Pacers vs Suns

Game Recap: Suns 112, Pacers 94

The Suns defeated the Pacers, 112-94. Devin Booker led all scorers with 35 points, four rebounds and three assists for the Suns, while Deandre Ayton added 27 points and 12 rebounds in the victory. Dom

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Game Recap: Suns 112, Pacers 94

The Suns defeated the Pacers, 112-94. Devin Booker led all scorers with 35 points, four rebounds and three assists for the Suns, while Deandre Ayton added 27 points and 12 rebounds in the victory. Dom
Jan 14, 2022  |  00:01

Pacers Postgame: Jan. 14, 2022

Jan. 14, 2022 - Pacers head coach Rick Carlisle, Justin Holiday, and Caris LeVert speak with the media following Indiana's 112-94 loss to Phoenix on Friday night at Gainbridge Fieldhouse.
Jan 14, 2022  |  16:11

Justin Holiday with 7 3-pointers vs. Phoenix Suns

Justin Holiday with 7 3-pointers vs. Phoenix Suns, 01/14/2022
Jan 14, 2022  |  00:01

Domantas Sabonis Posts 14 points & 14 rebounds vs. Phoenix Suns

Domantas Sabonis Posts 14 points & 14 rebounds vs. Phoenix Suns, 01/14/2022
Jan 14, 2022  |  00:02

Holiday fifth 3

Jan 14, 2022  |  00:12

Craig dunk

Jan 14, 2022  |  00:10

LeVert step back 3

Jan 14, 2022  |  00:14

Turner's Putback Slam

Jan 14, 2022  |  00:12

Turner Blocks Crowder

Jan 14, 2022  |  00:11

LeVert for Three

Jan 14, 2022  |  00:13

Lance Beats the Shot Clock

Jan 14, 2022  |  00:12

Brissett's Tough Two

Jan 14, 2022  |  00:09

Caris to Torrey for Three

Jan 14, 2022  |  00:10

Holiday for Three

Jan 14, 2022  |  00:11

Holiday with the Block

Jan 14, 2022  |  00:12

Game Rewind: Pacers 94, Suns 112

Friday, January 14, 2022 at 7:00 PM ET at Gainbridge Fieldhouse
by Wheat Hotchkiss
Pacers.com Writer/Editor
@Wheat_Hotchkiss

Game Recap

Buoyed by the hot shooting of Justin Holiday and the playmaking of Caris LeVert, the Pacers hung tough with the Phoenix Suns, owners of the NBA's top record for much of Friday's contest.

The Blue & Gold erased a 14-point third-quarter deficit to take a lead late in the frame. But Indiana (15-28) became unglued in the fourth quarter, going the first four minutes of the frame without a field goal, allowing Phoenix to push their lead back to double digits. The Suns (32-9) held on down the stretch for a 112-94 victory at Gainbridge Fieldhouse.

"They just hit us with a run that they are most capable of doing," Pacers head coach Rick Carlisle said.
"They do it on a consistent basis to a lot of teams. It was a tough one to answer."

Holiday led Indiana with 25 points, going 7-for-14 from 3-point range, while also tallying four assists, three blocks, and two steals in the loss. LeVert added 20 points, five rebounds, and nine assists, but it wasn't quite enough.

Devin Booker had a team-high 35 points for Phoenix, going 6-for-13 from beyond the arc, while Deandre Ayton added 27 points on 12-of-18 shooting and 12 rebounds.

Booker and Ayton carried Phoenix's offense early on Friday. Booker hit his first two 3-point shots, while Ayton scored eight points on the interior.

But Holiday kept the Pacers close with his two-way play, knocking down two threes on one end and blocking three shots (including two on one possession) on the other. Torrey Craig's trey at the shot clock buzzer tied the game at 14 just under seven minutes into the contest.

Booker and Ayton then traded roles, as Booker scored on a layup and Ayton buried a triple for the next five points. Both offenses sputtered somewhat down the stretch in the first quarter, but Phoenix stayed in front, taking a 23-19 lead into the second.

The Suns stretched their lead to six points at 28-22 early in the ensuing frame before LeVert checked back in and provided a spark to the Pacers' offense. LeVert scored seven quick points and helped Indiana tie the game on two separate occasions.

The Blue & Gold went cold in the closing minutes of the first half, however. Indiana went scoreless over the final 2:57 while Phoenix used six free throws and an Ayton jumper to build a 46-38 lead entering the intermission.

Ayton scored the first basket out of the break on a hook shot, but it was all Booker for the next several minutes. Phoenix's All-Star guard hit three straight 3-pointers and then converted an old-fashioned three-point play in a 2:13 span, extending the visitors' lead to 60-44.

The Pacers charged back, however. Domantas Sabonis and LeVert scored seven points apiece during a 17-6 Indiana run that trimmed the deficit to just three. With the score 66-63, Sabonis threw a no-look pass to Holiday in the left corner for the game-tying three, capping a 14-point swing in a little over five minutes.

