Indiana Pacers nearly fall to Wizards complacency spell


The Indiana Pacers almost let the Washington Wizards come back and take the lead late, but Myles Turner helped ensure that didn’t happen.

The best game of Myles Turner’s career nearly got erased by the Indiana Pacers careless play in the second half, but along with the resurgent young center, they kept that from happening.

The Pacers shouldn’t have ever let it be a close game late, as turnovers and missed shots in the third quarter bled into the fourth. A 25-point lead got down to a single possession, but the Pacers built back a buffer midway through the final quarter.

It’s time like these you miss Victor Oladipo. Yes, the Pacers won, but having a clutch playmaker in times where you just need a bucket might have made this a more comfortable win. That aside, the team held it together for their fourth win in a row.

101. 142. 109. 100. Final

Myles Turner steps up

Bojan had been the Pacers leading scorer in just over half the games with Oladipo out, but Myles Turner stepped up on offense with a 26-point performance. He shot 11 of 16 from the field while knocking down a pair of 3-pointers.

But of course, his defense was what pays the bills for Mr. Turner. His 11 rebounds got him the other half of a double-double, but his 5 blocks couldn’t be ignored either.

Myles isn’t going to do this every game, and that’s OK. But the aggressiveness shown in his willingness to shoot and in some of his rebounds can be there night in and night out regardless of the stat line.

Maybe the ponytail was the reason, but this was one of Myles Turner’s most complete games, if the most, of his career.

Darren Collison nearly had a perfect night passing

Darren Collison’s double-double game with 10 points and 17 assists. An impressive enough stat line in itself, but he did it with only 3 turnovers. And those 3 came late in the game after he spent most of the night handing out assists right and left, hardly trying to avoid a turnover.

Darren Collison certainly isn’t a bad shooter, but when he’s passing the ball more than shooting, it’s often a good sign for the Pacers offense. Maybe he should stick around.

The Pacers are 8-4 without Victor Oladipo

Things would be easier with Oladipo, but posting an 8-4 record so far without their star player isn’t a minor accomplishment. A season ago they couldn’t win without him, but now they’re taking care of business during a favorable stretch of schedule. Things get harder starting with the Milwaukee Bucks, but they’ve created a cushion for their 17-10 record in his absence.

Now, player grades:

PG. Indiana Pacers. DARREN COLLISON. A. DC came relatively close to a triple-double with his 17 assists, 10 points, and 7 rebounds.

A. Bojan’s been Indiana’s leading scorer in much of Oladipo’s absence, but tonight he trailed Myles with his 22 points. He was 8 of 15 (53.3) from the floor and 3 of 5 from range.. SF. Indiana Pacers. BOJAN BOGDANOVIC

A. 14 points and 12 rebounds while shooting 60 percent is a very Thad Young sort of thing. Also had some timely cleanup plays on miscues late in the game.. PF. Indiana Pacers. THADDEUS YOUNG

Indiana Pacers. MYLES TURNER. A+. It’s a good thing he got a double-double. Amazing game from Myles.. C

C -. 11 points and 1 rebound aren’t bad, but that he was part of a bench unit that looked incapable of scoring in the second half. He’s coming back from food poisoning, but they’ll need more than a -11 when he is on the court when they take on the Bucks.. C. Indiana Pacers. DOMANTAS SABONIS

B. A good bounce-back game for Evans with 18 points and 6 rebounds. His 7 of 13 (53.8 percent) shooting was a welcome relief from his recent struggles.. SG. Indiana Pacers. TYREKE EVANS

C -. Zero points, 4 rebounds, and an assist barely covered up his 3 turnovers and poor play that the entire second unit dealt with.. PG. Indiana Pacers. CORY JOSEPH

C -. McNotalotfromDougtonight.. SF. Indiana Pacers. DOUG MCDERMOTT

C. His made 3-pointer was a bit of relief as he is shooting 4 of 13 from deep in his last five games. Not great otherwise.. PG. Indiana Pacers. AARON HOLIDAY

Next. The Pacers and their rocking shoes. dark

The Pacers host the Milwaukee Bucks at 7 p.m. on Wednesday. Hopefully, the can stop Giannis Antetokounmpo and the central division leaders.