goes off for 45 points as the Rockets defeat the Pacers 110-98.
Jan 19, 2015  |  00:00

Defense Creating Offense

Ian Mahinmi intercepts the tipped pass, in transition C.J. Miles gets the fastbreak dunk.
Jan 19, 2015  |  00:00

Game Rewind: Pacers 98, Rockets 110

Monday, January 19, 2015 at 5:30 PM ET at Toyota Center






Game Recap

by Darren Thomas / Pacers.com

The Indiana Pacers' woes continued as their losing streak was extended to five games following their loss to the Houston Rockets on Monday night. The Pacers fell to Houston 110-98 at the Toyota Center on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

The Pacers came into the game knowing that it would take one of the best efforts of the season to come away with a victory against the fourth ranked team in the Western Conference. Indiana’s previous four losses had all come against teams with a sub-.500 record.

Houston (29-13) grabbed an early double figure lead against the Pacers (15-28) and led from the game's first bucket through the final buzzer.

George Hill remained sidelined for the tenth consecutive game with a strained groin as the team remains hopeful for his return sometime during this five game road trip.

The Pacers trailed by as many as 13 points in the first half. Donald Sloan cut the Houston lead down to one as he completed a four-point play with five minutes remaining in the second period, but the Rockets quickly regained control to take a 10 point advantage intermission at 55-45.

An explosive 34 point third quarter for Houston gave them a 21 point lead heading into the final quarter. The Rockets’ one weakness proved to be ball control as they turned the ball over 20 times, allowing the Pacers to make runs throughout the game to put them back within striking distance. Unfortunately, Indiana turned the ball over 19 times themselves and did not capitalize on the extra possessions.

The Pacers managed to cut the lead down to eight at 103-95 on a Donald Sloan free throw with two and half minutes remaining in the fourth, which was immediately followed by a James Harden midrange jumper as Rockets extended their lead once again.

“We made a run later in the game, but by that time it was very hard to make the push when were down eighteen,” said C.J. Miles. “I keep on saying we are playing hard but we just have to win some games.”

Indiana unsuccessfully attempted to keep up with Houston's three-point shooting attack. The Pacers connected on just six of their 27 long range attempts, while the Rockets made 12 of their 31 shots from three-point range.

“They shoot more three’s than anybody else. Some nights we shoot a high volume of three’s,” said starting forward David West. “Our guys were just looking to make something happen.”

In recent games the Pacers had been showing quality effort on the defensive end while the offense struggled to produce decent outputs, but their troubles switched ends during this contest.

Houston shot 51 percent from the field, rarely settling for long two-point shots, and attempted 33 shots from the charity stripe. The Pacers shot the ball well, respectively, at 46 percent, but attempted 15 fewer free throws.

Indiana's scoring punch came from their bench once again in this game, as their second unit outscored the starters 53-45.

C.J. Miles led the way for the Pacers with 23 points, six rebounds and five steals as he broke his recent shooting slump. Miles hit four of the Indiana’s six made three-point baskets. Donald Sloan played well offensively with 17 points and six assists.

Starting guards C.J. Watson and Rodney Stuckey combined to shoot just 4-15 from the field, and only contributed three total assists on the night while committing six turnovers.

Roy Hibbert scored 12 points in only 19 minutes of play, including an emphatic left handed put-back dunk with six and half minutes remaining in the third. Solomon Hill was the only other starter in double figures with 13 points.

The Indiana Pacers found out first hand why James Harden is, perhaps, the leading candidate for NBA MVP honors this season. Harden finished with a game high, and personal season, high 45 points on 18 shot attempts, in addition to dishing out six assists. Harden’s inside-outside game was in full effect as he knocked down seven three-pointers and hit on 14-of-15 free throws.

Houston's All-Star center, Dwight Howard, made his presence felt with 14 points and 17 rebounds.

Inside the Numbers

C.J. Miles recorded five steals which is a Pacers season high. Rodney Stuckey has had two games with four steals this season.

The Pacers have attempted 48 three-pointers over the last two games. They made only eight of those attempts for a three-point shooting percentage of 16.7 in the last two contests.

James Harden’s 14 made free throws is the most by any Indiana opponent so far this season. The previous high was 12 by Nick Young of the Los Angeles Lakers and Gordon Hayward of the Utah Jazz.

You Can Quote Me on That

“He (James Harden) is having a great year, an MVP type season. He has to be in that conversation and was just way too much for us tonight.” – Frank Vogel

“I’m becoming more confident and getting used to our system. I have learned a lot this year because this is the most I’ve been gone to and looked upon. I’m just learning as the season goes on and learning when to be aggressive and better shot selection as the years have gone by. I’m just learning. Defenses are giving more and more attention to me and I’m going to continue to learn how to get myself open and use different parts of my game.” – C.J. Miles

“I'm just happy we bounced back from the last game. Indiana is a pretty good defensive team. We did a good job of moving the ball early and getting the big lead and then we kind of relaxed and that's something we can't do. We relaxed and they (Indiana) came back and we can't allow that to happen. We've got to do a better job of closing teams out.” – Dwight Howard

“I think they (Rockets) are looking well. They have a lot of talent and I think they have a lot of offensive power. I think they are a very good team. (On their defense) I was surprised from the start to see their team play very good defense. I wasn’t expecting that because of how good offensively they are, but they played really well and that is going to be a big part of their success.” – Luis Scola

“First of all, I think the way we came out, that's the way we should come out every single game. We were focused on defense and offensively making it easy for each other. I think throughout the entire game, they didn't gain any ground on us because we kept being consistent with what we did.” – James Harden

Stat of the Night

The Pacers forced Houston into 20 turnovers which is the highest total for any Indiana opponent so far this season.

Noteworthy

  • The Pacers now trail in the overall series record, 34-50, and are 13-30 in Houston.
  • Indiana is now 1-7 when the opponent shoots over 50 percent from the field.
  • The Pacers are now 6-19 when trailing after the first quarter.
  • With 53 points against Houston on Monday the Pacers’ bench has scored 40 or more 23 times this season and are fourth in the NBA in scoring.
  • The Pacers have recorded 20 or more assists in 18 of the last 23 games and 23 of the last 30 overall.

Next Up

The Pacers go on the third leg of their five game road trip as they head to Atlanta. They will face the Eastern Conference leading Hawks who have won 13 straight games on Wednesday night at 7:30 PM ET.

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