Pacers Bench Power Indiana Past Clippers

Joe LovelessContributor IMarch 21, 2012

One game in and the benefits of Leandro Barbosa are already paying off.

The Pacers came out energized tonight against the Los Angeles Clippers, looking like a completely different team than the one that got manhandled by the New York Knicks on Friday and Saturday night.

The play of the bench, with their newest addition Leandro Barbosa brought a whole new level of energy. An impressive 50 points off the bench, 12 from Leandro Barbosa, propelled the Pacers to a 102 – 89 victory.


Numbers Breakdown

Danny Granger led the Pacers with 25 points and eight rebounds, shooting 7-17 from the field, and a perfect 8 for 8 from the free throw line. Other than Roy Hibbert’s 13 points and seven boards, the starting lineup did not provide much scoring. Paul George had seven points on 2 of 6 shooting and was pretty much a non-factor. The bench, meanwhile, showed the type of potent attack it is capable of night in and night out.

The bench looked to get out and push it against the Clippers. Tyler Hansbrough paced the bench with 17 points on 7-10 shooting. George Hill, who is now the point guard for the 2nd unit with the addition of Leandro Barbosa, had 15 points on 6 of 7 shooting including 3 of 3 from downtown. Leandro Barbosa's debut for the Pacers included an impressive few minutes in the first half where he had seven points and received a standing ovation from the Bankers Life Fieldhouse crowd. Lou Amundson, while he did not provide the 21 points he had last Tuesday against Portland, did have three blocks and seven boards.

For the Clippers, it was the usual Blake Griffin and Chris Paul show, but "lob city" was not featured. Griffin poured in 23 points and 10 rebounds, but left a lot to be desired at the free throw line, converting just 2 of 7. Griffin's troublesome free throw numbers this year are a definite concern for the Clippers as the post season gets closer and closer. Chris Paul had 16 points and eight assists. Nick Young, the Clippers recent trade deadline acquisition, was not timid from the field, making 5 of 13 shots including 1 of 6 from downtown for 13 points.

Quarter by Quarter Breakdown

1st Quarter:

At the outset, Granger looked sluggish. After one lackadaisical effort for a rebound, a chorus of boos rained down from the Bankers Life Fieldhouse crowd and seemed to light a fire under the Pacers star.

The new Clippers shooting guard, Nick Young looked to establish himself with his new team, jacking up shots early and often. Fortunately for the Pacers, they were not going down.

Chris Paul gave the Pacers headaches as he executed the pick and roll to perfection with Blake Griffin time and time again.

The Pacers were lucky enough that Tyler Hansbrough was on because his 11 first quarter points kept Indiana in it.

2nd Quarter:

Barbosa sparked the Pacers in the second quarter with nine points to keep Indiana's bench attack going. The chemistry from the 2nd unit was evident from the get go, as George Hill, Leandro Barbosa, Dahntay Jones, Tyler Hansbrough and Lou Amundson seemed to click seamlessly. The Pacers were able to build a slight lead with the 2nd unit, going up 44-39. The Pacers headed into the locker room up 54-46.

3rd Quarter:

The Clippers came right out of the gates in the second half and it looked like Indiana might go into one of their typical second half funks. Paul had five quick points and a 10-2 run by Los Angeles cut the deficit to one.

A Hansbrough/Griffin scuffle provided the energy the Pacers seemed to forget back in the locker room. After the confrontation, Indiana pulled off an 11-0 run to take their largest lead of the game and finish the quarter ahead 78-66.

4th Quarter:

Both teams exchanged runs in the fourth, but the Pacers had already built up too much of a cushion for LA to make a comeback. At the 2:15 mark, the Clippers conceded the victory and pulled their stars and that was how the Pacers snapped their two-game losing streak.

Box Score

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