Grades: Indiana Pacers get the last yeehaw against Spurs


The Indiana Pacers got their first road win of the season in San Antonio tonight.

The Indiana Pacers won their first game away from Bankers Life Fieldhouse this season. They controlled the game from start to finish in San Antonio en route to a rout of the Spurs:

100. Final. 96. 29. 116

This one was never close, really. The Pacers were up 12 halfway through and looked like the better team at every turn. In the first quarter, the starters got off to a great start, jumping out to a 9-5 lead. The second unit came in and kept everything afloat, and the mixing and matching of the Pacers depth buried the Spurs.

The Pacers were on fire from the outside. They hit 17 of their 32 three-point attempts, and only one player who took a three didn’t make one (dangit, TJ Leaf). That spaced out the floor for everything else the Pacers wanted to do, and they were able to carve up the normally solid Spurs defense.

The Good: The bench was back to being the best. After struggling against the Minnesota Timberwolves, the second unit was exceptional in this one. Cory Joseph was +30 and Domantas Sabonis was a +32. The Pacers depth overwhelmed that of the Spurs, and it carried the team to victory.

Also, Sabonis threw down this bad boy:

The Bad: The Pacers couldn’t get to the free throw line. They were only able to garner eight attempts from the charity stripe in this one, and given that those shots are extremely efficient, you would hope the team could muster more than 8.

Fortunately, they made 7 of them, so this is mostly nitpicking. But it would have been nice to see the Pacers get to the line more.

MVP: Victor Oladipo, and this is an easy answer. 21 points on only 12 shots, 9 assists, and 5 rebounds. He controlled so much of the Indiana Pacers offense when he was in the game, and it made things easy for everyone else.

He also got two steals, which extends his steal streak to… one game. Time to get another one rolling.

LVP: I’m picking Bojan Bogdanovic because I have to pick someone. It’s not like Bojan was bad, he was just the least value player for the Pacers in terms of his impact on winning. He hit a three and played alright defense, and he added seven total points on only seven shot attempts. A solid night for an LVP.

X-Factor: Three point shooting. Hitting 53.1 percent from the outside will win you a lot of games, and tonight it was the difference maker. The Pacers were +33 from the outside. That is too much to overcome for most teams.

Now let’s assign some grades.

C. Not a great game for DC. Five points and three assists. He only turned it over once and initiated the offense well, but he disappeared at times. It seems like Collison hasn’t quite warmed up to a new season yet.. PG. Indiana Pacers. DARREN COLLISON

Vic gonna Vic. All-Star stuff from Oladipo tonight. This is what a leader does after a tough loss.. SG. Indiana Pacers. VICTOR OLADIPO. A +

Indiana Pacers. BOJAN BOGDANOVIC. C -. Bojan had some flashes of okay defense on DeMar DeRozan when he was matched up on him in this one. His shot wasn’t falling tonight, but he played adequately.. SF

A. 14 points and 5 rebounds and nobody even noticed. Held LaMarcus Aldridge to 5/18 shooting and nobody noticed. Thad lurked in the shadows and played a dang good basketball game.. PF. Indiana Pacers. THADDEUS YOUNG

B. Great interior defense from Turner in this game, holding his matchup to only two shot attempts in total. Between Pau Gasol and Jakob Poeltl, the Spurs centers shot 3/9. Myles also shot 5/8 from the field himself. A solid performance from Turner in all of his key skill areas.. C. Indiana Pacers. MYLES TURNER

C. Indiana Pacers. DOMANTAS SABONIS. A +. The double-doubles just keep piling up for Domas. 16 points and 10 rebounds to go along with 7/9 shooting made Sabonis supremely effective in this game. He deserves a ton of praise.

A. Evans piled up a ton of points in the fourth quarter as he helped the Pacers put it away. 19 points and 5 assists are exactly what he was brought in to do.. SG. Indiana Pacers. TYREKE EVANS

A. CoJo had his best game of the year, easily. 4/6 from deep, great defense, six rebounds, and no turnovers. He was at his best in this one and probably earned some more playing time in future games.. PG. Indiana Pacers. CORY JOSEPH

Indiana Pacers. DOUG MCDERMOTT. C. 10 points are about all you can ask of McDermott, and he continues to get a random highlight reel dunk in almost every game. But his defense wasn’t great and he added three fouls. About average from McD tonight.. SF

A -. It’s hard to grade only two minutes of playing time, but O’Quinn has two dimes in that time and one of them was a sweet one-handed pass to Mcbuckets. KOQ is a joy to watch.. C. Indiana Pacers. KYLE O'QUINN

D +. Honestly, just glad Leaf is healthy. 0/5 tonight was rough, but he was getting the rust off after an injury. He gets a pass in this one.. PF. Indiana Pacers. TJ LEAF

D. Two minutes, two turnovers, one foul, nothing else. Holiday looked like a rookie in his brief stint tonight.. PG. Indiana Pacers. AARON HOLIDAY

B +. Sumner just didn’t do a whole lot in his two minutes. His arms are long and he’s the feel-good story of the year so far, so here, have a B +. PG. Indiana Pacers. EDMOND SUMNER

The Pacers next game is in Cleveland on Saturday. The will look to avenge their playoff loss to the Cavaliers in that one.