The Indiana Pacers notch win #36 on the season, despite a late surge from the Utah Jazz
The Good: Six players scored in double figures tonight, including PG, CJ, Teague, Monta, Big Al and Myles. That means Paul got some help on the offensive end, which makes sleeping tonight a lot easier for Pacers fans. Also, the Pacers turned the ball over a mere 7 times.
The Bad: The Indiana Pacers were up 11 going into the final 3 minutes, but let the Jazz cut the lead to 3. Thankfully, Indiana mustered up some defensive stops and closed the game out with key baskets in the closing minutes. Also, letting Gordon Hayward go off for 38 points in his hometown was less than ideal. The Pacers must have just felt like being nice to all the Butler fans in the crowd.
MVP: Jeff Teague. He squared up against fellow Indy native and the very guy he replaced (George Hill), and was able to lead the Pacers to a major win as he controlled the game from the tip. He led Indiana in points tonight with 21.
LVP: GR3. His minutes are dwindling as of late, and he only hit one shot tonight. Albeit, that shot was a buzzer beating 32-footer to send Indiana into the half.
X-Factor: PG13’s late game heroics sealed the game as he hit a 3 to end Utah’s 8-0 run. He then hit a big-time pull-up jumper to stretch the lead to 5 and send Banker’s Life into a frenzy.
Paul George went for 19 points, 8 rebounds and 5 assists tonight, and got a significant amount of help from his teammates, which he has not been accustomed to seeing lately. Although he shot 6-20 from the field, PG was electric tonight with his clutch shots and hustle plays. The most exciting part of his game tonight was when he nailed a 20-footer to clinch the game, and he screamed “This is my city!” It is indeed, PG.
Teague was the MVP of tonight’s game as he posted 21 points, 5 assists and 5 boards. He also shot 3-4 from beyond the arc, which was far better than George Hill’s 0-7. This is the Jeff Teague that Indy is ready to see, and the Pacers are going to need these kind of efforts in the latter half of the season.
Myles was essential to the win with 16 points and 6 rebounds. The big fella also held down the paint on his way to 4 blocks. Hopefully he is getting further and further from his recent slump, and the 3-point performance we saw in Toronto on Sunday is a thing of the past.
Although Thad was the only starter not in double figures as he scored 8, he was extremely effective in other areas. He ripped down 8 rebounds and played some stifling defense in his 35 minutes.
GR3 only played 12 minutes tonight, but he scored 3 of his 4 points in dramatic fashion with a near half-court buzzer beater. He also had 3 boards.
Monta is really settling into his role as 6th man nicely, and it showed tonight as the veteran poured in 12 points and dished 3 assists in 25 key minutes.
CJ was exactly what the Pacers needed tonight. He scored an efficient 15 points on a perfect 3-3 from deep in 23 minutes, and his 3 steals were impressive.
Aaron wasn’t too impactful on the scoreboard tonight, but he only shot the ball once. The Oregon Duck alum moved the ball well with 4 assists, and his energy was helpful as usual.
Rakeem only played 2 minutes tonight, so there’s not much to report here other than that he grabbed 1 rebound and was 0-1 from the field.
In 16 minutes, Lavoy had 2 points on 1 shot, and also had 3 rebounds. Allen is a guy who affects the game a lot more than the stat sheet indicates, so you won’t see staggering numbers often, but his presence is felt nonetheless.
Big Al was tremendous against his former team tonight. He scored 10 points to go with 4 boards. It was encouraging to see Jefferson return to form, and give Indy some extra life off the bench.