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Insider Pacers fall to Lakers in another road disaster – Basketball – WNews

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Insider Pacers fall to Lakers in another road disaster – Basketball – WNews

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Content :

► LOS ANGELES — They fell into the trap, the one where they take quick shots, refuse to rebound and allow the opponent to collect most of the loose balls. The Indiana Pacers, inside the Staples Center, showed all the signs of their usual road woes: too many careless turnovers, poor shot selection and even poorer defense.

► The fans of the Los Angeles Lakers in the third quarter began to believe their team, which entered Friday losers of its last five games, could win. The collective facial expression of the Pacers resembled the look of, “Here we go again.”

► Once the Lakers gained control of the lead, they seized on the Pacers’ mistakes and handed Indiana a demonstrative 108-96 loss in front of a national TV audience.

► “They made more effort plays,” said Paul George. “We had some bad turnovers and they capitalized with effort and they got the crowd involved. They were hunting down shots. They were aggressive. They were feeling the vibe, the atmosphere in that arena. It was definitely one-sided. They had more energy for sure tonight.”

► The Lakers (16-31) were the more determined team.

► The most effective aspect of the Los Angeles’ offense wasn’t a particular player or the set plays from coach Luke Walton. The Lakers simply scrambled with an unmatched fury to get the ball once it bounced off the rim. With the Pacers trailing one or two steps behind, the Lakers, whether it was Jordan Clarkson, Nick Young or Jose Calderon, made timely 3-pointers to extend their lead.

► Lou Williams led the Lakers off the bench with 27 points on 7-of-15 shooting. Julius Randle (16 points), Young (15) and Brandon Ingram (15) all played well by attacking the basket.

► The Lakers’ ability to rebound their own misses – they finished Friday with 16 offensive rebounds and outrebounded the Pacers 51-37 – was what concerned coach Nate McMillan before the game.

► “I just saw them scrap harder,” McMillan said of the Lakers. “They wanted the ball more and they went after the ball. We knew this team averaged 11 offensive rebounds a game, number six in the league. They all attack the boards. That required all of us to recover to the paint and rebound the ball. We didn’t do that. We didn’t have any scrap going after the ball. I thought we were sloppy.”

► The Pacers (22-20) made the Lakers’ task of playing defense easier than usual by committing several unforced errors in the second half. In the third quarter, in which the Lakers built a 12-point lead, the Pacers recorded eight turnovers. Many of them were produced from passes that were either ill-advised or just lazy. In total, the Pacers turned the ball over 21 times, a statistic McMillan said was ridiculous for a game after the midway point of the season.

► “Some of the turnovers we are making are head scratching,” McMillan said. “Just careless with the ball, absolutely not value with that basketball and you’ve got to value that ball and you’ve got to take care of it. We were just loose with the ball all night long.”

► Jeff Teague, who led the team with six turnovers, blamed himself for the Pacers’ struggles.

► “It was my fault,” Teague said. “It wasn’t the right flow tonight on offense. That was my fault. I had some turnovers and they got some 3s. That’s when the game changed. When we play bad offensively, our defense gets really terrible.”

► Paul George led the Pacers with 21 points, yet his efficient shooting was not enough to make the game close in the fourth quarter. Al Jefferson matched his season high with 20 points in the first half, but was held scoreless after halftime. Myles Turner added 15 points, but grabbed just four rebounds.

► George was mostly frustrated by the fact that the Pacers yet again allowed another team with a below .500 record to beat them.

► ……
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