According to head coach Frank Vogel’s pre-game press conference prior to Friday’s game at Banker’s Life Fieldhouse against the Brooklyn Nets, it was a goal of the Indiana Pacers to complete the season without losing two games in a row. After losing two in row to the Pistons and Heat, the Pacers are 4-0. Friday night, the beat down mind frame continued with a 105-91 defeat of the same team they just beat three days earlier at the Barclays Center.
The Pacers struggled defensively in the first half, giving up 56 points to the Nets, which is saying something considering they held the Nets to 86 in the blowout loss just days earlier. The Brooklyn offense seemed to be able to penetrate and execute from long range with great accuracy throughout the first half of the game.
Brooklyn forward Mirza Teletovic had 17 points and Paul Pierce had 18 for the game as the Nets seemed like they wanted to make a game of it during that first half. The Pacers struggled against both players defensively and allowed the Nets to shoot 50 percent from the floor during the half. The biggest lead by the Nets was six points as they continued to challenge Indiana offensively.
With the third quarter came the change as Indiana always seems to be able to do this season. Indiana seems to be quite resilient at figuring out the problems at the half and adjusting accordingly, something they did again tonight. They began the third quarter with a 16-7 run and by the 7:30 mark they were up by eleven and never looked back.
Paul George scored 24 points for Indiana, and with seeming regularity now, Lance Stephenson nearly had another triple double with 23 points, 9 rebounds and 7 assists. All of Indiana’s starters finished with double figures and the blue and gold had another quality effort tonight.
After 29 games, and a 24-5 record, it becomes difficult in some ways to write about the quality effort and play of this team without sounding redundant. They seem to put in quality effort after quality effort night after night and that is what makes them so good. With Miami on their own west coast road trip and LeBron James suffering from a groin pull, the Pacers could put together a quality run which would separate them again from the pack in the Eastern Conference. It could be a pivotal time during the season for the blue and gold when it comes to home court advantage.
Next up is the Cleveland Cavailers who bring their own turmoil to Bankers Life Fieldhouse. With the suspension of Andrew Bynum for conduct detrimental to the team, the Cavs who have won only two games on the road this year could be another lopsided win for an Indiana team that just seems to be clicking on all cylinders.