The Pacers opened up their five-game road swing with one of their most comfortable wins of the season, cruising to a 120-97 victory over the Phoenix Suns on Sunday night.
The game tilted in favor of the Pacers (23-20) early, when Victor Oladipo — who finished with 17 points in 21 minutes — scored 11 in his first shift on the floor as Indiana went up by 10.
From there, the Pacers executed an offensive clinic, shooting 54 percent on the night and canning 11-of-23 3-point attempts as they raced to the 23-point win.
"We wanted to start this road trip off right," said Pacers head coach Nate McMillan. "I thought defensively we were focused making them earn everything they got. Offensively we had good ball movement and we were pretty consistent with that for 48 minutes."
After having built a 64-44 halftime lead, the visiting Pacers picked up where they left off, outscoring Phoenix 32-22 in the third quarter to build a massive 96-66 lead entering the final quarter.
At that point in the game, Indiana's pressure defense had limited the Suns to just 31.7 percent shooting.
In the fourth, Indiana's bench unit did its part to keep the lead, allowing McMillan to rest his starters down the stretch — which could be crucial with the Pacers heading to Utah for the second night of a back-to-back on Monday.
Oladipo was in his zone from the opening tip, swiping a steal and taking it the length of the court for a powerful dunk. His strong start allowed the Pacers to go up by double digits as they closed the first quarter leading 30-16.
VOTE VIC: Send Oladipo to the All-Star Game »
To open the second quarter, the Pacers' lead only widened as Al Jefferson provided a scoring punch off the bench, making four of his first five shots for a quick eight points.
Midway through the quarter, the Pacers had built a 22-point lead behind a stretch of impressive play from the reserves.
In the final minutes of the half, Phoenix managed to close the gap between the teams slightly, but a buzzer-beating shot from Darren Collison — who had a team-high 19 points — kept Indiana up 20 at the break.
The Suns (16-28) were led in scoring by rookie Josh Jackson, who racked up game-high 21 points. But as a team, Phoenix was never able to generate any meaningful offense, shooting 40.5 percent from the field.
Without center Myles Turner — who remains sidelined with a sore right elbow — Domantas Sabonis stepped up big in his place, hauling in 14 rebounds, including four on the offensive glass.
The victory marks the Pacers' fourth win in their last five games, as Indiana opened up it's lengthy road trip in impressive fashion, putting away the Suns early and never allowing the door of a possible comeback to creak open.
"These are the games you can't mess around," explained Collison. "Despite their record, you have to respect your opponent. I thought we did a good job of doing that. We kept it going and we never relaxed."
Inside The Numbers
Seven Pacers scored in double figures. Indiana's bench poured in 46 points.
Cory Joseph was the only member of the Pacers to hit 30 minutes.
The Pacers turned it over just six times, compared to 13 from the Suns, which the Pacers turned into 21 points.
You Can Quote Me On That
"Good job taking care of the ball. Good ball movement. We didn't play in crowds; we didn't try to force the issue. When there was a double team when guys were open we were giving up the ball. Nice job: six turnovers, you don't see that too often." -Pacers head coach Nate McMillan
"We tried to mix it up, go out there and compete on both ends of the floor and make it tough for them. They've got a lot of great scorers obviously: Devin, Josh, Tyler Ulis, we just tried to do a good job of just mixing it up and playing great team defense." -Victor Oladipo
"I thought we did a good job on some of their best players. Booker is a talented player and we knew if he got it going we were in for a long night. I think we did a good job containing him the best that we can and we just played great team defense and when we play good team defense we can do what we want on the offensive end." -Darren Collison
Stat of the Night
Indiana's six turnovers were a season low, beating its previous best of eight, which happened twice this season (12/23 vs Brooklyn, 12/08 vs Cleveland).
- Suns center Tyson Chandler recorded his 10,000th rebound during the game. He finished with 14 boards on the night.
- The Pacers have won three games in a row in Phoenix for the first time in franchise history.
- Indiana led by as much as 32 in the victory.
Following their five-game road trip, the Pacers return to Indianapolis to host Devin Booker and the Suns on Wednesday, Jan. 24 at 7:00 PM ET. Find Tickets »
The Pacers head to Utah for a battle with the Jazz on Monday night at 9 PM ET.