Post-Game Grades: Indiana Pacers Fight Hard, Fall To Houston Rockets


The Indiana Pacers hung around for a half, but fall victim to a three-point barrage from the Houston Rockets.

169. 97. 100. Final. 118

The Indiana Pacers trailed by five at the half and appeared to be playing the type of game that would keep them close to a superior Houston Rockets team. The Pacers held the Rockets, the most prolific three-point shooting team in the league, to 4-of-13 from distance in the first half.

Indiana tied the game early in the third quarter and looked to be able to compete with on the West’s best teams. However, Houston finally found its stride behind the line by hitting three long balls in an 11-2 run to put some distance between the teams. Then, James Harden took over. He ended the third quarter with back-to-back step back threes to give the Rockets an 18-point lead.

Indiana tried to get back into the game with a 7-0 run to start the 4th quarter, but the Pacers never got the deficit under double figures for the rest of the game.

More from 8 Points, 9 Seconds

The Good: The first half. The Pacers played fairly well given the level of competition. They fought hard, moved the ball well, and played decent enough defense to stay in the game.

The Bad: The second half, particularly the three-point defense. Houston shot 14-for-27 from distance in the second half. The Pacers’ defense had no answers. To be fair, the entire league appears to have no answers for the Rockets right now.

MVP: James Harden. He was having a down game midway through the third quarter and was still flirting with a triple double. Eventually, he got his shot going and there was nothing the Pacers could do about it.

LVP: Cory Joseph. Virtually invisible in 25 minutes.

X-Factor: Clint Capela. A season-high 22 points and 13 rebounds.

B. A double-double (15 & 10) for the young center with four blocks. A solid game, but his matchup outplayed him.. C. Indiana Pacers. MYLES TURNER

19 points on 20 shots, 5 assists, and 5 steals. He was also a team worse -26 in plus/minus. A mixed bag for Vic.. SG. Indiana Pacers. VICTOR OLADIPO. B-

PF. Indiana Pacers. THADDEUS YOUNG. B+. A team-high 23 points on 11-of-15 shooting. He tried his best to get the Pacers back in it in the fourth, scoring 11 points in the period.

Indiana Pacers. LANCE STEPHENSON. B-. A decent game from the 8th Grader (11 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists), but nothing too memorable. We’ve been spoiled by the last two weeks.. SG

Indiana Pacers. BOJAN BOGDANOVIC. B-. Scored 15 points, but he was matched up with James Harden most of the night. He wasn’t a disaster.. SF

Indiana Pacers. DARREN COLLISON. C. A down game from DC against his mentor and former teammate Chris Paul. He only scored 5 points on 2-of-8 from the field.. PG

PF/C. Indiana Pacers. DOMANTAS SABONIS. C. Four points and seven rebounds in 20 minutes. Got caught on a couple cross-matches with Harden, which went about as well as one would expect.

F. Nearly Club Trillion in 25 minutes. He gave the team nothing in this game.. PG. Indiana Pacers. CORY JOSEPH

Indiana Pacers. DAMIEN WILKINS. Inc. Garbage time participant. SF

PF. Indiana Pacers. TJ LEAF. Inc. Garbage time participant

Garbage time participant, but got a couple buckets in his hometown.. PG. Indiana Pacers. JOE YOUNG. Inc

Next: The Pacers at the Quarterpole: What we’ve learned so far

The Pacers take on the Toronto Raptors on Friday.