Paul George scored 20 points, David West had a double-double and the Indiana Pacers pulled away from the Los Angeles Lakers in the second half for a 118-98 win at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on Tuesday night.
This game was close early on, with the Pacers leading by only three at the half. Then came the third quarter.
Indiana outscored the Lakers 34-16 in the third period, and from that point on, it was a rout.
Reporter: “Hey Mike what’d you tell them (the players) just now?” D’Antoni: “Uhh…Nothing” (On TWC)— Serena Winters (@SerenaWinters) February 26, 2014
Yup, that pretty much explains it.
Kent Bazemore led Los Angeles, which continued its free fall to the bottom of the Western Conference, with a career-high 23 points.
The Pacers out-rebounded the Lakers 62-42, grabbing 21 offensive boards.
Indiana shot 46.5 percent from the floor and held L.A. to 43.3 percent shooting.
Key Player Grades for the Lakers
Pau Gasol, Center
Pau Gasol had a decent outing on Tuesday night—nothing special, but decent.
He definitely had an impact on both ends of the floor when the game was close.
Gasol battled admirably against Roy Hibbert inside, once even spinning by him for an and-1 dunk.
The Spaniard tallied 13 points off 6-of-13 shooting while compiling nine rebounds and an impressive four blocks in 27 minutes. He also added two steals.
Those are not bad numbers for a taxed veteran who has missed so much time with injury of late.
Kendall Marshall, Point Guard
It seems as if Kendall Marshall's play has been significantly impacted by the arrival of Kent Bazemore and MarShon Brooks.
Marshall has really struggled in his past three games, and during Tuesday night's contest, he simply looked lost out there.
Marshall went scoreless, missing all three of his field-goal attempts. He also dished out only four assists, almost five below his season average.
To make matters worse, Marshall turned the ball over four times in 18 minutes.
This was not a great outing for Marshall.
Jodie Meeks, Shooting Guard
Jodie Meeks did just about all of his work in the second period, scoring 10 of his 13 points.
Outside of those 12 minutes, it was a struggle for Meeks.
The sharpshooter went 5-of-14 from the floor, connecting on only one of his six three-point tries. He did grab five rebounds, but all of those missed shots from distance really hurt.
Meeks finished with 13 points in 38 minutes.
Wesley Johnson, Power Forward
For a guy who was defending someone who has at least 40 pounds on him in David West, Wesley Johnson put forth a valiant effort.
The Syracuse product scored 15 points off 6-of-10 shooting and pulled down five rebounds in 25 minutes. He picked up five fouls in dealing with West, but he helped hold the Pacers big man to 4-of-12 shooting.
Also, Johnson posted a minus-one in a game where his team lost by 20. That's not too shabby.
Kent Bazemore, Small Forward
Kent Bazemore continued to impress as a Laker on Tuesday night, racking up 23 points, four rebounds, three assists and three steals.
He didn't have the greatest shooting night, going 8-of-19, but you had to like how he fearlessly attacked the rim, even among Indiana's trees down low.
Because of Bazemore's aggressiveness, he was able to get to the free-throw line frequently, and he went 6-of-8 from the stripe.
Perhaps L.A. found something in this kid.
Jordan Farmar, Sixth Man
Jordan Farmar didn't shoot the ball particularly well, going 2-of-7 for five points, but at least he handed out seven assists in his 21 minutes.
To be perfectly honest, there really isn't much else to add. Farmar really didn't have a chance to truly leave his fingerprints on this game.
MarShon Brooks scored 11 points, but he didn't exactly do it efficiently, going 4-of-10 from the floor and hitting on only one of his five free-throw attempts—not three-point attempts, free-throw attempts. He picked up four dimes, though, so he was making some plays.
Ryan Kelly tallied seven points, Chris Kaman put up six points and four boards, and Jordan Hill and Robert Sacre combined for five points and six rebounds.
Seriously though, this wasn't a bad effort from L.A.'s pine.
