Jan 29, 2017; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Indiana Pacers forward Paul George (13) drives to the basket against Houston Rockets guard James Harden (13) at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Indiana defeats Houston 120-101. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports
The Pacers stay tough at home and pour it on the Houston Rockets
The Houston Rockets were 2-2 on their current five game road trip and headed to Indiana to face a tough Pacers team. On their 29th road game of the season, which leads the NBA, the Rockets seemed ill prepared.
Paul George, on the other hand, was licking his chops in anticipation of facing off against James Harden. His defense held Harden in check (shot 3/17 for 15 points) and in doing so held the Rockets potent offense to season lows. In fact, the Rockets missing early dunks and layups was indicative of their night’s struggles.
Ryan Anderson came out firing and scored seven of Houston’s early points, but midway through the first, the rest of the squad were shooting 3/11 from the floor. Their shooting struggles also extended to beyond the arc. As a team, they shot 27% from the floor in the first and were down 10 quickly. When Capela committed a goal tend to end the quarter, the Pacers were on a 10-2 run and were shooting 67%. The Rockets showed every bit of their fatigue, in this their last game of the five game road trip.
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The closest Houston got was when the bench mob came in and cut the lead to 6 in the second quarter. This was sparked by a 17-5 run, while outscoring the Pacers 21-14, with two minutes left in the half. But, PG-13 spinning in the lane and hitting a buzzer beater to close the half sums up the evening.
The third quarter began like the rest of the game and the Pacers pushed the lead to 20. The Rockets missed open shots, blown dunks, and were not sharp in this game. Well, everyone except Ryno. Anderson finished with 27 points (5 triples), 7 boards, and 1 steal. Sadly, he didn’t get much help.
Eric Gordon returned to action after missing two games and his shot was short most of the night. He shot 4/11 and finished with 14 points (1 triple), 1 board, 3 dimes, and 1 block. Like the rest of the Rockets, Indiana’s defense made him work for every bit of his offense.
Behind PG’s efforts, the Pacers cruised to an easy victory. George finished with 33 points (3 triples), 9 boards, 3 dimes, 1 steal, and 1 block. Former Longhorn, Myles Turner, also went to work against Houston. He double-doubled with 18 points, 10 boards, 3 steals, and 4 blocks. Now if only Indiana’s success at home (18-6 at home), would carry over to their road games. On the road this season, the Pacers have been wildly inconsistent. But, when they do figure it out, maybe they can finally meet the expectations that were placed on them in the preseason.
The Rockets meanwhile, will try to get their groove back when they take on the Kings at home on Tuesday. Hopefully, a much needed home stand will be the cure to what ails our team.