Game Rewind: Pacers 112, Pelicans 117

Game Recap

For the second consecutive game, the Pacers suffered a loss after leading by double-digits, this time falling to the New Orleans Pelicans 117-112 on Tuesday night at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.

Indiana (5-6) was up big at halftime, leading by a game-best 14 points after scoring a season-high 75 points in the first half. But in the third quarter, New Orleans’ (6-5) All-Star frontcourt of DeMarcus Cousins and Anthony Davis went to work, opening up the half with a 6-0 run and outscoring Indiana 35-19 in the third, leading to a tense fourth quarter of action.

“We came out flat again, I don’t know the reason for us not coming out with a sense of urgency in the third quarter,” said Pacers head coach Nate McMillan after the game. “Our first two possessions were bad executions and turnovers, very similar to New York. Defensively teams are just lighting us up, and offensively we stopped the ball movement.”

It was the third straight game that things came down to the closing minutes for the Pacers and the third straight game where Indiana ended up on the wrong side of the finish.

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In the fourth quarter, the Pelicans struck a 6-0 run to go up 108-103 with 4:20 remaining in the game, forcing Nate McMillan to call timeout to slow the run. McMillan reinserted Bojan Bogdanovic back into the game to get the starting five on the floor for the final four minutes of play.

With 1:30 remaining and the Pacers trailing by four, Indiana ran its offensive set, whipping the ball around the perimeter until it found Victor Oladipo in the corner, who drilled the 3-pointer as the Fieldhouse pumped with excitement.

On the other end, Davis quelled the noise by knocking down a stepback jumper, his game-high 37th point of the evening as the Pelicans led by three with 1:10 remaining.

Isolated against Cousins, Bojan Bogdanovic drove to his left, getting the layup to fall off the glass and trimming the score to a 113-112 New Orleans lead.

Needing to play defense to save their shot at a win, Thaddeus Young forced Cousins to fumble the ball out of bounds.

But on the other end, Indiana was unable to convert as Myles Turner’s midrange jumper landed short. With time winding down, the Pacers fouled Jrue Holiday, who hit his first free throw but missed his second. The rebound, however, went longer than expected as Davis extended his arms and hauled it in, giving the Pelicans possession leading by two with 18 seconds on the clock.

On the inbounds, Indiana fouled Holiday again. And for the second time in a row, Holiday made the first free throw and missed the second, leading to a Pelicans offensive rebound.

Indiana’s struggles to box out eliminated its chances of having a final shot to grab the win on its home court, as the Pelicans moved to 5-2 on the road this season.

“The second to last free throw box out, that was my fault,” Victor Oladipo said at his locker after the game. “I should have been in there boxing out and should have gotten that rebound. I have to do a better job overall as a leader.”

In the first half, it seemed as if the Pacers couldn’t miss, opening up a 14-point lead over the visiting Pelicans.

With just over five minutes remaining in the first quarter, the Pacers led 24-17 following a pair of Myles Turner free throws. But moments later, Pelicans forward Darius Miller connected on a 3-point shot and was fouled by TJ Leaf in the process, allowing New Orleans to cut its deficit to just four points.

Miller’s big play turned out to be the impetus of a 12-3 Pelicans run, moving New Orleans ahead 32-31 with under two minutes left in the quarter. The offensive exhibition continued from there as Lance Stephenson and Leaf helped close the quarter strong for Indiana, with the Pacers leading 37-34 after one — their highest scoring first quarter of the season.

To open the second quarter, the offenses showed no signs of slowing for either team. Indiana went up 50-44 following an inside move by Al Jefferson, but the lead was quickly cut into by a bullying and-one layup by Cousins to bring the Pels within three.

Luckily for Indiana, Stephenson put forth his best half of the season, scoring 12 points and grabbing five rebounds, which included a 3-pointer from several feet beyond the line to put Indiana back up by six.

While New Orleans winnowed the Pacers’ advantage back down to four, Indiana soon took control in the closing moments, with Myles Turner canning a 3-pointer and Thad Young finding Darren Collison wide open on the fast break for the easy basket, putting the Pacers up 67-58 with 2:51 left in the half.

Indiana closed the quarter on a bruising 10-2 run to cap their highest scoring first half of basketball of the season as the Pacers scorched the court by shooting 63.8 percent from the field, leading the Pelicans 75-61 at the break.

