There is no question Friday night’s Indiana Pacers and Portland Trail Blazers matchup was the game of the night. It was nationally televised on ESPN, and rightfully so. The best part? George Hill and Damian Lillard battling it out one-on-one.
In the end, it was George Hill’s Pacers that prevailed over Lillard’s Blazers, 118-113.
Following the Pacers’ defeat at the hands of Portland a few weeks back, Indiana center Roy Hibbert said, “We’ll see you in the Finals.”
That matchup is certainly a possibility, as the Pacers boast the league’s top defense while the Blazers have the best offense. Not much defense was played in either showdown between the two teams this season, but a Finals matchup would be nothing short of extraordinary.
Leading the charge Friday night was Hill, who managed to out-duel Lillard. Hill scored a career-high 37 points on 12-19 shooting from the field. He knocked down 2-4 three-point field goals, converted on 11 of his 12 free throw attempts, and also pulled in nine rebounds while dishing out eight assists.
Hill looked good while helping his team win, nearly posting a triple-double.
Lillard was just as good. He scored 38 points on 15-26 shooting, while assisting on 11 more field goals. It seemed as though Hill took it as a challenge from Lillard start-to-finish: best man wins.
LaMarcus Aldridge scored 22 points, Wesley Matthews had 19, and Robin Lopez posted a double-double with 17 points and 14 rebounds for Portland.
George Hill also got plenty of help, mostly from just one of his teammates. David West couldn’t miss if he tried en route to 30 points (13-16 field goals) and 10 rebounds. Paul George added 17 points, seven assists and six rebounds. George struggled mightily from the field, shooting a ghastly 5-23 in 46 minutes.
For Indiana to continue to be successful, they need George Hill’s leadership and aggressiveness. When Hill shoots the ball well, the Pacers are a far better team offensively. Just ask the Portland Trail Blazers.
On Friday night, Hill was the best man, and the Indiana Pacers were the better team because of it.