Pacers hang on against the Clippers, remain in the East’s top 5


The Indiana Pacers survived some rough patches en route to a narrow victory against the visiting Los Angeles Clippers.

The box score can’t do this game justice. The Pacers and Clippers battled hard (and evenly) for the first two quarters before surging out to a seemingly cushy 18 point lead. That lead got less and less cushy, culminating in the Clippers assuming a lead in the last 3 minutes behind some Lou Williams heroics (and a stone cold Milos Teodosic bomb to beat the shot clock). It looked like anyone’s game in the last 2 minutes, but the Pacers defense put the clamps on LA and held on for a 109-104 victory.

100. Final. 104. 77. 109

Squaring off against a desperate Clippers team a mere 2 games back from the Western Conference playoffs, the Pacers held serve early on and maintained a small lead throughout the first half. Bojan Bogdanovic was en fuego, carrying a Pacers team short on available scoring.

Both Myles Turner and Victor Oladipo struggled mightily against the Clippers, clearing the way for the other Pacers to step up. Bogdanovic led the way with 28 points (he’d had 34 total in the past 5 games), while Thad Young and Darren Collison combined for a tidy 29 points on 13-22 from the field.

More from 8 Points, 9 Seconds

The Good: The “W”. The Pacers bent, but didn’t break. Oladipo got big points late in the 4th, and the Pacers D choked the Clippers offense, only giving up a single  “game is already over” bucket to Lou Williams in the last 1:55 of the game.

The Bad: The Victor Oladipo regression continues. 25% from the field and 30% from deep isn’t going to cut it in the playoffs.

MVP: Bojan Bogdanovic. He carried the Pacers offense at multiple points of the game. The Pacers don’t win this game without Bogie going off, and he gave the Pacers just enough.

LVP: Have to go with a Clipper here. Wes Johnson only played 18 minutes, but finished an astonishing -19 for the game. Ouch.

X-Factor: We might as well call this the Thad Young award. Thad wins it again with a 16 point, 10 rebound performance. Thad also hit the biggest bucket of the game, a putback just beating the shot clock to put the Pacers up 4 with 36 seconds left.

13 points and 10 assists on 6-9 shooting. Really nice DC game, had the offense flowing well when he was in the game.. PG. Indiana Pacers. DARREN COLLISON. A-

Not a great night for Dipo. 4-16 shooting, 3-10 from deep. Did contribute 18 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 steals, and a block. Also notable: Oladipo got double teamed late by Lou Williams and Austin Rivers, and immediately made the right pass out to the open man. Double teams have buried Vic as of late, but he handled the one the Pacers threw at him extremely well. (Also important to note – the Pacers had Collison screen for Oladipo, rather than bringing up Myles Turner or Thad Young).. SG. Indiana Pacers. VICTOR OLADIPO. B-

SF. Indiana Pacers. BOJAN BOGDANOVIC. A+. 28 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists. Shot 12-18 from the field and 3-6 from deep. Bogey shooting well was certainly a sight for (Victor Oladipo’s) sore eyes.

A. Thad had a double double with 16 points and 10 rebounds. Tobias Harris has beaten the pants off the Pacers all season, but Young stepped up and matched his production well. If this Thad Young is here for the playoffs, the Pacers just got more dangerous.. PF. Indiana Pacers. THADDEUS YOUNG

C+. Statistically, Turner had himself an off night. 2-8 shooting, 7 points and only 2 rebounds. However, he kept DeAndre Jordan relatively in check. Jordan has been exactly the type of center that crushes Myles his whole career, and Turner held him to a (relatively) quiet 14 and 11.. C. Indiana Pacers. MYLES TURNER

Lance came up big with 16 points on 6-11 shooting. He was only 1-5 from deep, but the 1 was a big shot that kept the Pacers in a back and forth battle. Lance also contributed 4 rebounds, 2 assists, and a steal.. SG. Indiana Pacers. LANCE STEPHENSON. B+

Indiana Pacers. CORY JOSEPH. B. 5 points, 6 assists, 4 rebounds. A terrifically CoJo night. He couldn’t keep Lou Williams under wraps, however. That’s exactly the type of matchup the Pacers will need CoJo to keep reasonable for him to be a key cog in the team moving forward.. PG

B. 7 points, 5 rebounds, and 2 fouls in 13 minutes. That’s a good night of dirty backup big play.. F. Indiana Pacers. TREVOR BOOKER

C. Played 11 minutes as a part of the 9 man rotation. Caught an alley-oop and snagged 3 rebounds. Not much effect, but didn’t hurt the Pacers in his minutes.. SG. Indiana Pacers. GLENN ROBINSON III

Next: Myles Turner is putting it all together

The Pacers square off against the Miami Heat on Sunday, 3/25 at 5:00 PM EST. This game will quite possibly be very important in the Eastern Conference Playoff seedings.