Cameron Payne scored on the other end, but Indiana tied the game twice more before finally taking the lead on another Holiday triple with 2:17 remaining in the frame.

"There were certain ones that I shot that I knew were good but I didn't even have the greatest form on them," Holiday said of his hot shooting. "It was just I knew it was going to go in. The energy from the crowd, I could feel all that. I felt like I couldn't really miss anything."

Booker tied the game with a three-point play, only for Holiday to answer with his sixth three of the night on the other end. Booker responded with a sixth triple of his own, knotting the game once again at 76 with 1:11 left in the frame.

Two JaVale McGee free throws with 44.2 seconds left put Phoenix back in front. Booker then drove and scored again just before the buzzer, giving him 22 points in the quarter and the Suns a four-point lead entering the fourth quarter.

Things unraveled in the fourth quarter. The Suns scored the first six points of the frame before Lance Stephenson hit a pair of free throws at 9:54. Landry Shamet scored the next six for Phoenix, followed by a Chris Paul jumper, and McGee dunk to cap a 16-2 run to open the quarter. Suddenly, the Suns held a commanding 96-78 lead.

Holiday's 3-pointer at 7:50 was the Pacers' first field goal of the quarter. The deficit proved too much to overcome, as the Pacers fell for the ninth time in the last 10 games.

"They're known for finishing games really well and they showed it tonight," LeVert said.

Sabonis registered another double-double in the loss, finishing with 14 points, 14 boards, and five assists. Craig was the next-highest scoring Pacer with eight points off the bench.

Paul had 12 points and nine assists for the Suns, while Payne added 11 points and five assists to pace Phoenix's reserves.

The Pacers now hit the road for a five-game road trip that starts on Monday afternoon in Los Angeles against the Clippers. They will stay in L.A. to face the Lakers on Wednesday night before continuing on to Golden State, Phoenix, and New Orleans.

Inside the Numbers

The Pacers' 38 points in the first half on Friday were a new season low, but they matched their season high with 38 points in the third quarter. Indiana also scored 38 points in the third against New Orleans on Nov. 20.

Booker's 22 points in the third quarter are tied for the sixth-most by a player in a single quarter this season. Stephen Curry has the highest-scoring individual quarter this season with 25 points in the first quarter against the Clippers on Oct. 21.

Holiday's seven 3-pointers were a new season high and one shy of his career best of eight, set on May 13 against Milwaukee in the final week of the 2020-21 regular season.

Sabonis' double-double was his 30th this season, tying him with reigning league MVP Nikola Jokic for second-most in the NBA.

You Can Quote Me On That

"The third quarter was tremendous. Being able to take a lead, as brief as it was, was great to see. We put defense and offense together and got into the type of game that we need to play, which is pace, ball movement, and just recognition basketball." -Carlisle

"They capitalized on when we made the mistakes. That's what good teams do, which is no surprise. We fought hard. We just have to figure out a way to not have those little mistakes in order to weather their storm a little better." -Holiday on what went wrong during Phoenix's big run

"It's extremely difficult. We kind of kept them under wraps for a good part of that game (but) they just kind of made their runs, made their spurts when they needed it...They've played together for about two seasons now. It seems like they just kind of know where each other is on the floor." -LeVert on playing against a team with as many weapons as the Suns

"Justin was terrific all night. In the first half when we really struggled to get rhythm and kind of our feet under us offensively, he was a guy that was doing little things to help us along...It was just one of those nights where it's hard getting him off the floor." -Carlisle on Holiday's contributions

"That's the thing we're going to need to do right now is just continue to be positive, even when it's hard. Because it doesn't matter if things are going well for you or not, if you're going to be negative and things are going to continue to bother you, you're going to just add to it." -Holiday on the mindset of the team amidst a lot of adversity

Stat of the Night

Phoenix outscored Indiana 23-2 over a 5:03 stretch spanning the end of the third and start of the fourth quarters.

Noteworthy

  • The Suns have won their last two games at Gainbridge Fieldhouse and three of their last four overall against the Pacers. Prior to that stretch, Indiana had won six straight over Phoenix from Dec. 7, 2016 to Jan. 22, 2020.
  • Pacers guard Malcolm Brogdon missed Friday's game due to a sore right Achilles after aggravating the injury in Wednesday's loss to Boston. Reserve guard Jeremy Lamb was a late scratch with a sore left knee.
  • Pacers center Myles Turner tallied two blocks in the loss and now has 984 in his career, six back of Roy Hibbert for fourth place in franchise history.

Up Next

The Pacers open a five-game road trip in Los Angeles against the Clippers on Monday, Jan. 17 at 3:30 PM ET.

Tickets

After a five-game Western Conference road trip, the Pacers return to Gainbridge Fieldhouse to host Gordon Hayward and the Charlotte Hornets on Wednesday, Jan. 26 at 7:00 PM ET. Find Tickets »





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