Who could forget about the Utah Jazz this week? They have gotten all these victories lately, coming back from tons of deficits but turning them into another number added into the win-column, beating the Miami Heat, Orlando Magic, and the Atlanta Hawks.
Another upset that happened were the Toronto Raptors, coming in a tight race with the Magic, but cruising towards a 110-103 victory.
I’d like to call this upset week. The Pacers were part of it, twice I guess. Mike Dunleavy helped fuel a win for the Pacers over the Denver Nuggets, destroying them 144-113. But now Indiana is the team that got beat, falling to the now 2-6 Houston Rockets, 102-99.
This was a very disappointing game, in my opinion. I did not like how the Pacers performed here. It was inexcusable. Indiana cannot lose games like these to teams like the Milwaukee Bucks and the Rockets. Now they are at 3-4. Really, I think they should be at 5-2, no doubt.
But it is what it is.
Without Yao Ming, the Rockets managed to win. Brad Miller and Luis Scola helped step up big time in the team’s win. With this win, could be going back on track? We’ll see.
“It was big for us to finally win one of these games,” said Miller, who scored seven of his 14 second-half points during the Rockets’ game-clinching, 18-8 fourth-quarter run.
“Our six losses have been a lot like this. We’ve had the lead with five minutes to go, or three minutes to go. It’s just figuring out how to win one. All of our games have been similar, we just finally did the right things at the end.”
Miller provided 23 points as Scola put up 16. The Rockets look like they could be good to without their Chinese superstar.
“We can’t worry about who isn’t here,” Rockets coach Rick Adelman said. “We’ve gone without Yao for a year and a half.”
Kevin Martin had 20 points and Kyle Lowry had 13 in the Rockets upset victory.
“They’re a very talented team,” Pacers coach Jim O’Brien said. “They’re used to playing without Yao. I think it’s fools’ gold if somebody is out of the game (to think) you have an edge.”
James Posey, the new acquisition, had his best game as a Pacer so far, coming up with 19 points. Roy Hibbert wasn’t far behind, coming up with 18 points. Danny Granger had 17 points while Mike Dunleavy had 15 points. Darren Collison had 13. The Big Three for Indy in Hibbert, Granger, and Collison, did not produce as usual today, and it was disappointing at that fact.
“We couldn’t get stops when we needed to,” Dunleavy said. “We let them get away and we just couldn’t keep up with them. We never got into our tempo or our rhythm. We had a lot of breakdowns on both sides of the ball.”
Towards the end, the Rockets maintained a 97-93 lead. The Pacers caught up and were within a 102-97 deficit.
“We needed that confidence just because of how we’ve been in every game and not been able to pull them off,” Martin said. “Tonight we just played together and the right way down the stretch. I think we really just buckled down and said, ‘We’re going to close this one out.’
“It kind of just came from within. Coach talked about mental toughness and that’s what we had tonight.”
The Pacers then got another shot in, only down 102-99 then. They just needed a three-pointer and they could have gotten towards overtime.
Collison received the ball, but was getting guarded up pretty well. Indy could have had at least two-to-three tries to score, but Collison took too much off the clock as Indy could only squeak in one shot in the final seconds. Collison missed badly.
They will face the Cleveland Cavaliers next in Quicken Loans Arena tonight. Indy better get a win this time around. .500 is the key.