It was tough to even think that the injury-ravaged Los Angeles Lakers had a chance to upset the NBA’s best team, the Indiana Pacers, but given the Pacers’ road history and recent battle with an injury riddled Sacramento Kings team, it had to cross your mind.
Unlike the previous four games of their west coast trip, the Pacers got off to a methodical start which is more of their pace. Not having to deal with a run-and-gun offense, Indiana was able to settle in and carve out a 22-19 lead at the end of the first quarter.
Native Californian Paul George got off to a horrible start in front of his family and friends. In the first quarter, he shot 1-of-7 and scored two points. The rest of the game did not bode any better for George as he finished 4-of-21, including 1-of-6 from 3-point range, for 14 points. However, the beauty of this Pacers squad lies with their team-first concept. Even when their franchise player is struggling on the offensive end, the rest of the team is prepared to pick up the slack.
Six total players scored in double-figures for the Pacers, with David West being the quiet hero of the game, finishing with 19 points and eight rebounds and abusing rookie Ryan Kelly on both ends of the floor. Even the Pacers’ bench finally stepped up on the road trip by combining for 32 points and 19 rebounds, with Danny Granger leading the way with 10 points.
Indiana now returns home after a 3-2 West Coast trip with their heads held high, ready to take on the Phoenix Suns in a revenge game on Thursday.