The Indiana Pacers have now started a win streak as they have won two games in a row.
I don’t think this game could have been more stressful down the stretch, but the Indiana Pacers held on to get a win over the New Orleans Pelicans.
My goodness, this game made me hold my breath so many time. The game was within 5 for essentially all of the last 5 minutes, and the Pelicans had a ton of good looks to make the game more interesting. They just didn’t fall. In the end, the Pacers pulled it out.
Darren Collison was a superhero tonight. This is a “you had to be there” moment. He had 22 points, which is pretty good, but it really felt like all 22 of them were just massive. They all stopped a run or were buzzer beaters in a shot clock, demoralizing shots for the opposing team. He was immensely clutch.
It was also great to see Domantas Sabonis finally get back on track. After struggling the last two games, he was great in this one, posting a double-double and hitting 7/9 shots from the field. The Pacers needed all of his contributions.
Perhaps my favorite moment of the game happened off the court. Jrue and Aaron Holiday were both playing, and their dad was on hand to watch. The Pelicans sideline reporter interviewed him during the game, and it was fantastic:
Welcome back, Domas.
In a two-point win, every basket is important. Domas finally returning to form and putting the ball in the basket was huge for the Pacers in this game.
13 rebounds were also a nice addition, and he had a double-double by halftime. He stepped up when it mattered. That’s what good players do.
Taking care of the ball
The Pacers won the turnover battle pretty handily, only coughing it up 9 times to the Pelicans 16. In a game that finished this close, that made a massive difference in the outcome of the game.
The Pacers forced the Pels into 9/38 shooting from 3 as well (well, they forced some of those misses at least). Combine that with the forced turnovers and you can see how well the Pacers perimeter D was in this one.
The battle of the Holiday brothers
Clearly, at this point in time, Jrue is better than Aaron Holiday. But tonight, they both shot the same percentage from the field. Jrue had more turnovers. So who is really better?
In all seriousness Jrue played a great game, he was just one assist shy of a triple-double. It’s always fun to see the family battles though, and it’s equally cool to see them exchange jerseys at the end.
Player and coaching grades: