Indiana Pacers (10-9) 99
Portland Trailblazers (8-11) 92
The Portland Trailblazers got off to a quick start against the Indiana Pacers in their final game of a seven-game road trip against Eastern Conference opponents. However, Indiana used its blistering defense to prevail, 99-92, in their second game of a back-to-back after a win in Chicago on Tuesday night.
After jumping out to an early 9-2 lead, the Blazers were slowed down by the Pacers defense and led by just one, 21-20, at the end of the first quarter.
Portland began their offensive attack again in the second period, but the Pacers did enough to keep up and limit the high-scoring team from the west. The Blazers boast one of the fastest-paced offenses in the league; the Pacers counter that with one of the best defenses and it was the defense that decided this contest.
In the third quarter, defense was on display in favor of the Indiana Pacers. They outscored the Blazers 31-14 on their way to a 15-point advantage heading into the final 12 minutes.
For the second straight night, Paul George led the Pacers in scoring with 22 points on 7-15 shooting. He knocked down four three-point baskets while also grabbing eight boards and dishing out five assists. A couple of those assists helped get his teammates involved and in a groove as well.
One of those teammates, Ian Mahimni, contributed nicely to the Pacers’ win. Mahimni led the bench in scoring with 12 points (6-6 FGs) and four rebounds. Tyler Hansbrough followed suit with 10 points and five rebounds and Gerald Green added eight points.
It was one of the rare occasions when the Indiana bench showed up to play. 31 of the team total 99 points came from the Pacers’ bench, helping them put the Blazers away over 48 minutes.
Portland was not going to give up. They managed to pull within four at 85-81 with plenty of time left on the game clock. Indiana never lost the lead down the stretch, however, with a nice block from Hibbert and more offense from George.
A team effort certainly went a long way in a crucial game for the Indiana Pacers, pushing their record to 10-9. Most importantly, they are above .500 for the first time in over a month.
George Hill scored 18 points to rebound from a tough outing against Chicago. David West had yet another double-double with 16 points and 10 rebounds as the two veterans continued their consistency.
Rookie Damian Lillard led Portland in scoring with 23 points and added six assists.
The Indiana Pacers are excited to stick around Bankers Life Fieldhouse for another home matchup with Denver on Friday. Portland heads home after a road trip that resulted in only two wins against five losses.