If you thought the Pacers were a different team under Frank Vogel, tonight may have been the best example for your argument.
The Pacers were down by seven points entering the fourth quarter, where they would normally fold with Jim O'Brien barking orders. Vogel though, kept going to his bench, looking for the right guys. He found them.
Dahntay Jones and AJ Price led a furious Pacers fourth-quarter rally at Conseco Fieldhouse. The two combined for 27 of the team's 33 points in the period. Jones scored all 19 of his points in the quarter, in a variety of ways.
The Pacers defeated the Timberwolves by a final score of 116-105.
The Pacers won their fifth in a row at home and improved to 23-28 overall, 6-1 under Vogel. Asking the coach the reason for the comeback win tonight was pretty much a rhetorical question. The bench kept them in the game all night long and led the charge in the fourth.
Vogel commented on the bench play after the game: "'The game was clearly won by our bench. Our bench came in and took over the game. A.J. Price got it started with a big lift and Dahntay Jones was red hot. Dahntay stays ready, he’s a good basketball player, a good defensive player and he got hot tonight."
Indiana once again had six players score in double figures, with Granger and Jones each having 19. Price only played 16 minutes, but led the team in rebounds with eight. Tyler Hansbrough and Paul George each had tremendous games, which has been the case for both of them for the past couple of weeks. Tyler had 14, while George had 11 to go with his four rebounds and four assists.
Mike Dunleavy started the game on fire. He scored 14 of his 15 points in the first six minutes of the game. He got into foul trouble, which completely took him out of the rest of the game. Roy Hibbert also had his hands full with Kevin Love and didn't have one of his best performances.
Luckily for Indiana though, the bench was ready to play some ball.
Vogel left his bench players out on the floor for most of the fourth quarter, because they were the guys that were producing. The most effective lineup of the night was Price, Jones, George, Hansbrough and either Hibbert or Foster. Those first four guys were determined to win this game, and they were able to get the job done.
Not only were these guys doing work on the offensive end, they were locking down on defense as well. The Pacers held the Timberwolves to 4-of-20 shooting and forced five turnovers as they outscored them 33-15 in the fourth quarter. Josh McRoberts had a huge block on Kevin Love under the basket with just under two minutes remaining in the game that kept them rolling.
The Pacers have won seven of their past nine games and have just three more games before the All-Star break.
Indiana will now hit the road for tomorrow night's game in Milwaukee. That game will be a big one, when considering the fact that both of these teams are fighting for a playoff spot in the east. Tomorrow night's game will tip off at 8:30pm.