Pacers vs Rockets

GAME RECAP: Pacers 108, Rockets 104

Justin Holiday and Myles Turner combine for 36 points to take down the Rockets despite James Harden's 45 point, 17 rebound night.

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GAME RECAP: Pacers 108, Rockets 104

Justin Holiday and Myles Turner combine for 36 points to take down the Rockets despite James Harden's 45 point, 17 rebound night.
Aug 12, 2020  |  00:01

Postgame: Pacers Locker Room - Aug. 12, 2020

Aug. 12, 2020 - Nate McMillan, Edmond Sumner, and Doug McDermott break down the 108-104 win over the Houston Rockets.
Aug 12, 2020  |  01:37

McConnell Finds McDermott Cutting to the Rim

August 12, 2020: T.J. McConnell's patience pays off, as Doug McDermott cuts to the rim and finishes the layup.
Aug 12, 2020  |  00:10

Sumner Finds McDermott on the Break

August 12, 2020: Edmond Sumner gets out on the run and finds Doug McDermott trailing the play for the 3-pointer.
Aug 12, 2020  |  00:10

McConnell Throws the Alley-Oop to Sumner

August 12, 2020: T.J. McConnell recovers the ball in the backcourt and finds Edmond Sumner for the alley-oop.
Aug 12, 2020  |  00:10

Oladipo Slings it to Turner

August 12, 2020: Victor Oladipo hits Myles Turner with the quick pass for the layup.
Aug 12, 2020  |  00:07

Oladipo Crosses Up the Defense

August 12, 2020: Victor Oladipo gets a head of steam and pulls off the crossover and left-handed layup.
Aug 12, 2020  |  00:09

Vic Finds Myles In the Paint

August 12, 2020: Victor Oladipo dishes it off to Myles Turner across the paint for the layup.
Aug 12, 2020  |  00:07

McConnell Spins and Finishes Down Low

August 12, 2020: T.J. McConnell spins away from the defender and hits the tough left-handed layup.
Aug 12, 2020  |  00:09

Vic With the Tough Finish

August 12, 2020: Victor Oladipo gets into the lane and hits the acrobatic layup.
Aug 12, 2020  |  00:07

Sampson Finishes Through Contact

August 12, 2020: JaKarr Sampson receives the bounce pass from Victor Oladipo and draws the contact as he hits the layup.
Aug 12, 2020  |  00:06

Game Rewind: Pacers 108, Rockets 104

Wednesday, August 12, 2020 at 4:00 PM ET at AdventHealth Arena
by Wheat Hotchkiss
Pacers.com Writer/Editor
@Wheat_Hotchkiss

Game Recap

The shorthanded Pacers were even more shorthanded on Wednesday afternoon. Already without All-Star forward Domantas Sabonis due to plantar fasciitis, Indiana also did not have leading scorer T.J. Warren (sore right foot) and starting point guard Malcolm Brogdon (sore neck) on Wednesday, holding both out for precautionary reasons before the playoffs start next week.

But despite those key absences, the Pacers (44-28) hung tough with James Harden and the Rockets (44-27), pulling away late for a 108-104 win.

With the victory, the Pacers have clinched a top-five seed in the Eastern Conference and now know that they will face the Miami Heat in a first-round series next week.

PLAYOFF PICTURE: Track the Latest Standings, Potential First-Round Matchups, and More »

Myles Turner and Justin Holiday led the Pacers with 18 points apiece in the win. Turner also pulled down 12 rebounds while going 8-for-10 from the free throw line, while Holiday went 4-for-8 from 3-point range.

Edmond Sumner added a season-high 17 points off the bench on 6-of-11 shooting while also tallying four rebounds and four assists.

"We had a number of guys out tonight," Pacers head coach Nate McMillan said. "We were able to give guys opportunities and I thought they played well."

The Rockets started Wednesday's game 5-for-7 from 3-point range, racing out to a 20-5 lead. The Pacers, however, fought back into the contest.

Indiana answered with a 21-8 surge, featuring five points from Victor Oladipo, to get within two points by the final minute of the first quarter. Eric Gordon's three-point play with 37.2 seconds left pushed Houston's cushion to five and Michael Frazier's layup pushed it to seven, before Sumner's 3-pointer just before the buzzer trimmed the Rockets' lead to 33-29 after one.

The Blue & Gold actually moved into the lead early in the second quarter. Holiday hit a 3-pointer and then Doug McDermott and Holiday added jumpers as the Pacers opened the frame with seven straight points.

