Victor Oladipo, Pacers Breeze Past Lonzo Ball, Lakers Despite Kyle Kuzma's 27

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistMarch 20, 2018

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - MARCH 19: Victor Oladipo #4 of the Indiana Pacers handles the ball against the Los Angeles Lakers on March 19, 2018 at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, Indiana. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2018 NBAE (Photo by Ron Hoskins/NBAE via Getty Images)
Ron Hoskins/Getty Images

The Indiana Pacers defeated the Los Angeles Lakers 110-100 Monday night at home in Bankers Life Fieldhouse.

Victor Oladipo finished with 20 points, four rebounds and three steals, while Myles Turner scored a team-high 21 points.

Lonzo Ball was a nonfactor for most of the game, scoring four points and dishing out eight assists.

Prior to the All-Star break, Oladipo was averaging 24.4 points a game and shooting 48.4 percent from the field and 38.1 percent from beyond the arc. The 2018 All-Star has cooled off since then. Oladipo averaged 19.1 points in Indiana's first 12 games after the All-Star break, while his efficiency has slipped (.412 field-goal percentage, .278 three-point percentage) as well.

Oladipo returned to form Monday night, as he shot 8-of-15 from the field and hit one of his three three-point attempts.

Oladipo was the biggest spark behind a third-quarter outburst that turned the game in Indiana's favor. He scored 11 points in the quarter, with two coming on a thunderous putback dunk.

That dunk was part of a 14-4 run by Indiana in the middle of the quarter that helped the Pacers take control.

Although he didn't register a point in the opening 12 minutes, Ball was a big reason the Lakers scored 37 points in the first quarter to take an eight-point lead. Ball dished out six assists in the opening frame alone.

The Southern California News Group's Bill Oram wondered if Ball was being too selfless, though:

Ball's four field-goal attempts are tied for his second-fewest in his rookie season. Even worse, all four shots were from the perimeter, where Ball is shooting just 31.6 percent. The 20-year-old will want to move on quickly from Monday's defeat.

Early in the game, the Lakers had success pushing the pace. That strategy is tough to maintain, though, when a team gets as little offensive production as the Lakers did from their backcourt. Along with Ball's underwhelming performance, Isaiah Thomas and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope combined to score 23 points on 7-of-24 shooting.

The Lakers found success inside with Julius Randle (21 points), Brook Lopez (23 points) and Kyle Kuzma (27 points). Los Angeles' 8-of-33 clip from three-point territory undercut how consistently the team was scoring in the paint.

It was the exact opposite on the defensive end, as the Lakers defended the perimeter well but offered little resistance close to the basket. Indiana was 6-of-21 as a team on three-pointers, but Thaddeus Young (18 points) and Turner (21 points) each scored in double figures.

Young offered praise of Turner after the game in an interview with Fox Sports Indiana:

With Monday's victory, the Pacers are one win away from matching last year's total, and they remain on pace to have their most wins since they last reached the Eastern Conference Finals in 2014 (56).

The Lakers, on the other hand, are three defeats away from guaranteeing their fifth straight losing season. After starting the month of March with five wins in seven games, Los Angeles has dropped three straight with three more games left on its current road trip.

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