Pacers Drop Third Straight In Turnover-Filled Night
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INDIANAPOLIS – The road woes are still there for the Pacers (44-28), even if the flow of the game took Indiana down a different path on Tuesday.
Unlike the first two games of this western road trip, the Pacers struggled early offensively on Tuesday, forcing them to try and play catch up the rest of the way.
That proved to be too difficult for a sloppy basketball team, resulting in a 115-109 loss to the Clippers (42-30).
“I thought that the effort was there, but the sharpness was not,” Nate McMillan said after his team’s third straight loss out west. “You can’t have 20 turnovers this time of the year and expect to win a game. We just weren’t sharp out there.”
Playing without Darren Collison (quad contusion), Indiana had issues all night long handling the basketball.
The Clippers built an early lead with Indiana scoring just 16 points and committing 6 turnovers in the opening quarter.
Despite the turnover problems, the Pacers stayed within striking distance through much of the night thanks to the play of Tyreke Evans.
With the starting backcourt sidelined for Indiana, Evans was needed and delivered with 19 points, 8 rebounds and 7 assists off the bench.
“He had to step up and he really had to play a different role,” McMillan said of Evans. “We gave him the ball and put him at the point without (Collison). He gave us some good minutes at the point, handling the ball, playing both sides of the ball, executing offensively, as well as defending. He was matched up with Lou (Williams), and I thought he did a good job of trying to keep him in front of him.”
Even though the Clippers built a 16-point lead early in the 4th quarter, it was the reserves of the Pacers that gave them a chance late.
The Pacers made a run with Evans and Domantas Sabonis being the catalysts. The Pacers cut it to 3 twice in the final minute, but timely buckets from veterans Lou Williams and Patrick Beverley jumper preserved the Clippers victory.
Indiana finished the night just 7-of-21 from three.
Los Angeles had 7 guys in double figures, led by Danilo Gallinari’s 24 points.
McMillan announced after the game that he will not be coaching the team on Thursday in Golden State due to a death in the family.
Three Pacers’ Takeaways:
-Sloppy Night Dooms Pacers: The steadiness that comes with having Darren Collison was not there for the Pacers on Tuesday. It showed in the turnover numbers. Indiana finished Tuesday night with 20 turnovers. Six giveaways in the 1st quarter contributed to just 16 points scored for the visitors and a deficit that they couldn’t overcome the rest of the way. The turnovers (23), the fast break points allowed (19) and the points off turnovers (23) doomed Indiana. For a team that was missing its starting backcourt on Tuesday, way too much pressure was put on the Pacers defense because of the sloppiness on the offensive end of the floor.
-Tyreke Evans Delivers: Tuesday looked like the Tyreke Evans the Pacers were hoping for this season. With Darren Collison missing his first game of the season, the Pacers played Evans 29 minutes and the veteran was in full creator mode. With Evans dominating the ball for the second unit and flourishing in that role, Nate McMillan rolled with the volatile guard throughout the 4th quarter. Evans finished the night with 19 points, 8 rebounds and 7 assists (and just 3 turnovers). The duo of Evans and Domantas Sabonis was a consistent outlet all game long, especially as the Pacers got back into the game. This was Evans used in a role he’s thrived before in his career. Evans and the Pacers have been an awkward fit this season, but a positive of no Collison on Tuesday allowed for McMillan to alter some things in how he used the dynamic Evans. Along with Evans and Sabonis, Doug McDermott provided 17 points on 8-of-12 shooting off the bench.
-Collison Misses First Game Of Season: The durable veterans of the Indiana Pacers finally saw one of their brethren miss a game. A quad contusion sidelined Collison on Tuesday night, the first game he’s missed this season. With Collison out, Cory Joseph slid into the starting lineup, with Aaron Holiday playing for just the 6th time in the last 16 games. Holiday played 14 minutes on Tuesday, scoring 3 points on 1-of-3 shooting. Tyreke Evans got ample time running the point on Tuesday, a spot he’s more used to in his NBA career, versus playing off the ball. Evans looked much more comfortable handling those responsibilities. Fellow vets Cory Joseph, Thaddeus Young and Bojan Bogdanovic are the only Pacers to have yet to miss a game this year.
Pacers Upcoming Schedule
-at Warriors (Thursday, 3/21)
-Nuggets (Sunday, 3/24)
-at Thunder (Wednesday, 3/27)
-at Celtics (Friday, 3/29)
-Magic (Saturday, 3/30)