Maybe it's the addition of Ben Hansbrough to the Pacers rotation, but for some reason I wasn't that nervous even when the Cavs were hitting everything and sped to a double digit lead in Wednesday night's game. It just seemed improbable that they could keep those percentages up against one of the best defensive teams in the league. The question was whether the Pacers could score enough points to come back.
Turns out they didn't have to score a lot. The Pacers kept the Cavs to 23 second half points and ended up routing them 96-81 despite trailing by 6 at the half.
Paul George continued his consistent output by leading the way with 27 points. For those keeping tabs, since laying that goose egg in Golden State, PG24 has scored 34, 22, 22, 17, and 27 in his last five games while hitting 45-88 shots (51%) from the field. His scoring average for the season is now up to 16, and I think it will only continue to go up.
David West continued beast mode with 18, 9 and 7, and George Hill had 17 and 7, though he continues to shoot way too much (5-16 from the field). Lance Stephenson had another strong game (9 points) before he sprained his ankle. He will likely miss some time.
The most exciting part of the game was when Ben Hansbrough played alongside his big brother Tyler to lead the Pacers bench. I'll tell you what — the idea of them being a dynamic duo might not be that far fetched. Baby Hans played 17 minutes and had 6 points, and assist and 2 steals without a turnover, while Big Hans had 7 points and 3 rebounds in 13 minutes.
Early in the fourth quarter, a battle for a rebound ended up Tristan Thompson throwing a wild elbow that connected with B-Han's head, sending big brother in a furious "don't you mess with my kid brother" rage. It was awesome to see and highly entertaining.
Big game next against Philly at home on Friday. Huge game, actually.