Along with that amazing Oklahoma City Golden State game that came down to a pair of shots at the end — with the Dubs coming out victorious— Monday night’s Portland Indiana slugfest was exactly what everyone was hoping for: the top team in the East battling against one of the top team’s out West. It was not a disappointment.
Paul George set a career high by scoring 43 points late Monday night, including 17 fourth quarter points as he almost single-handedly dragged the Pacers back after they lost their lead in the fourth.
But George wasn’t just stroking the three-pointer (7-of-15 on the night), he was also throwing down lobs — like the one below from George Hill on the break — and knocking down midrange jumpers. George needed the offensive fireworks because the Blazers handled their league-leading defense better than any other team this year.
All told, George was 16-of-30 from the field for those 43 points, and Roy Hibbert poured in 16 points and grabbed 13 rebounds, but it wasn’t enough. LaMarcus Aldridge had 28 points, 10 rebounds and this filthy stuff of Hibbert.
Lance Stephenson — one of the bright spots for the Pacers after Danny Granger went out with a calf injury after five games and was unable to produce like he did pre-injury — was shut down by the Blazers and finished with three times as many fouls (6) as he did points (2). Stephenson wasn’t too happy when he picked up his sixth foul late on Monday night, either.
The Pacers led by as many as eight in the second half, but the Blazers hung tough behind Aldridge and Damian Lillard (26 points) and never relented the lead they took entering the fourth for a 105-102 victory.
What did you think of the Blazers-Pacers game?
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