Game Recap: Pacers 117, Rockets 108
Jeff Teague heats up for 25 points as the Pacers take care of the Rockets, 117-108.
Jeff Teague heats up for 25 points as the Pacers take care of the Rockets, 117-108.
Feb. 27, 2017 - Pacers head coach Nate McMillan speaks with the media in Houston following Indiana's 117-108 win over the Rockets.
Feb. 27, 2017 - Pacers guard Rodney Stuckey speaks with the media after scoring 17 points in Indiana's 117-108 win over the Rockets in Houston.
February 27, 2017 - Paul George snaps the no-look pass to C.J. Miles in the corner off the inbound pass for the key three pointer.
February 27, 2017 - Lavoy Allen fights for the offensive rebound, leading to a alley-oop from Jeff Teague to Myles Turner.
Jeff Teague leads the Pacers with 25 points versus the Rockets on Monday night.
February 27, 2017 - Monta Ellis streaks out on the fastbreak and finishes above the rim to extend the Pacers' lead.
February 27, 2017 - Myles Turner stands tall on the defensive end, rejecting back-to-back shot attempts in the paint.
February 27, 2017 - Paul George gets into the paint to find Thaddeus Young for the easy dunk underneath.
Monta Ellis finds Rakeem Christmas with a nice dish for the easy layup.
February 27, 2017 - Monta Ellis gets the open baseline path and finishes with the slick layup at the basket.
February 27, 2017 - Rodney Stuckey jumps the passing lane on defense and finishes the break on the offensive end.
February 27, 2017 - Jeff Teague sizes up the defense and tosses the lob in the lane to Thaddeus Young for the two.
Game Rewind: Pacers 117, Rockets 108
Monday, February 27, 2017 at 9:30 PM ET at the Toyota Center
Despite falling into a big early hole, the Indiana Pacers mounted an impressive rally on Monday night in Houston. The Pacers (31-29) clawed back from a 17-point first half deficit to knock off the Rockets, 117-108, on the second stop of a difficult five-game road trip.
Indiana led by as many as 14 points in the fourth quarter before the Rockets (42-19) mounted a late charge.
Down nine with under two minutes to play, Houston trimmed the deficit to five after Nene and James Harden took turns knocking down two free throws on back-to-back possessions.
Then after a turnover by Monta Ellis, Lou Williams banked in a 3-pointer while simultaneously drawing a foul on Myles Turner. Williams, however, missed the ensuing free throw and Trevor Ariza missed a putback attempt that would have tied the game before Turner secured a rebound.
The Pacers then executed a beautiful baseline out-of-bounds play on the other end, with Ellis inbounding to Paul George, who one-touched a pass to an open C.J. Miles in the right corner for a three with 40 seconds to play.
Harden missed a quick three on the other end and the Pacers hit their free throws down the stretch to seal the victory.
"I felt like we really stuck together and nobody really got down and we cheered for each other and kept competing," Pacers point guard Jeff Teague said after the win.
With the win, Indiana swept the season series against the team with the fourth-best record in the NBA. The Pacers rolled to a 120-101 victory over the Rockets on Jan. 29 in Indianapolis.
PLAYOFF PICTURE: Track the Pacers' Playoff Push »
Teague led the Pacers with 25 points, eight rebounds, and six assists. Rodney Stuckey added 17 points off the bench, 11 of them coming after halftime.
The Pacers won despite getting off to a dismal start offensively, making just one of their first 11 shots and committing five turnovers in the first six minutes as Houston raced out to an 18-2 lead.
Indiana's second unit managed to right the ship, however. The Blue & Gold responded with an 18-6 run of their own — with 15 of those 18 points coming from reserves — to climb back into the game.
The Rockets then closed a quarter full of runs by rolling off the last seven points to take a 31-20 lead into the second period.
"We got off to a slow start and the only thing we had to do was stay together," George said. "We didn't have time at that point to get on ourselves and we needed to try to win the game, and we had to do it together. We did a great job of collecting our thoughts, we went to the bench and talked and we won every quarter after the first."
Houston extended its lead to as many as 17 points in the second quarter, but once again the Pacers answered. With Ellis leading the attack, Indiana reeled off a 15-2 run to trim the deficit back down to four.
