To say that the Pacers were not in great shape is a mild understatement, they who remained on 4 defeats in a row and 10 defeats in their last 11 games… And yet, in Los Angeles, the Indiana troop managed to s impose against the Lakers (111-104) who nevertheless came out of a prestigious success against Utah. And this, for their 4th away victory of the season only!
Despite 30 points and 12 rebounds from LeBron James as well as 20 points and 7 assists from Talen Horton-Tucker off the bench (in just 25 minutes), the Lakers were overtaken in the last quarter, blown by a 23-7 initiated by Caris LeVert (30 points, 8 rebounds) and Domantas Sabonis (20 points, 12 rebounds, 10 assists).
Abused at the start of the match and dropped at -15 in the first half, the Pacers were able to hang on and place the fatal acceleration at the end of the match. Opposite, the Lakers continue to blow hot and cold after their defeat against Denver, their great victory against the Jazz and this humiliating setback against Indiana, the worst team in the League on the road…
WHAT YOU MUST REMEMBER
– Caris LeVert takes control. Not spared by injuries and glitches of all kinds in his young career, Caris LeVert is nonetheless a formidable basketball player. The back of the Pacers proved it again last night in the last quarter, giving the impression that no opposing defender could slow him down, let alone stop him. With 22 of his 30 points in the 4th quarter, he carried his team to a very rare away success.
– LeBron James well alone. If he is not free from any reproach either, LeBron James must wonder what he is doing in this mess… Surrounded by veterans who are showing their age in an outdated major five, the King has certainly gotten help from his bench, with Talen Horton-Tucker (20 points, 7 assists) or Malik Monk (10 points). But even for Carmelo Anthony (14 points, 7 rebounds), it’s a game with a bitter taste, with a 0/5 to 3-pointers including three failures in a row in the last quarter when it should have been to pick up the score
– The Pacers’ 4th away win. Launched, at low speed, in one of their worst season in recent years, the Pacers are currently 13th in the Eastern Conference, and quite simply the worst record in the League on the road (with the Pistons). The Lakers remedied this by taking a splinter in the last quarter (35-24) and losing a 4th time in their last 5 games, giving Indy its 4th away win of the year. A new snub in LA.
✅ Domantas Sabonis. Double-double specialist, Domantas Sabonis scored his 4th triple-double of the season in Los Angeles, his 3rd this month! With 20 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists, Domas was very good throughout the game, shooting 9/12 and one of his two 3-pointers in the crunch time. Despite a small ankle alert late in the game, he had a great night, like his month of January with 23 points, 11 rebounds and 7 assists on average.
✅ Caris LeVert. He’s the finisher for the Pacers. With 22 of his 30 points scored in the last quarter, Caris LeVert set fire to the Californian defense, which never found the parade. From 3-point to layup and even halfway on one of his own offensive rebounds, the Pacers guard had one of his best games of the season, his second highest total (after 31 against Detroit at the mid-December).
✅ LeBron James. With 30 points, 12 rebounds and 5 assists, King James still secured his place on the boards, taking the opportunity to become the only player in history (!) to reach 30,000 points, 10,000 rebounds and 9 000 career assists. But, even for this type of extremely rare “milestone”, his Lakers still messed up…
⛔The Lakers’ five major. LeBron James aside, Los Angeles’ starting lineup has been largely in deficit, not to say catastrophic. If Russell Westbrook had his best 3-point night of the season with a 4/6 in the exercise, he still harvested with a 1/16 from 2-point! Frank Vogel left him completely on the bench in the “money time”. At his side, Trevor Ariza (0/4), Dwight Howard (1/1) or even Avery Bradley (2/6) were next to the plate, really showing their age and without any impact on the game.
⛔Chris Duarte. The Pacers rookie is already an important part of his team this season. He was coming out of a very big game against the Clippers, 24 points, 7 rebounds and 6 assists (10/14 on shots) in a loss. Well, he was a lot worse last night against the Lakers, at 11 points, 5 rebounds and 3 assists (4/13 on shots), but his team won. Go understand!
Indiana (16-29) : “back to back” from this night in San Francisco against the Warriors.
LA Lakers (22-23) : start of the longest “road trip” of the Lakers season (6 games) in Orlando on the night of Friday to Saturday.