It almost happened again, but the Pacers were able to get out of the tailspin, and beat the 76ers in Philadelphia on Tuesday night, 111-103.
The Pacers finally found some offense, with three players scoring at least 20 points in this game. Danny Granger led the way with 27 points, seven assists, and five rebounds. Darren Collison had 21 points and 13 assists, while Mike Dunleavy added 20 points. The Pacers snapped a nine-game road losing streak.
The win couldn't come at a better time for Indiana. The Pacers were currently sitting in seventh place in the East before this game. The 76ers were just behind them in eighth. They don't want to look back at these games and have it bite them in the rear.
The Pacers led virtually the entire game until late in the fourth quarter. Evan Turner picked off a Darren Collison pass, and put in a layup to take a one-point lead for Philadelphia. The Pacers were able to respond for once, and finally finished off a team late in the fourth quarter.
The Pacers will head back to Indiana, where they will get the Dallas Mavericks tomorrow night.
The offense has been struggling for the better part of the last month, but they were able to find their groove tonight with Granger, Collison, and Dunleavy leading the way. Jeff Foster added 10 points off the bench, and Brandon Rush nine. Tyler Hansbrough got another start at PF, and ended up with 12 points and nine rebounds. It seems he has the PF spot until he proves that he can't handle the workload that comes with it.
The shooting was much better tonight, as the Pacers shot 51 percent from the floor, 50% from three-point range (eight of 16) and were perfect at the free throw line as a team (11 of 11). They won every statistical category except for the turnover department, but that was nearly even at 12 to 11.
Andre Iguodala returned to the Philadelphia starting lineup after missing the previous seven games with tendinitis in his right Achilles, but he was largely ineffective and didn't seem to have the same explosiveness to the basket. Iguodala shot 0-7 and finished with one point, seven assists and four rebounds.
It was a big win for the Pacers, who know the competition will only get tougher from here on out.
Dunleavy scored 18 of his 20 points in the first half, and the Pacers didn't attempt a single free throw during the first half. The shots were falling, so they weren't relying on strong drives to the basket as much. This team is a jump shooting team, so no surprise there, but they need to be able to get to the line more than 11 times.
"It was really a terrific win," Pacers coach Jim O'Brien said. "We played like we practiced. We made big shots when we needed to make them." One of those big shots belonged to Roy Hibbert, who hit a big basket with less than 90 seconds to go in a close game.
The Pacers will host the Mavericks on Wednesday night, and then the Bulls on Friday night before heading out on a four-game West coast trip. This win will hopefully be the breath of fresh air that they need moving forward.