Unfortunately for Indiana, the only offense that had it going to start the third was New Orleans’, which opened up the half on a 6-0 run and eventually tied things at 88 all on an Anthony Davis jumper with 4:00 left in the quarter.

When Pelicans head coach Alvin Gentry signaled for timeout with 1:21 remaining in the third, New Orleans had outscored the Pacers 30-15 to start the second half.

Although the Pacers briefly regained the lead when Al Jefferson slammed after spinning past his defender, a layup from Jameer Nelson put the Pelicans back up by two entering the fourth quarter at The Fieldhouse.

As the fourth quarter began, the Pacers began to reassert themselves, with Stephenson getting an and-one to fall and Joe Young converting on an acrobatic layup to go ahead 98-97 as the home crowd began to rock.

But down the stretch, New Orleans pulled away as Indiana was unable to get the basket it needed in crunch time to avoid its third straight loss.

Inside the Numbers

The Pelicans outscored the Pacers 35-19 in the third quarter.

During Indiana’s three-game losing streak, the Pacers have been outscored by a total of 10.0 points per game in the fourth quarter.

The Pacers reached 75 or more points in the opening half for the first time since 2011.

The Pacers had won 12 of the previous 14 matchups over the Pelicans entering tonight’s game.

You Can Quote Me On That

“I thought we forced some shots as a group. We forced shots, didn’t execute and didn’t get anyone open with our ball movement or our offensive execution. Similar to New York, we said at halftime the defense has to tighten up. We have to establish our tempo and pace at the start and end of the third quarter. You have to know that those guys are going to come out more aggressive, Davis, Cousins, and the whole team on defense. We need to be aggressors but once again we came out flat.” -Nate McMillan

“It’s tough. It seems like we just started missing offensively and we let that affect the other end. They started getting easy shots, easy looks and making big shots. We still had a chance to win the game. The second to last free throw box out, that was my fault. I should have been in there boxing out and should have gotten that rebound. I have to do a better job overall as a leader. I just have to do a better job getting us ready to play. I gotta do a better job of helping us close out games in the fourth quarter. It’s my responsibility.” -Victor Oladipo

“We did a better job on defense and we slowed down their transition. They scored a lot more in the first half by capitalizing on our turnovers. We did a better job of taking care of the ball in the second half and we didn’t have any silly turnovers.” -Pelicans center DeMarcus Cousins

Noteworthy

  • Domantas Sabonis missed his first game of the season with a calf contusion
  • New Orleans snapped a seven-game road losing streak in the series with its first win at Indiana since Jan. 16, 2010
  • Myles Turner played his most minutes (35) since returning from a concussion that caused him to miss seven games
  • Darren Collison led Indiana in assists for the ninth time in 11 games. He finished with 12 points and six assists on the night

Stat of the Night

After Indiana scored 75 points on 63.8 percent shooting in the first half, but the Pelicans limited the Pacers to 37 points on 30.4 percent shooting in the second half.

Home Court Gift Shop Game Night Special

Pacers Red, White, and Blue Hat – $12. Game Night Specials can be purchased online the day of each away game from 10:00 AM – Midnight. Order Online »

Up Next

Indiana takes to the road to face the surprising Detroit Pistons on Wednesday night at 7 PM ET. Game Preview »

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Construction Note: The city’s department of public works is replacing the sidewalk on Pennsylvania Street from just north of Georgia Street to Bankers Life Court. Portions of the sidewalk may be closed, but pedestrians should still have access to the Pennsylvania Street entrance of Bankers Life Fieldhouse.

Away Game Night Special

Pacers Red, White, and Blue Hat – $12. Game Night Specials can be purchased online the day of each away game from 10:00 AM – Midnight. Order Online »

Tickets

Secure your seats to see the Pacers take on DeMarcus Cousins, Anthony Davis, and the New Orleans Pelicans on Tuesday, Nov. 7 at 7:00 PM ET. Find Tickets »

Broadcast Information TV & Radio Listings »

TV: FOX Sports Indiana – Chris Denari (play-by-play), Quinn Buckner (analyst), Jeremiah Johnson (sideline reporter/host)
Radio: 107.5 FM/AM 1070 The Fan – Mark Boyle (play-by-play), Slick Leonard (analyst), Pat Boylan (sideline reporter)
Please Note: Inside Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Pacers radio broadcasts can be heard on 1080 AM instead of 1070.
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