The Indiana Pacers were able to give the starters the fourth quarter off Monday night after building a 30-point lead into the final frame. A depleted Denver Nuggets team was no match for the dominance of David West and company as the Pacers cruised to a 119-80 victory.
West led all scorers with 25 points off 11-of-13 shooting. He also snagged three rebounds, two assists, and two blocks. His partner in the frontcourt, Roy Hibbert, had an impressive night as well as the duo abused the Nuggets in the post all evening.
Hibbert notched a double-double with 14 points and 12 rebounds. He also hosted a small block party, rejecting four shots by the Nuggets.
All five starters found their way to double digit scoring.
Lance Stephenson contributed 12 points, six rebounds and three assists. He also had three bad turnovers, which have been a problem for him this month. He’s averaged nearly four turnovers per game in February, and most are from plays where he simply loses focus.
The key to the game was the Pacers smothering defense. The Nuggets shot just 31-percent Monday night and were out-rebounded 56-37.
The bench got extended minutes late in the game, and Frank Vogel was able to play everyone on the roster Monday night. The backups managed to give the Pacers 46 points with the extra court time.
Former Pacers assistant coach Brian Shaw could do nothing but look at his Nuggets with sad eyes from the bench in the second half. No adjustments could help his suffering team tonight.
The Pacers improved to 40-11, maintaining their hold on the best record in the NBA. Up next, Indiana will host the Dallas Mavericks on Wednesday before the All-Star break over the weekend.