Post-Game Grades: Indiana Pacers collapse again, lose third straight


The Indiana Pacers blow their third consecutive second-half double-digit lead to fall under .500 for the season.

100. Final. 117. 69. 112

The Indiana Pacers had it all working in the first half. The ball was moving, everyone was involved. Heck, Lance Stephenson even decided to join the 2017-18 season. Indiana scored 75 points and led by 14 points at the half without the services of an injured Domantas Sabonis.

Then, Boogie and the Brow happened.

New Orleans used their ultra-talented big man duo of Anthony Davis & DeMarcus Cousins to overwhelm Indiana in the second half. New Orleans began the second half with a 19-8 run in 4:31 to start their comeback. The Pacers had no answers for either all-star as the Pelicans controlled most of the second half.

Indiana fought back to cut the deficit to one, but Myles Turner missed a mid-range jumper that would have given the Pacers the lead with under 30 seconds left. The Pelicans missed a couple of free throws down the stretch but were able to get offensive rebounds including a Cousins tip-in to ice the game.

More from 8 Points, 9 Seconds

The Good: The first half was an amazing display of offensive basketball by Indiana. The ball was hopping and everyone was involved.

The Bad: The defense and second half offense. The defense has been a problem all year and it won’t get better. However, the offense is to blame for the third consecutive second-half collapse. When the Pacers fail to score in transition or move the ball side to side in half court sets, their offense just dies. They don’t have the personnel to overcome lack of ball movement & player movement.

MVP: Anthony Davis & DeMarcus Cousins. Boogie & The Brow combined for 69 points, 27 rebounds, 10 assists, 4 blocks while hitting 8 three-pointers. They are a matchup nightmare.

LVP: Victor Oladipo. Sounds crazy that the second leading scorer for the Pacers on the night would be LVP, but 6-of-17 from the field and a -15 in plus-minus tell the story.

X-Factor: The Pelicans three-point shooting. New Orleans came into the game averaging just under 10 made threes per game and shooting the 5th worst percentage in the league. They hit 14 in this game & shot 40% from deep.

B. A mixed bag. 21 & 12 with 3 blocks are really good numbers, but had no answers for Cousins & Davis. Not many in the league do.. C. Indiana Pacers. MYLES TURNER

C. Started the game so well, just like all the Pacers. He was flat out bad in the second half. He didn’t look as confident as he has most of the season.. SG. Indiana Pacers. VICTOR OLADIPO

B. A tough assignment dealing with Davis most of the night. Scored 13 points on 5-of-9 shooting.. PF. Indiana Pacers. THADDEUS YOUNG

Indiana Pacers. LANCE STEPHENSON. A-. Welcome to the proceedings, Mr. Ready. His best game of the season by far with 14 points & 9 rebounds. Fans have been waiting for “Good Lance” all season and he finally appeared.. SG

B+. Scored 14 points and made two key plays (an assist and driving lay-up) in the last two minutes to give the Pacers a shot at the win.. SF. Indiana Pacers. BOJAN BOGDANOVIC

DARREN COLLISON. B-. 12 points and 6 assists. Hit a late 3-pointer to put the Pacers in position to win.. PG. Indiana Pacers

PG. Indiana Pacers. CORY JOSEPH. B-. Scored nine points in 23 minutes, but didn’t play down the stretch as he had in recent games.

PF. Indiana Pacers. TJ LEAF. C. Not much from the rook on his first game back from injury. But he has to finish that shot after Lance dropped that dime.

C. He was forced into action due to Sabonis’ absence and held up as best as he could against Cousins & Davis. Scored a few buckets, including a dunk, but was a liability on defense (of course).. C. Indiana Pacers. AL JEFFERSON

B-. Anytime you can get six points from Young and it’s not garbage time, you’ll take it.. PG. Indiana Pacers. JOE YOUNG