Post-Game Grades: Pacers Demolish Spurs in San Antonio


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If you believe in such things as pre-Christmas statements games then you have to believe in these Pacers. Then again, if you believe in pre-Christmas statement games, you may also believe in Santa Claus.

Look, Indiana just walked into San Antonio and pounded all living hell out of a team that was a free throw and/or rebound away from a title last year. More impressively still, they did so after originally falling behind by 13 points. After playing catchup in the second quarter the Pacers did that race car thing yall in Indiana like and slingshotted (slungshot?) past the Spurs only to lap them like six times and win the race without hardly having too look back in the rearview.

Patty Mills and some other guys made this score look less laughable than it was, but Tim Donahue tweeted the record of the carnage, showing the 29ish-minute stretch when the Pacers laid an 84-45 buttwhopping on the team that is (probably) the best in the West.

The team play was excellent after the slow start, and an unlikely duo helped fuel the second quarter resurgence.

With Roy Hibbert resting and Ian Mahinmi becoming a foul monster (I think … at least one call was dubious), coach Frank Vogel turned to a Luis Scola and David West down low. They did work, and Indiana quickly not only erased their 13-point deficit but took a 4-point lead into the break.

Then it was George Hill’s turn. He was lights out to start the third and almost single-handedly dug the hole that his teammates would use to bury the Spurs. Paul George did his Paul George stuff, hitting threes like this league has become his personal Pop-A-Shot competition, and Lance Stephenson even added a few of his own.

It was way too much George, certainly too much David West, and it wasn’t long before Gregg Popovich took out his old stars and decided to let this one go.

This was easily the biggest accomplishment for the 2013-14 Indiana Pacers so far. They almost did something similar to the Clippers, but instead of keeping their feet on the gas they nearly let that one slip away. They were gutsy, if sloppy, beating a Knicks team in overtime at the Garden. And the early decimation of the Bulls was pretty sweet.

But doing this? In San Antonio? Yeah, you don’t see this happen much in their building.

It’s too early to make too too much out of this shellacking, but it was awfully marvelous to behold.

Indiana Pacers 111 Final
Recap | Box Score
100 San Antonio Spurs

Here is how each guy played individually tonight. Agree? Disagree? Express your thoughts below in the comments or yell at Jared (@8pts9secs) or Tim (@TimDonahue8p9s) on Twitter.

David West, PF 34 MIN | 9-12 FG | 2-3 FT | 8 REB | 4 AST | 3 STL | 2 BLK | 0 TO | 20 PTS | +33

West was incredible the whole game. Killed from the midrange, made some nice passes, bullied anyone willing to muscle up with him. Some points taken away for the first-quarter offensive boards given up.

Paul George, SF 37 MIN | 9-14 FG | 6-6 FT | 4 REB | 6 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 28 PTS | +25

It’s not even Christmas and I’m honestly out of things to say. He’s like the Vincent Van Gogh of decapitating basketball players.

Roy Hibbert, C 27 MIN | 3-4 FG | 6-6 FT | 10 REB | 3 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 1 TO | 12 PTS | +1

Didn’t need much from the big guy today, as the West/Scola lineup opened the floodgates that Noah’s Ark extinction level evented the Spurs. But Roy still managed a nice little line without using up many possessions. Found his way to the line a bunch early, which was important since Timmay was doing his thing a bit early, too. Some points taken away for the first-quarter offensive boards given up.

George Hill, PG 27 MIN | 5-8 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 12 PTS | +12

His final stats don’t say much, but he came out of halftime like a man on fire. Or, like Man on Fire. He hit two threes and a layup in the first two minutes of the third. This put Indiana up 12 and was the beginning of the end for the Spurs. He did get smoked by Tony a bunch in the first, however.

Lance Stephenson, SG 36 MIN | 5-11 FG | 3-3 FT | 3 REB | 4 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 15 PTS | +24

Early on it looked like he may be nearly as uninvolved as he was in the Portland loss. But he started to make more plays, and despite some his shooting struggles he stayed ready to contribute. He hit a couple of threes later that helped seal the deal.

