Post-Game Grades: Unicorn gores the Indiana Pacers in loss to New York Knicks


Pain came in the form of Kristaps Porzingis as the Indiana Pacers blew a 16-point lead to the New York Knicks.

27. 101. 100. Final. 108

A 16 point Indiana Pacers lead died a horrible death as the ball stopped moving and the Pacers stopped scoring. Those two things usually follow each other, and it is no surprise either that the New York Knicks won the game.

Kristaps Porzingis went porzinging and dropped 40 points on 62.5% shooting with most of the damage coming in the fourth quarter. Add 11 rebounds, 6 blocks, throw it in a pot, add some broth, a potato. Baby, you’ve got a stew going.

When the Pacers didn’t get out in the open court they struggled to find their offense. Countless pick and rolls bore no fruit and contested shots stopped finding their mark as the game came to a close. The defense broke down as well and the Pacers fell back to .500 on the season.

If you ignore the second half, there were some positives found in this game.

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The Pacers want to outrun other teams and on Sunday they showed they could grind them out in the first half. Indiana kept the pressure on the Knicks by spreading out Myles Turner’s and Domantas Sabonis’ minutes while the Knicks struggled with the relentlessness of duo.

The Pacers brought Turner back into the starting lineup and put Sabonis back in his role as a reserve. While people want to see the two together, we saw the value of splitting them up. Indiana pushed their lead out in the first half while Turner rested on the bench. They shared the floor at times but the Knicks never got a break at the center position.

The two going to work softens the blow of a rough game from Victor Oladipo, but it wasn’t enough to stop Porzingis as he went into full unicorn mode.

The Good: The Pacers showed there is a plan that can work with their two talented centers. The final result wasn’t what Indiana wanted, but for now, expect the Pacers to bring Sabonis off the bench.

The Bad: Blowing a 16-point lead. Sure, it took Porzingis going off, but that doesn’t make it any easier to digest.

MVP: Thaddeus Young was a perfect 4 of 4 from beyond the arc. His 18 points on 7 of 11 shooting led the way in the loss.

LVP: Victor Oladipo shot 33.3% from the field and 14.3% from 3-point range. A better shooting night might have salvaged a win.

X-Factor: Stupid unicorn.

B-. 15 points and 4 rebounds, but Turner isn’t back up to speed after missing seven games. He played well, but there is still some rust to shake off.. C. Indiana Pacers. MYLES TURNER

Indiana Pacers. VICTOR OLADIPO. D. Victor Oladipo’s first bad game of the year.. SG

B. The glue that holds the Indiana Pacers together can only do so much trying to stop a mythical creature.. PF. Indiana Pacers. THADDEUS YOUNG

C. Felt like he had a bigger impact than he did, but regardless we’ll remember this game for his failed dunk attempt over Kristaps.. SG. Indiana Pacers. LANCE STEPHENSON

C+. Started off hot but missed shots in the fourth quarter that Indiana desperately needed.. SF. Indiana Pacers. BOJAN BOGDANOVIC

B-. 15 points and 10 assists for Collison. Defense is always an issue but he did his work on the offensive end.. PG. Indiana Pacers. DARREN COLLISON

DOMANTAS SABONIS. B. 16 points and 8 rebounds but was also helpless stopping Porzingis.. PF/C. Indiana Pacers

CORY JOSEPH. C. Played great defense at times but couldn’t get more than a few shots to fall on the offensive end.. PG. Indiana Pacers

C. Played good defense, but hardly did anything memorable.. SF. Indiana Pacers. ALEX POYTHRESS