The Indiana Pacers knew that their league-leading defense was going to be put to the test on Monday night. The Pacers marched into Oregon to play the Portland Trail Blazers, a matchup with two of the most successful teams in the NBA in the still infantile 2013-14 season.
Indeed Indiana’s defense was put to the test as the Blazers, who have one of the best offenses in the league this year, put up 106 points on the night. Late in the game, though, the Blazers couldn’t do anything to contain the Pacers’ offense. When I say the Pacers’ offense, I mean the Blazers couldn’t do anything to contain their star forward Paul George.
In the fourth quarter, George was absolutely unconscious. He netted 17 of the team’s 30 points in the quarter while hitting five threes in the period as well. His fourth quarter added to a career-night as he finished the game with a career-high 43 points to go along with three assists, three rebounds and three steals on 16-30 shooting from the floor and 7-15 three-point shooting.
Though the Pacers ultimately lost the game due to some heroic antics from Damian Lillard, George’s play only continues to impress and solidify the fact that he is indeed a superstar in this league. If you want a player that can score, he’s made huge strides in expanding his game in that department. If you want a player that can defend, rebound and make plays, he’s doing that as well. On Monday night, he also showed that he can come up big in crunch time. Despite the loss, the Pacers still only have two blemishes on their record this season and it’s relatively easy to pick out George as an enormous reason as to why.