Key Player Grades for the Pacers
Paul George, Small Forward
Paul George got off to a very rough start, going 2-of-11 in the first half and missing numerous open looks.
But, just as all elite players do, George turned it up late.
As stars are wont to do, Paul George really turned it up in that 2nd Q. LAL were down 3 at half, now down 21 after 3. 34-16 in the 3rd.— Mike Trudell (@LakersReporter) February 26, 2014
The wiry forward connected on four of his seven second-half shots, scoring 11 points in the third quarter alone. He also made some great defensive plays that led to transition buckets for Indiana.
George's final stat line? Twenty points, seven boards and six assists. He only shot 6-of-18, but he endured just about all of that misery in the first 24 minutes.
That still hurts his grade regardless, though.
Roy Hibbert, Center
Roy Hibbert has really been laboring as of late, and while he wasn't spectacular on Tuesday night, he was certainly much better than he had been over his past several outings.
Hibbert put up 10 points and six rebounds, but most importantly, he blocked four shots and altered several others at the rim.
Plus, three of his rebounds were of the offensive variety, providing the Pacers with a few extra possessions.
He wasn't playoff Hibbert, but he was still effective.
David West, Power Forward
David West struggled with his shot, going only 4-of-12. However, he made his presence felt on the glass, snaring 12 boards, four offensive, in just 28 minutes.
Not only that, but West also dished out three assists, collected three steals and blocked a pair of shots.
He threw in 11 points to go along with that.
Despite the poor shooting, this was a decent all-around effort by the big man.
Lance Stephenson, Shooting Guard
Unlike George and West, Lance Stephenson was efficient in the win.
The bulky 2-guard scored 13 points off 6-of-12 shooting and pulled down nine rebounds in 33 minutes. Perhaps most importantly, Stephenson didn't take any bad shots and even passed up a very wide-open three to attempt to feed a cutting George at one point in the second half.
Stephenson also added three assists and registered a team-best plus-25.
George Hill, Point Guard
George Hill paced Indiana early, scoring nine points off 4-of-5 shooting in the first period. That was where he did most of his damage, but Hill's final numbers look solid enough.
The floor general put in 14 points off 6-of-9 shooting, recorded three rebounds, three dimes and two steals.
He also didn't cough up the ball a single time during his 24 minutes.
This was a nice, prudent performance by Hill.
Evan Turner, Sixth Man
Evan Turner's debut as a Pacer was a surefire success.
Turner looked incredibly comfortable, taking shots in rhythm and even barking commands on the defensive end.
Vogel on the words he shared with Evan Turner: "Told him to go out there and be himself.”— Candace Buckner (@CandaceDBuckner) February 26, 2014
He scored 13 points off 6-of-12 shooting and hauled in six boards in 26 minutes.
Players tend to press during their first game with a new ballclub, but Turner showed absolutely no sign of any nerves in this one.
If he can do this on a consistent basis for Indiana, look out.
C.J. Watson was awesome on Tuesday evening, scoring 11 points off a 5-of-6 clip. He also scored seven points in the third quarter, helping the Pacers pull away.
Luis Scola was very productive in his 14 minutes, nearing a double-double with nine points and nine rebounds. He added a couple of assists and steals, as well.
Ian Mahinmi brought it, too, tallying nine points in 19 minutes and throwing a gorgeous alley-oop pass to George.
Finally, Rasual Butler knocked down a couple of triples in garbage time.
This was simply an outstanding effort by the Indiana bench as a whole.
What's Next for the Lakers?
Um, a good draft pick?
There really isn't much of anything to look forward to the rest of the way if you're a Lakers fan, unless you're dying to see more fun Nick Young antics as the season draws to a close.
What's Next for the Pacers?
After that, they'll see the Golden State Warriors at home before playing five of the next six contests on the road, and only two of those (at the Houston Rockets and at the Dallas Mavericks) are actually tough.
Life is swell in Indy.