It was a point where the Indiana Pacers didn’t even need to try at all. Josh McRoberts went to a point where he shot a three-pointer. For the Pacers’ power forward attempted a three when the Pacers were up 113-76. But nobody worried. Everyone was just having fun. The only bad thing that happened was that it ruined the streak of 20 straight shots in a row hit by Indy in the third. Going 20-of-21 in the third quarter, it was truly a record-setting night. Indiana totaled up 54 points, which ranks them third all-time in NBA history for most points in a quarter.
With this solid victory, Indiana improved to 3-3, letting Carmelo Anthony suffer, as he sat out the game then, watching the Nuggets hopelessly getting harassed by Indy. Denver now moved down to 4-4. With this victory, the Pacers improve in the Central Division and their entire team. They showed they are capable of making the playoffs. They can do it this season.
Overall, it was a fun game by Indiana.
“I didn’t know,” McRoberts said of the three-pointer he attempted in the game. “I would have tried to pump-fake it a few more times, and maybe pass it to Mike [Dunleavy]. It’s a good record to screw up, I guess.”
Mike Dunleavy would have been a solid option. Dunleavy was about to be benched in the game after struggling all season and being a poor shooter. Dunleavy is usually known for his shooting, so it was kind of disappointing that he couldn’t knock down shots. It’s a good thing Brandon Rush wasn’t starting, no offense. Dunleavy was just simply on a roll. He led the team with 31 points, including 24 in the third half, which definitely helped out that record-setting quarter. Dunleavy said he didn’t realize the Pacers were on pace towards a perfect quarter.
“I didn’t realize it until after the fact, or else I probably would have gone over there and stole the ball from him [McRoberts],” Dunleavy joked. “But he had a nice game, so that made up for it.”
McRoberts did have a nice game, having a key stat of ten rebounds. The Pacers now add a new record to the NBA record books and their team books. This quarter was solid by Indiana. Probably the best quarter I have ever witnessed, like many other Pacers fans would say.
“That’s a quarter of basketball that will be remembered for a long time,” Pacers coach Jim O’Brien said.
Dunleavy knocked down five straight threes in the quarter. The crowd cheered loudly every time No. 17 touched the ball.
“I don’t know how many 3s he hit in a row, but it was like the old NBA Jam,” Denver’s Ty Lawson said.
The Pacers shot 64-percent in the game. By far the best shooting performance I have seen in the past couple of years.
“The dike broke, and the dam broke, and the flood hit us,” Denver coach George Karl said. “We know that happens three or four times a year. Hopefully we can get better and respond against the Lakers on Thursday.”
Dunleavy was criticized earlier for not getting his shots in, especially the open ones. But he came back and played well throughout the match-up.
“You just string a few in a row together, you get going, and it just goes from there,” Dunleavy said. “My teammates did a good job of finding me, and I knocked down shots.”
Darren Collison had 29 points and six assists, Tyler Hansbrough had 20 points and nine rebounds, Danny Granger had 19 points, Roy Hibbert had 17 points and six rebounds, and Brandon Rush had 16 points and seven rebounds. The Pacers had a total of 17 assists in the third quarter.
“That’s as much fun as you can have on a basketball court,” O’Brien said. “I think that third quarter was terrific after a very good first half. I’m just very proud of the effort.”
Ty Lawson led the Nuggets with 19 points. Arron Affalo wasn’t much behind with 17 points. The team’s leading scorer, Carmelo Anthony, only had 13 points.
Indiana was leading 59-49 in the first half, but once the third quarter got heated up, it was over for Denver.
“I think that was a key to us getting so hot,” O’Brien said. “We just never took a bad shot in the third quarter. We always saw the open guy.”
Granger improved after only making eight shots out of 31 attempts in his last two games. He made eight shots out of ten versus Denver and got himself back on track. The same went for the team.
“We just have to sweep this one under the rug and know that we will see them again,” Lawson said.
Despite the loss, George Karl was very impressed by what Indy did.
“They made every shot,” Karl said. “They were spectacular. They were fun to watch.”
The Nuggets will have another tough test, as they face the Los Angeles Lakers next. The Pacers will have the Houston Rockets at home on Friday night at 7 PM.
Solid game, Indy!