Game Rewind: Pacers 99, Spurs 91

Game Recap

Before Monday night's game, the NBA had two teams with single digits in the loss column, and now, thanks to one of the Pacers' finest defensive performances of the season, there is just one remaining in that category after Indiana gutted out its most impressive win of the season: a 99-91 victory over the San Antonio Spurs.

With 3:00 minutes left in the game, Monta Ellis did what he had been doing all night: driving to the basket and creating offense. Ellis' skillful lay-in put Indiana up 90-83 over the 53-9 San Antonio Spurs, lifting the crowd at Bankers Life Fieldhouse to its feet. He racked up 21 of his team-high 26 points in the second half.

But the Spurs chipped away at the lead, with Kawhi Leonard hitting two free throws to bring the Spurs within five, followed by a LaMarcus Aldridge layup to make the score 90-87.

It was gut-check time for the Pacers, and Indiana responded, with Ellis hitting two crucial free throws to extend its lead to five.

Unfortunately, the Pacers were whistled for a foul on the other end, where Patty Mills calmly drained two free throws of his own to close the gap to three once again.

But continuing his superb effort, Ellis scored on a crafty floater while trying to wind down the clock, which was followed up by an equally impressive and-1 conversion for Paul George, pushing the Pacers to their 97-91 lead, where the Spurs played the foul game from then on out.

But the contest was over, as Indiana slammed the door on the comeback attempt of one of the league's best teams.

"We needed to continue to play well, continue to rack up wins," Ellis said. "We came out and played hard. That was a great team and this was a big win for us."

In the first half, the Pacers used a 20-4 run to build an early advantage, holding the Spurs to a paltry 13-of-50 shooting in the first half of action, which included San Antonio hitting on just 1-of-13 3-point attempts.

The Pacers got some swift offense from Rodney Stuckey (12 points) off the bench, who at one point scored five consecutive points, including a tricky and-1 conversion.

After an Ellis 3-pointer was waived off after a review from the officials, Indiana went into the half 13 points ahead of the Spurs.

In the third quarter, the Pacers were down a man, with newcomer Ty Lawson exiting the contest after sustaining a foot injury in the second quarter. He was initially listed as questionable, but did not return. Lawson received a loud ovation upon checking into the game for the first time, and played five minutes, tallying two assists and one rebound.

"He had good energy, good instinctive plays," Pacers coach Frank Vogel said. "We didn’t have a lot of time to see him, but he was really getting into the paint. He created, he got guys wide open shots."

Also notable, was the applause received by Spurs power forward David West upon checking into the game. West spent four seasons with the Pacers, and was a cornerstone of their back-to-back trips to the Eastern Conference finals.

The Spurs started the third frame on a 6-0 run, before it was quelled by scores from Ian Mahinmi and George Hill.

For much of the third, it looked as if San Antonio might be pulling itself back into the game, but a 9-3 run near the end of the quarter brought Indiana roaring back into a double-digit advantage.

The Spurs did end up outscoring Indiana 30-28 in the game's penultimate quarter — thanks to a buzzer-beating tip-in by West — sending the game to the fourth quarter with an 11-point Pacers lead.

In the fourth quarter, after the the Spurs scored four unanswered points to cut Indiana's lead to seven, the Pacers broke off the game's key run: a 9-0 sprint that featured a Jordan Hill putback, a Myles Turner jumper, and a 3-pointer from Solomon Hill that sent the crowd into bedlam.

However, after a San Antonio timeout with 9:33 remaining in the game, the Spurs returned the favor with a 7-0 run of their own to cut their deficit to eight points, triggering Vogel to take a timeout with 6:55 left.

From there, the tandem of PG and Ellis took over, scoring the Pacers' final 13 before Solomon Hill put it away at the free throw line to cap off the 99-91 victory.

Inside the Numbers

The Pacers are now 26-5 when holding opponents to under 100 points.

Indiana is also 27-6 when taking a lead into the fourth quarter.

Ellis scored 21 of his 26 points in the second half.

Indiana held the Spurs to 35.4 percent shooting, their lowest field goal percentage of the season.

You Can Quote Me On That

"It’s us just completing games and putting in a full 48 minutes together. This game is all about runs. This team came back late but we did a great job of cushioning ourselves." -Paul George

"It kind of like strengthens our belief in each other and our confidence level. We’ve had a good team all year, and we can beat anybody when we execute and when we play hard like we did tonight. It’s a very good win tonight." -Ian Mahinmi

"You have to feel good about beating the Spurs. That’s a heck of a team. But all you have to do is look at the standings to know one loss can knock you down to nine. It’s always rewarding when you have guys step up particularly Solomon Hill." -Pacers coach Frank Vogel


  • Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich missed the game due to a family issue
  • Lavoy Allen missed the game with knee soreness
  • The Spurs hit just 4-of-28 3-pointers on the night

Stat of the Night

It was this fifth time this season in which Paul George and Monta Ellis each scored 20 or more points in the same game. The team is 3-2 in those games, and 13-7 overall when two players score 20 or more in a game.

Up Next

The Pacers have one of their longest breaks of the season after Monday's win. Indiana travels to Dallas on Saturday for a 2 PM matchup.


Brad Stevens and the Celtics pay a visit to Bankers Life Fieldhouse on a Hickory Pacers night on Tuesday, March 15. A Pacers win would make the season series 3-1 in the Pacers' favor. Secure your seats today: Find Tickets »

Home Court Gift Shop Game Night Special

Select Short Sleeve Tee - $12. Game Night Specials can be purchased in the Home Court Gift Shop or any of our souvenir stands located on all levels of Bankers Life Fieldhouse. The special is also available online at PacersGear.com until midnight.