Pacers use steady performance to beat Clippers


Last night at the Staples Center, the L.A. Clippers fell victim to the Indiana Pacers as the Blue & Gold knocked off their Western Conf. foes, 103-91.

Indiana continues to fire off in the win column, and last night was no different as they claimed their sixth-straight W, second-straight on the road, against the Los Angeles Clippers.

The Pacers didn’t shoot the ball well at just 42%, and even worse beyond the arc at 35%, but their defense did the job behind another solid night from PG-13.

The Good
Paul George just keeps on rolling. Another 30-point performance (31 pts, 10 reb) marks his seventh of the season, tied for second behind MVP-frontrunner Steph Curry (11). To be fair to George, no one is rolling the way that Steph Curry and the Warriors are, and it’s scarier to think that these Steph numbers are really only coming in through three quarters of a game since the Dubs spend the majority of the fourth resting their starters.

Still, if there’s an award for MVP not named Steph Curry, it is Paul George. Russell Westbrook would love a mention in this conversation, and rightly so, but George is pacing a team that was seen as an outside contender for the playoffs at the beginning of the year. It’s plenty early, but at 12-5 I’ve never been so thrilled to be wrong about my projections for a season.

Jordan Hill and Ian Mahinmi deserve special mention as well – each of them reached double digits in scoring in a somewhat efficient way. And yes, even Rodney Stuckey gets a mention with 18 points on 6/13 shooting.

The Bad
Well, the shooting percentages last night were sub par, and the Pacers turned the ball over 14 times, but things were peachy-keen for the most part.

George Hill and Chase Budinger had dire nights, Hill started and played 32 minutes only to leave without a point, but were still part of the larger, more successful scheme.

Oddly enough, the only player Indiana really struggled to contain was a former “one of our own” – Lance Stephenson. After leaving the Blue & Gold a couple of years ago for Charlotte, Stephenson has since found his way to a bench role for the Clips. Last night, he was eccentric, scoring a game-high 19 points on 8/11 shooting.

Next: IU faces the Cameron Crazies at Duke

Though the effort was complete last night, it’s a quick turnaround this evening with a game against the Portland Trail Blazers set for 10 pm tip. The Blazers are 7-12 now, but still present a threat as Indiana climbs their way up the west coast and into Oregon.