Fans have given Indiana Pacers center Myles Turner flak for his lack of consistency on offense. After all, he’s more of a defensive stopper. Moreover, Turner isn’t known for his clutch play, but that could change soon.
Turner hit a backbreaking three-pointer with 9.1 seconds left in the game to lift the Pacers (34-24) to a 106-100 win over the visiting Portland Trail Blazers (26-33) at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on February 27.
Indiana’s All-Star power forward Domantas Sabonis received a pass from Malcolm Brogdon as the former made a move toward the basket. Sabonis drew Portland’s defense, which left Turner wide open from the three-point area at the top of the key.
Sabonis, who inherited his father Arvydas Sabonis’ nifty passing skills, kicked the ball out to Turner. The latter didn’t hesitate in taking a three-pointer which swished through the net and electrified the home crowd.
An emotional Turner punched the air as he made his way to the Pacers’ bench. An ecstatic Sabonis chest-thumped Turner in return.
The Flow to the Pacers Game and How they Held Off the Trail Blazers
Indy led 30-24 after one quarter. Sabonis and T.J. Warren scored six and seven points, respectively, during that stretch.
Portland’s defense held serve in the second quarter, limiting the Pacers to just 13 points. Caleb Swanigan scored all six of his points during the period. He helped the Blazers establish a 49-43 lead at the break.
The Pacers seized control in the second half. Victor Oladipo scored 12 of his 15 points in the third quarter to help Indy regain momentum.
Indiana led 103-93 after Brogdon made an 18-footer with 1:54 left in the game. However, Portland scored the next seven points to narrow the gap to three. This set the stage for Turner’s late-game heroics.
Indiana avenged a 139-129 loss to Portland on the road on January 26. In that game, Blazers guard Damian Lillard (who sat out on February 27 due to an injured groin) erupted for 50 points.
Sabonis led the Pacers with 20 points and 11 rebounds. Brogdon had 17 points and eight assists. Turner finished with 14 points, 10 rebounds, and two blocks.
C.J. McCollum had 28 points and eight assists for the Blazers’ cause. Gary Trent, Jr. scored 20 points filling in for the injured Lillard. Hassan Whiteside contributed 18 points, 16 rebounds, and four blocks for Portland.
Warren’s 30 Leads Pacers Past Upset-Minded Cavaliers
T.J. Warren continues to show Pacers fans he’s one of their best investments in recent team history.
Indiana (35-24) acquired Warren from the Phoenix Suns for cash considerations during the offseason. With leading scorer Victor Oladipo missing most of the 2019-20 NBA season, Warren has picked up the slack – the latter has averaged 18.7 points in his sixth NBA campaign. Warren is an exceptional shot creator who makes opposing defenses guess constantly.
Warren dropped 30 points on the upset-minded Cleveland Cavaliers (17-42) in a 113-104 road win at Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse on February 29. The young Cavs were coming off upset wins over the fourth-seeded Miami Heat and fifth-seeded Philadelphia 76ers recently.
Cleveland wanted to make it three wins in its last four games. However, the Blue and Gold had other things in mind.
Center Myles Turner hit a clutch three for the second game in a row to secure the win. With 59.1 seconds left in the game, Domantas Sabonis drove to the lane, drew the defense, and kicked it back out to Turner at left quarter-court.
Turner then pump faked Andre Drummond out of the way, stepped to his left, and knocked down the dagger from 25 feet to make it 111-104 in favor of Indiana.
It was a close game which had 15 deadlocks and 12 lead changes. It was like watching heavyweights exchanging haymakers. In the end, Turner and Co. scored the decisive knockout punch.
Malcolm Brodgon finished with 22 points and eight assists for the Pacers. Oladipo had his best game since his year-long hiatus. He scored 19 points on 7-of-15 shooting.
New Cavalier Andre Drummond scored 27 points and grabbed 13 rebounds. Kevin Love had 20 points and 12 rebounds for Cleveland.
Pacers Edge Spurs, Extend Winning Streak to 4 Games
With a win over the struggling San Antonio Spurs (25-33) at AT&T Center on March 2, the Indiana Pacers (36-24) were seeking their fourth straight win and sixth victory in their past seven games.
Malcolm Brogdon scored 26 points while T.J. Warren contributed 23 markers for the Blue and Gold in an exciting 116-111 win over San Antonio – their third straight on the Spurs’ home court.
Both teams had key injuries. Indiana missed the services of Victor Oladipo (right knee swelling) and Jeremy Lamb (out for the season with a torn ACL). On the other hand, Spurs big man LaMarcus Aldridge missed his third straight game with a shoulder injury. His teammate Jakob Poeltl also sat out due to a sprained MCL in his right knee.
Nonetheless, it was a shootout at the O.K. Corral from the opening tip. The two squads combined for 31 three-pointers. Despite losing for the third time in their past four games, San Antonio shot a 51.9 percent from the field.
The game had several momentum swings. The Pacers fought back from an early 10-0 deficit. Indiana missed its first five shots of the game.
For their part, the Spurs rallied from a 15-point third-quarter deficit behind the exploits of Aussie point guard Patty Mills, who scored 24 points (including 6-of-11 shooting from three-point territory).
However, Brogdon and Myles Turner made four critical free throws in the dying seconds to ice the game for the Blue and Gold.
Turner contributed 17 points and four blocks for Indiana. Domantas Sabonis and Doug McDermott both scored 14 points for the Pacers.
Trey Lyles had 20 points for the Spurs. Bryn Forbes scored 14 points in a losing effort.
Pacers Odds Trend Down Against Milwaukee Bucks
Not only have the Indiana Pacers (37-24) won four straight games, they’ve also taken over the fifth playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. It sure seems that horrific six-game losing streak prior to the All-Star Break is a distant memory.
Make no mistake about it: the Blue and Gold are peaking at the right time. They’re racking up wins despite missing Jeremy Lamb for the season and Victor Oladipo for short stretches. That’s impressive.
The Pacers’ next opponents are the Beasts of the East, the Milwaukee Bucks (52-9). The two teams square off at Fiserv Forum on March 4.
The last time they played, the Pacers beat the Bucks 118-111 at home on February 12. Reigning NBA MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo (29.6 ppg, 13.8 rpg) missed that game to attend his son’s birth. Expect him to give Indiana fits on Wednesday.
On the other hand, the Pacers will rely on T.J. Warren (18.7 ppg), Domantas Sabonis (18.3 ppg, 12.5 rpg), and Malcolm Brogdon (16.6 ppg, 7.3 apg) once again.
Pacers odds, Pacers moneyline, and Pacers over/under trend down against Milwaukee because of the Bucks’ superior record. Plus, Antetokounmpo and Co. will play on their home court, where they have lost just thrice in 30 outings.