The Pacers remained in front for over 10 minutes, but Houston moved in front on a pair of Jeff Green free throws with 53.3 seconds left in the first half. The Rockets' lead was short-lived, as Alize Johnson stripped James Harden from behind, creating a fastbreak that ended with a Sumner layup to give Indiana a 51-50 lead at the break.

The third quarter was a back-and-forth affair, featuring four ties and five lead changes before Houston surged ahead with an 8-0 run that featured a 3-pointer and layup by Harden followed by another three from Robert Covington.

The Pacers fought back, as Oladipo scored five straight points, Sumner added a dunk, and then with 1:17 left in the frame, McDermott buried a 3-pointer to tie the game at 76. Rockets guard Austin Rivers was assessed a technical as the shot went in, and McDermott also knocked down the subsequent free throw to put Indiana back in front.

The Blue & Gold remained in front for the remainder of the quarter, taking a 79-77 lead into the fourth.

McDermott stayed hot to start the final frame, hitting two more 3-pointers and a jumper as the Pacers pushed their lead to 96-87. Harden hit three free throws to pull Houston within six, but Indiana answered with eight straight points to push the lead to 14.

"I just happened to get the ball a lot tonight," McDermott said after the win. "I thought I did a good job of just finding the right spacing...The second half they were a little tired and we were able to get out and run."

Harden scored 14 straight points for Houston before Chris Clemons' 3-pointer made it a 106-102 game with 2:22 to play. Neither team scored for nearly two minutes, but Harden finally got a layup to fall with 27.6 seconds remaining.

Oladipo missed a pull-up 3-pointer, but Turner got his hands on the rebound and Holiday ultimately corralled it, drawing a foul and hitting both free throws with 6.5 seconds left to seal the win.

McDermott finished with 16 points on 6-of-7 shooting (3-of-3 from 3-point range). Oladipo also scored 16 points to go along with six rebounds and five assists.

Harden, who has already secured the NBA scoring title for the third straight season, led all scorers with 45 points and also amassed 17 rebounds, nine assists, and three steals. He went 13-for-21 from the field, 7-for-14 from 3-point range, and 12-for-14 from the free throw line.

For their final seeding game, the Pacers will play the Heat in a playoff preview on Friday afternoon. But with the matchup set and homecourt advantage not meaning much when all the games are played in a bubble, both teams will likely rest many key players in their final regular season meeting.

Inside the Numbers

Turner recorded his ninth double-double of the season on Wednesday and his first in seven games since the restart.

Indiana outrebounded Houston 54-46 overall and 12-6 on the offensive glass, the first time the Pacers have won the battle of the boards since the restart.

The Pacers outscored the Rockets 46-32 in points in the paint.

Sumner's 17 points were four more than his previous high this season, set on Jan. 8 against Miami.

The Rockets went 16-for-57 from 3-point range on Wednesday. Houston's 57 3-point attempts shattered the record for most shots from beyond the arc by a Pacers opponent. The previous mark was 48 by Dallas in an overtime game on Oct. 26, 2016.

You Can Quote Me On That

"It was good to see Justin and Doug knock down some shots tonight...They play such a big part for us coming off the bench." -McMillan

"Those long rebounds, we want to turn those into transition points. I thought we did a good job of recovering to the paint, not getting too flat, and rebounding the basketball, which allowed us to get out into transition." -McMillan

"It's just about bringing the energy. We've just got to match Miami's energy. They're going to bring it for 48 minutes." -Sumner on the first-round matchup with the Heat

"We obviously miss playing in front of fans, they're a huge part of this game. But we're just happy to be back on the floor...Overall it just kind of feels like an AAU game when you were younger." -McDermott on the experience playing in the bubble

Stat of the Night

Prior to Wednesday, Holiday and McDermott were a combined 7-for-48 from 3-point range. Against the Rockets, they went 7-for-11 from beyond the arc.

Noteworthy

  • The Pacers used their 21st different starting lineup this season on Wednesday, starting Aaron Holiday, Oladipo, Justin Holiday, JaKarr Sampson, and Turner.
  • With Wednesday's win, McMillan now has 182 victories as coach of the Pacers, moving him past Rick Carlisle into third place in NBA franchise history. McMillan and the Pacers announced earlier Wednesday that they had agreed to a contract extension.
  • Rockets guard Eric Gordon played in his first official game since the restart after sitting out the first six contests with a sprained ankle. The former North Central star finished with 13 points and four rebounds in 20:23.

Up Next

The Pacers close out the regular season against the Miami Heat on Friday, Aug. 14 at 4:00 PM ET.





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