This was an uggggly game after the first 10 minutes. Over the final 40 minutes, the two teams shot a combined 37-for-126 (29.4%) while committing 33 turnovers. They also managed to make just 39-of-66 (59.1%) free-throws and 7-of-39 (17.9%) three-pointers. A little bit of this was indeed good defense. But most of it was just horrible offense, sloppy ball control and worse shot-making. Nobody could hit anything even on the limited possessions in which either team created a good shot. It was just wretched to watch.
Still, Indiana fans can celebrate a Pacers’ win on the road, and most NBA fans can celebrate the Lakers falling below .500 (now 7-8) on the season. Moreover, George Hill played well down the stretch, hitting two huge buckets, including a crafty driving layup over Dwight Howard with just 0.1 seconds left to give his team a 79-77 win.
The scene was set: After a floater in the lane by Hill on a previous possession and a subsequent Kobe Bryant three to knot the game at 77 all, Indiana had the ball in a tie game with about a second between the game and shot clock. The plan was obviously to not leave any time left for Kobe or someone else (but let’s be real … Kobe) to take the last shot.
They ran a high pick-and-roll with David West coming up to set a screen on Metta World Peace, who was for some reason tasked with guarding a point guard 7 years younger, 60 pounds lighter and 5 inches shorter than him. West didn’t even bother setting a screen that Hill seemed to have no intention of using. He dribbles hard right, past Peace, past a wandering Gasol and all the way to the hoop. Howard was there, but not in time. Hill wasted none as he didn’t use a guide hand and just scooped the ball high off the glass.
A pretty end after a disgusting 47 minutes.
Celebrate good times.