Pacers at Rockets

GAME RECAP: Rockets 118, Pacers 97

All five Rockets starters score in double figures as Houston cruises to a 118-97 victory over the Indiana Pacers.

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GAME RECAP: Rockets 118, Pacers 97

All five Rockets starters score in double figures as Houston cruises to a 118-97 victory over the Indiana Pacers.
Nov 29, 2017  |  01:47

Postgame: Pacers Locker Room - Nov. 29, 2017

Nov. 29, 2017 - Pacers head coach Nate McMillan, Thaddeus Young, Darren Collison, and Victor Oladipo reflect on Indiana's 118-97 loss in Houston.
Nov 29, 2017  |  02:02

Turner Earns the And-One

November 29, 2017 - Myles Turner finishes the pick-and-roll through contact as he gets the basket and a trip to the line.
Nov 29, 2017  |  01:24

Indy Turns Defense Into Offense

November 29, 2017 - Lance Stephenson gets the steal on the defensive end and finds Thaddeus Young for the finish on the break.
Nov 29, 2017  |  01:53

Lance Goes Coast to Coast

November 29, 2017 - Lance Stephenson gets the inbound pass and heads straight for the hoop, finishing over the defense inside.
Nov 29, 2017  |  01:56

Oladipo Explodes to the Basket

November 29, 2017 - Oladipo weaves through defenders on his way to the hoop and finishes with a nifty layup.
Nov 29, 2017  |  02:38

Joe Young has Jersey Retired at High School

Nov. 29, 2017 - During the Pacers' trip to Houston, Joe Young made a memorable stop at Jack Yates High School, where he was honored with a jersey retirement ceremony.
Nov 29, 2017  |  01:37

Game Rewind: Pacers 97, Rockets 118

Wednesday, November 29, 2017 at 8:00 PM ET at the Toyota Center
by Wheat Hotchkiss
Pacers.com Writer/Editor
@Wheat_Hotchkiss

Game Recap

The Pacers tipped off a difficult two-game road trip on Wednesday evening in Houston. Indiana (12-10) hung tough for two quarters with the Western Conference leaders, but the Rockets (17-4) pulled away in the third quarter to cruise to a 118-97 win.

Houston made 14 of their 18 3-pointers after halftime to sweep the season series with Indiana. The Rockets already picked up a 118-95 win on Nov. 12 at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.

"They put a lot of pressure on your defense to have to contain the paint, keep them in front of you, and get out to the 3-point line," Pacers head coach Nate McMillan said after the loss. "They hit some shots in the second half — a lot of them, I thought we were right there. Sometimes you just have to give teams credit."

Indiana moved in front early, jumping out to an 11-6 lead, but the two teams remained close for much of a back-and-forth first half. Neither team led by more than seven points in the half, which featured three ties and seven lead changes.

The Rockets used a 10-2 run late in the second quarter to take a 46-39 lead, only to have the Pacers respond with an 8-2 run of their own to trim the deficit to one point. Houston then ended the frame with a 6-2 spurt to push the margin back to five.

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The Rockets pulled away in the third quarter, taking the lead for good with an 11-2 run early in the frame, then closing the period with a 17-5 surge to open up an 89-71 lead.

Houston, the NBA's most prolific 3-point shooting team by a wide margin, went 8-for-15 from beyond the arc in the third quarter. The Rockets made five straight 3-pointers to close the quarter, three by James Harden and two from P.J. Tucker.

"They got some threes in transition," Pacers point guard Darren Collison said. "We kind of lost sight of their shooters...I thought we played hard for the most part, but it didn't stick for all four quarters."

Pacers co-captain Thaddeus Young did his best to help Indiana climb back into the game in the fourth quarter. Young scored Indiana's first nine points and 11 of their first 13 in the period as the visitors trimmed the deficit to 10 with 7:54 remaining.

But the Rockets put the game away shortly thereafter, burying three more triples during a decisive 16-4 run that pushed the lead to 22 points.

Young led Indiana with 23 points on 11-of-15 shooting in the loss, while Victor Oladipo added 19 points, five rebounds, and five steals.

Pacers center Myles Turner recorded his third double-double of the season, tallying 15 points, 10 rebounds, and four blocks. Bojan Bogdanovic (15 points) and Lance Stephenson (11 points and four assists) also reached double figures.

Harden — the NBA's leading scorer — flirted with a triple-double, finishing with 29 points, eight rebounds, and 10 assists. Clint Capela added 22 points on 10-of-15 shooting and 13 rebounds for Houston.

The Rockets also got solid performances from Ryan Anderson (19 points and nine rebounds, 5-for-9 from 3-point range), Trevor Ariza (14 points, 4-for-5 from beyond the arc), and Chris Paul (13 points, six rebounds, and seven assists).

Indiana will return to action on Friday night in Toronto, when the Pacers and Raptors will meet at 7:30 PM ET.

Inside the Numbers

Houston outscored Indiana by 33 points from beyond the 3-point arc, going 18-for-40 from 3-point range (14-for-27 in the second half) while the Pacers were just 7-for-28.

Young topped 20 points for the second time this season and led Indiana in scoring for the third time this year.

Indiana outscored Houston 60-48 in points in the paint.

The Pacers were perfect from the free throw line on Wednesday, but only attempted a season-low six foul shots.

Harden has scored at least 20 points in all 21 of his games this season.

Oladipo has scored at least 14 or more points in all 21 of his games this season. He is one of only six NBA players to reach that figure in every game they've played this year, joining Harden, LeBron James, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Blake Griffin, and Kevin Durant.

You Can Quote Me On That

"That's exactly what I told our guys, that these are very good teams and it's going to be a challenge to not only play and defend them, but execute offensively against them." -McMillan on his team getting better by playing against the best teams in the NBA

"We tried to take the threes out of the game, but they got it going and made some tough shots. James (Harden) did what James does, he makes tough shots, falling back threes, and stepping to the side and hitting contested threes. There's nothing you can do when guys get it going like that." -Young

"They really made some tough shots in the second half and we missed some shots that we normally make today. But you have to give them credit as they played well down the stretch. There's some things we can do better obviously and we have to continue to keep getting better." -Oladipo

"You have to be able to push it up on the fly, and as the game goes on, and plays start to develop, you have to be able to counter and just focus throughout the entire game. It's not always going to be perfect. The faster we can adjust to different teams, every single game, the better off we're going to be." -Harden

"They came out, they played hard, played aggressive. I think what was good for us is that we kept going. That's what our coaches talk about. Sooner or later, hopefully we'll break the game open. It might not be the first quarter, it might be the third or the fourth." -Paul

Stat of the Night

The Rockets have made at least 10 3-pointers in all but one game this season and attempted at least 40 threes in 16 of 21 contests. For comparison, the Pacers have made less than 10 3-pointers in 10 games this season and have not attempted more than 34 threes in a single game.

Noteworthy

  • The Rockets have a 54-37 advantage in the all-time series against Indiana, including a 32-14 record in Houston.
  • Turner surpassed 2,000 career points on Wednesday.
  • Wednesday was just the second time this season the Pacers have lost a game in which Bogdanovic scores 15 or more points. They are 11-2 when he accomplishes the feat and 1-8 when he doesn't.
  • The Rockets' 17-4 start is their third-best start in franchise history and their best since they went 19-2 to open the 1996-97 campaign.

Up Next

The Pacers head to Toronto for the second meeting in the last week against the Raptors. The two teams will square off at 7:30 PM ET on Friday, Dec. 1.

Tickets

The Pacers look to get revenge on Kristaps Porzingis and the New York Knicks on Monday, Dec. 4 at 7:00 PM ET at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Find Tickets »