Take away the fourth quarter drought and a bunch of turnovers – and you could have seen the Indiana Pacers come away with the win over the San Antonio Spurs to open up the season.
But it didn’t. The Pacers had the lead after eliminating a 10-point deficit, battling the Spurs in the third quarter. But after that the Spurs pulled away as they were hot from deep, hitting 9 of 20 where Manu Ginobili hit five threes himself, finishing with 22 points. Tim Duncan led Spurs scorers with 23 points, adding 12 rebounds and four blocks.
Leading all Pacers scorers was Roy Hibbert, a potential breakout player this season for the Pacers, along with Darren Collison. Hibbert had 28 points, hitting 10 of 17 from the field and making all eight free throws. Nine rebounds, three assists, and three blocks were added by the big man.
Granger added 26 and Collison had 19 as the Pacers shot 53.2% from the field – 38.1% from 3-point range. However, hitting 19 of 28 free throws doesn’t help.
The biggest story for the Pacers were the turnovers. With 23 turnovers on the game the Pacers shot themselves from a potential upset which was clearly within grasp. Spurs starters grabbed 11 steals as the Spurs had 32 points off of turnovers in the game.
What’s the lesson for Pacers fan – what can be taken from this performance? With better execution and less turnovers, the Pacers can do big things.
Don’t underestimate the Pacers. They travel to Charlotte Friday night before the home opener against the 76ers.