The Indiana Pacers hadn’t won by 10+ after trailing by 20 since 2015. That streak ended tonight, as the Pelicans only played Anthony Davis in the first and third quarters and the Pacers rallied from 20 down to walk away with a 126-111 victory.
The beginning of this game looked all too familiar with Pacers fans. A random player started lighting the Pacers up in ways they don’t normally (hello 3 point shooting Julius Randle!), the team fell far behind, and the Pacers looked dispirited. Luckily, the 2nd unit wasn’t having any of it.
The entire 2nd unit finished between +9 and +18, as the reserves rallied back late in the 2nd quarter to cut the 20 point lead down to 13 at the half. Wes Matthews took over from there, putting up a ridiculous 3rd quarter. Matthews scored 15 in the frame, and would probably still be making 3’s now if he hadn’t caught a Thad Young elbow during a rebound and left with a bloody nose (he returned later and was fine).
Too many scorers, too many scorers
This was the Pacers 50th game – out of 59 – with 5 or more players scoring in double figures. Losing your team’s best player and offensive fulcrum is hard, but this team was perhaps better poised to handle the loss than most. Everybody eats.
Anthony Davis, even at this point, is really good
Anthony Davis is really, really good. He had 15 points, 8 rebounds, 4 assists, a steal, and a block in just 20 minutes. The Pelicans absolutely cooked the Pacers in the first with AD in the game, but AD’s, uh, “minutes restriction” really helped the Pacers tonight.
Kyle O’Quinn is a luxury
Kyle O’Quinn is the Porsche of 5th bigs. O’Quinn stepped into the starting lineup with Turner missing the game due to a bruised hip, and finished with 8 points and 10 rebounds. The defense struggled in the first half, but Julius Randle also hit 3 straight 3 pointers. Some things can’t be helped. Not many 3rd string centers could come in and start a game competently. The Pacers know what they have in O’Quinn.
DARREN COLLISONPG, Indiana Pacers
WESLEY MATTHEWSSG, Indiana Pacers
BOJAN BOGDANOVICSF, Indiana Pacers
THADDEUS YOUNGPF, Indiana Pacers
KYLE O'QUINNC, Indiana Pacers
DOMANTAS SABONISC, Indiana Pacers
TYREKE EVANSSG, Indiana Pacers
CORY JOSEPHPG, Indiana Pacers
DOUG MCDERMOTTSF, Indiana Pacers
TJ LEAFPF, Indiana Pacers
The Pacers next game is 2/23 at the Washington Wizards, at 7 PM EST.