PHILADELPHIA, PA -- Paul George led the Indiana Pacers to an easy win over the Philadelphia 76ers with 112-83 being the final score. Things are looking good for the Pacers so far this season. Indiana has a 7-5 record despite starting the season 0-3. Indiana has won seven of their last nine games with one loss being a 102-97 loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers. The other loss was a 96-95 loss to the Chicago Bulls where they were missing George Hill, Rodney Stuckey, and Myles Turner.
The first quarter was a close one for both teams. Indiana held the largest lead of the quarter with a 7-point lead, but they were in the lead for the final 7:35 of the opening quarter. With both Paul George and Monta Ellis struggling to score in the opening quarter, it appeared that the Pacers could possibly be in trouble. It was clear that the team missed George Hill during this quarter, however, it didn't stay that way throughout the game. The Pacers held a 23-18 lead after one quarter.
This game remained close for most of the second quarter as well, but the Pacers pulled began to pull-away at the 3:47 mark. Indiana closed the first half on a 13-5 run and that was good enough to give them a 52-38 lead at the half. George really turned up his offensive production towards the end of this quarter. He scored the 7-points in the final 2-minutes of the second quarter.
Indiana practically sealed the win once Paul George made a 3-pointer with just 19 seconds into the third quarter, because the 76ers never came close after that point. It was basically the Paul George show since he scored 21-points in the quarter. That was good enough to set his career high in points in a quarter. Indiana ended the quarter with an 84-62 lead.
The Pacers decided to pull their starters not long into the final quarter. Philadelphia never came within 20-points of Indiana's lead during this quarter. This was a time for the Pacers to give their young and unexperienced players much needed playing time. Indiana was able to also give Monta Ellis and Paul George more experience as primary ball handlers in this new system, which could be valuable down the line in-case George Hill has to miss any games in the future.
Indiana put on an absolute clinic in this game. The following were sensational statistics by the Pacers in this game; 33 fast break points, 18 steals, 37 points off turnovers, 31 opponent turnovers, 28 assists, 48 total rebounds, 32 defensive rebounds, 16 offensive rebounds, 12-27 (44.4%) shooting from the perimeter, 16-20 (80.0%) shooting from the free throw line, and 8 blocks. Indiana did a solid job shooting from the field at 42-92 (45.7%), but they shot just 30-65 (46.2%) from 2-point range, which isn't terrible, but still needs improvement. Indiana simply put on an overall dominant display in this game.
The Pacers had a fantastic defensive performance for a majority of this game. Naturally things let up late in the game since it was a blow out. Indiana allowed just 85 points, 5-25 (20.0%) shooting from the perimeter, 10-16 (62.5%) shooting from the free throw line, 35-76 (46.1%) shooting from the field, 43 total rebounds, 36 defensive rebounds, 7 offensive rebounds, 14 assists, and 10 points off turnovers. There is still areas to learn from too, Indiana still had 19 total turnovers and could really execute better from inside the paint and from mid-range, but they did many things well. The only concern would be the 50 points allowed in the paint, but many of these came in garbage time.
Paul George led the way for the Pacers with; 32 MIN 34 PTS (13-24 FGM-A, 5-10 3PM-A, 3-4 FTM-A), 8 REB, 5 AST, 4 STL, 0 BLK, and 2 TO. C.J. Miles put up another impressive performance as well, he recorded; 30 MIN, 20 PTS (7-12 FGM-A, 4-7 3PM-A, 2-2 FTM-A), 3 REB, 4 AST, 1 STL, 0 BLK, and 1 TO. Lavoy Allen contributed a quality performance as well; 19 MIN, 7 PTS (3-5 FGM-A, 0-0 3PM-A, 1-2 FTM-A), 6 REB, 2 AST, 1 STL, 1 BLK, and 1 TO.
The Pacers received a few quality performances from their bench. Chase Budinger had; 31 MIN, 15 PTS (5-13 FGM-A, 1-4 3PM-A, 4-4 FTM-A), 6 REB, 1 AST, 1 STL, 2 BLK, and 1 TO. Jordan Hill had; 21 MIN, 10 PTS (4-9 FGM-A, 0-0 3PM-A, 2-3 FTM-A), 7 REB, 1 AST, 1 STL, 1 BLK, and 4 TO. Glenn Robinson had; 21 MIN, 9 PTS (3-5 FGM-A, 1-1 3PM-A, 2-3 FTM-A), 3 REB, 0 AST, 2 STL, 0 BLK, and 1 TO.
Joe Young struggled in this game; 21 MIN, 4 PTS (1-8 FGM-A, 0-2 3PM-A, 2-2 FTM-A), 1 REB, 3 AST, 2 STL, 0 BLK, and 2 TO. Ian Mahinmi struggled as well; 28 MIN, 2 PTS (1-4 FGM-A, 0-0 3PM-A, 0-0 FTM-A), 7 REB, 2 AST, 3 STL, 2 BLK, and 0 TO. Solomon Hill didn't shoot the ball that well either, he had; 11 MIN, 4 PTS (2-5 FGM-A, 0-1 3PM-A, 0-0 FTM-A), 5 REB, 1 AST, 1 STL, 0 BLK, and 1 TO. Monta Ellis struggled in a few areas, but was a big help in others; 27 MIN, 7 PTS (3-7 FGM-A, 1-2 3PM-A, 0-0 FTM-A), 3 REB, 9 AST, 2 STL, 2 BLK, and 5 TO.
The Pacers received a lot of effort and execution from each individual player on the defensive side of the ball. Indiana's starters played sensational all-around performances, in fact, it would be hard to find many things wrong with their performance. Their defense was absolutely sensational and they had a high level of offensive execution as well. To get picky, the only things that were done poorly were; Ian Mahinmi's shooting from the field and Monta Ellis's ball control. It was a great building block performance for the starters to learn from for the future. Which is great considering the fact that they were missing a very important part of the starting unit (George Hill).
Indiana's bench wasn't nearly as effective as the starters offensively or defensively, but there was certainly no shortage of effort. Missing both Rodney Stuckey and Myles Turner really hurts this second unit. Joseph Young simply does not look ready right now to be a key part of the team, so that also contributes to the need of having Stuckey. The Pacers. The bench still has work to do, but they are starting to come along. Things should get even better for the bench and the team as a whole once key players are back from absence.
The Indiana Pacers play the Milwaukee Bucks on Saturday at 7:00 P.M. Eastern for their next game. That game will be played at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, Indiana.