The visitors eventually took their first lead on Turner's layup with 54.4 seconds left in the quarter, but Nene scored on the other end to put the Rockets back in front. Teague knocked down two free throws with 24 seconds left in the half to give the Pacers a 59-58 lead at the break.
The two teams went back and forth in the third quarter before the Blue & Gold closed the frame with an 11-2 run to open up an 88-80 lead.
The Pacers stretched their lead to as many as 14 points in the fourth quarter, but the Rockets hung around and eventually made it a dramatic finish with their late rally.
George battled through foul trouble and finished with 15 points, seven boards, five assists, and three steals. Turner added 12 points, six rebounds, and three blocks.
Ellis and Rakeem Christmas were also solid contributors off the bench. Ellis had 12 points on 6-of-8 shooting, seven rebounds, and eight assists. Christmas set a new career high with 10 points on 4-of-5 shooting and pulled down three boards in the win.
Williams led Houston with 28 points off the bench, going 5-for-10 from 3-point range. Harden added 25 points and 12 assists, but was just 5-for-17 from the field and 1-for-9 from beyond the arc.
The Pacers next travel to San Antonio, where they will face off against the Spurs on Wednesday night at 8:30 PM ET.
Inside the Numbers
Indiana outrebounded the Rockets 55-39 overall and 13-12 on the offensive glass. The Pacers' 23 second chance points were one shy of a season high.
The Pacers also outscored Houston in the paint (50-40) and on the fastbreak (22-20).
In addition to his career-best 10 points, Christmas also set new career marks for minutes played (20:27), field goals made, and field goals attempted.
The Rockets had a commanding advantage at the foul line, going 34-for-42 from the charity stripe (Harden alone was 14-for-17). The Pacers made 22-of-25 free throws.
The NBA's most prolific 3-point shooting team, the Rockets attempted 15 more threes than the Pacers, but made three less. Indiana was 13-for-30 beyond the arc (43.3 percent), while Houston was just 10-for-45 (22.2 percent).
With the win, Indiana is now 7-1 on the season against the teams currently between third and seventh place in the Western Conference. The Pacers swept the season series with the Rockets, Clippers, and Thunder and are also 1-0 against the Grizzlies. Their only loss against any of those teams came against the Jazz in Utah on Jan. 21.
You Can Quote Me On That
"I thought we kept our composure. Houston jumped on us that first quarter, we couldn't make a layup, and we were all over the place defensively. I thought we settled down and I thought our second group did a nice job coming in and settling us down. We started to get some stops and execute some offense and scored the ball." -Pacers head coach Nate McMillan
"I thought we played both sides well. We defended, they had some tough plays and some tough calls, and they were favored in the fourth but we hung on and got the win." -George on the fourth quarter
"We just stayed the course, we know this game is made of runs. The Rockets made their run late, but we stayed the course. Paul (George) just had a phenomenal pass to C.J. Miles who knocked down a big shot to seal the game. That was pretty much it." -Stuckey
"Guys came in and gave us a spark off the bench. Rodney Stuckey, Monta (Ellis) and everybody off the second unit came in and played well. And we tried to sustain that for the rest of the game." -Teague
"Defensively we didn't get enough stops. We let up in that second quarter, it just wasn't good. We didn't do what we needed to." -Harden
Stat of the Night
The Pacers scored 39 points in the pivotal second quarter, their most points in any quarter this season. Indiana was 13-for-26 from the field and 11-for-12 from the foul line in the period and racked up 20 points in the paint in the frame.
- The Pacers last swept the season series with the Rockets during the 2012-13 campaign, which ended with an appearance in the Eastern Conference Finals.
- The Blue & Gold's last win in Houston came on March 27, 2013.
- Indiana is now 13-5 on the season when six or more players score in double figures.
- Pacers center Al Jefferson missed his third straight game due to dental work after undergoing an emergency root canal on Friday.
Indiana heads to San Antonio for a showdown with the Spurs, owners of the second-best record in the NBA on Wednesday, March 1 at 8:30 PM ET.
Following their five-game road trip, the Pacers return to Bankers Life Fieldhouse on Wednesday, March 8 for a meeting with a Central Division foe, the Detroit Pistons, at 8:00 PM ET. Find Tickets »