Brandon Rush had a huge game, leading the Indiana Pacers with 26 points. Rush is clicking, and so is the rest of the Indiana Pacers squad as all contributed well to the team’s rout of the Toronto Raptors, 124-100. Indiana now improves to 10-9 as they only trail one game behind the Chicago Bulls for the Central Division lead. Last season, it took Indiana until the starting of the new year for the season to reach ten wins. Now, they got it before Christmas. Danny Granger had a good game, too, with 21 points. He also had nine rebounds and five assists.
“The good thing is, the guys in the locker room are not happy being 10-9,” Indiana coach Jim O’Brien said. “It’s good to have a winning record, but I think if you ask anyone in a Pacers uniform, if we had done the things that we did tonight on a regular basis, it would be a lot better than a game over .500. But that’s a learning experience.”
Rush is finally starting to show consistency this year and shown that he can be part of the Pacers plan for the future. Rush was ten-of-18 from the field and six-of-eight from the three-point line. Rush was unstoppable from behind-the-arc. His last shot of the game came towards the final seconds of regulation with a three-ball, which is a nice ending to this.
“Larry Bird said to him a couple weeks ago, ‘You’re playing like the guy I thought I drafted,’ ” O’Brien said. “He’s playing great. He’s playing really strong defense and scoring off the dribble.”
Darren Collison was six-of-seven for 17 points while Roy Hibbert had 13 points, six rebounds, and six assists. He also had two blocks, which seems to be an X-Factor for Indiana’s strong defense. Indiana is continuing to build chemistry and showing they can be an easy-playoff team. But the player still have a lot more learning to do to be one of the top teams in the Eastern Conference.
“Even though they’re familiar faces to our fans, they’re still inexperienced,” he said. “They’re starting to click. If they can continue to click in all phases then we’ll be a playoff team.”
Jose Calderon led the Toronto Raptors with 21 points and four assists.
The Pacers are showing they can be a top-six seed at least then the bottom-two playoff-seed. Indiana is on pace for a 47-35 record, according to John Hollinger’s playoff-odds at ESPN.com. Indiana is rolling and is well on their way to a successful season.