The Indiana Pacers (23-22) hosted the Los Angeles Clippers (29-16) on Tuesday night and fell short, 91-89. Despite Paul George's 31 points and fourth quarter heroics, the Pacers were hindered by an eight-minute cold streak in the last quarter where they failed to score any points. The second unit of Los Angeles killed the Pacers' bench 31-23, with Wesley Johnson coming alive for 15 bench buckets. If you take away Myles Turner's 16 points, that bench deficit jumps to 31-7.
The George and Turner Show
The Pacers were led in the first quarter with 10 points from Paul George and a great series of plays from young Myles Turner. Immediately after he entered the game, he blocked a shot from Chris Paul and went down to score on three straight possessions for the Pacers. The Clippers matched the early intensity displayed from Indiana, and the early part of the game remained in deadlock. The second quarter was no different, as the Pacers couldn't put away the Clippers with a big run. DeAndre Jordan received a technical for disagreeing with the referee after a call and J.J. Redick coudn't get his three pointer going until late.
Second Half Slowdown
The offense really cooled off for Indiana in the second half, scoring only 38 points as a unit. Pacers guard Monta Ellis didn't have a good shooting night, going 3-of-12 from the field. Ian Mahinmi chipped in a double-double with 12 points and 10 boards. Chris Paul continued to lead the charge for the Clippers with eight points and four assists in the quarter. Jamal Crawford never got going for the Clippers, shooting 1-of-9 from the floor in a poor performance.
The Pacers found themselves playing small ball in the second half, which wasn't a good matchup against the length and versatility of the Clippers' defense. From the 3:00 mark in the third to the 6:27 mark of the fourth, the Pacers failed to score a single point. During that stretch, the Pacers managed to only give up 13 points, making the nine point deficit they faced wasn't insurmountable.
Paul George led the charge in the fourth, with Ellis and George Hill pitching in a layup and three pointer. However, the heroics of George weren't enough as, guess who, Chris Paul kept the Pacers at bay with a series of jumpers and assists in typical assassin fashion. Paul George pegged his final of 31 points on a big three with 28 seconds left. Paul Pierce missed the ensuing three, and within two points of a tie game, George Hill couldn't find George on a half court heavy from out of bounds. The Indiana Pacers gave it their all, but lost another game in the final quarter, albeit against a great Western Conference opponent.
The Pacers were led with 31 points from Paul George and 16 from Myles Turner, who scored on 7-of-11 shooting from the field. George and Mahinmi pulled down 11 and 10 boards respectively, and Ellis was the assists leader with five and the steals leader with two.
The Clippers were led on the night by 26 points, six rebounds and seven assists from All-Star Chris Paul, while DeAndre Jordan led the rebounding charge with 19, four of which came on the offensive end. J.J. Redick scored 19 points, including four three pointers, and Wesley Johnson went 5-of-6 from deep.
The Pacers take on the Atlanta Hawks (27-19) on Thursday at home. Indiana has played well against Atlanta this year, beating them 93-87 in their only meeting of the year. Let's see if the Pacers can snap yet another losing streak and maybe reel off a few wins before the All-Star weekend festivities begin.