Luis Scola, PF 28 MIN | 5-9 FG | 2-2 FT | 10 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 4 TO | 12 PTS | -1

Along with West, he was instrumental in getting Indiana back into the game in the second quarter. Had 6 points and 4 boards in the period.

Solomon Hill, SF 3 MIN | 0-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 0 PTS | -8

Didn’t watch the part of the game he played in.

Ian Mahinmi, C 7 MIN | 0-0 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 0 PTS | -11

Fouled a bunch and was relegated to the bench. But perhaps he should get a good grade here since that forced Vogel to play West and Scola together?

C.J. Watson, PG 24 MIN | 2-6 FG | 7-8 FT | 1 REB | 4 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 12 PTS | +2

Nice little game. Excellent finish at the rim.

Donald Sloan, PG 2 MIN | 0-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 0 PTS | -2

Didn’t watch the part of the game he played in.

Orlando Johnson, SG 16 MIN | 0-5 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 0 PTS | -20

Wish I didn’t watch the part of the game he played in. Was just as bad defensively as he shot from the floor.

Tags: Game Recap

  • Jackson

    I can’t wait for Granger to come back. Just think about how much better we will be when he fills all of the minutes that OJ and Solo are getting. OJ was beyond awful tonight, and Granger is better at literally everything than him. Plus if he is healthy, he will be a go-to bench scoring option that we desperately lack right now. It will also open up the pick and pop even more with Lance and Scola since defenses will have to focus on him on the wing. Solid win tonight

    • 15points126seconds

      This. I’ve been saying how much of a boost granger would give us off the bench since last year, never understood the expected notion that he would/should go back to the starting 3. Dudes been a focal point of our offense for years, he can continue to do so with the reserves when we need it most.

  • AMF1322

    I think I never was happier of being so wrong in my life. The first quarter was what I expected: hard match, against a top-5 NBA team and one of the best teams at its house. But that run from middle second quarter to the fourth was just amazing. I’d never guess Indy was going to be THIS solid, THIS tough at SA. This is a great prove of what the Pacers can do. Ready to see PG vs. Durant tomorrow for the “second best player of the league” (because I know that, if Indiana plays like this, OKC doesn’t have a chance).

    • 15points126seconds

      we look gassed so far in this game :/ its been a long road trip, but Im hopin the third quarter really turns things around

  • Realist

    Second quarter experts!

  • 15points126seconds

    What happened to that dude that guaranteed the pacers wouldn’t beat the Spurs?

    This team is such a privilege to watch, wow. Hope the core is together for years to come

    • AMF1322

      I’m right here. As I said before, I’ve never been so happy of being wrong. I was based on the fact that Indy was outcouched every single match against SA in the Vogel era, in the fact that Indiana had a 12 game losing streak against the Spurs, and that the Pacers hadn’t win since 2002 at SA. And that this Spurs team was one rebound from being last year champion. It seemed too much for the Pacers in the papers. But man, last night was incredible. I’ve never expected Indiana’s offense to play so smoove at times, and that it’s D made a Popovich team just give up in intensity. I’m glad that I’m eating my words.

  • Derek Cooper

    Paul george consistantly in nearly every game has a span of time where he’s just on fire. Just zoned in. Just hitting really difficult shots that he makes look smooth and natural. And doesn’t jack up tons of shots all the time like some other scorers do. It happens over and over and I still feel pretty amazed every time he goes there. I don’t know_he can just mentally go there I guess._______nice win tonite thot in the first half the spurs were gonna just take us to school with their offensive execution. They look so like in harmony with each other on offense_like pitch-perfect professional choir boys. And oddly as it fits with that analogy that’s pretty intimidating_and I thot we looked scared. Didn’t expect us to turn around and rock the spurs _with confidence. Really good win but we were hot +they weren’t. So hey to a much lesser degree like when the bulls blew us out _when you’re hot you’re hot. Still really impressive win. Good team win_ glad scola got some more minutes than normal too.

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