Tired Pacers can’t come back against Nuggets

Move on, nothing to see here.

The Indiana Pacers have not been very good in the second night of their back-to-backs this season. They just came off an emotional come-from-behind overtime win over the Kings in Sacramento and did not arrive in Denver until 4am. It was their third game in four nights in a place where the altitude tends to give the home team a major advantage.

And so the Pacers' 109-96 loss to the Nuggets was not unexpected. It drops them to 34-9 for the season and 2-2 on their final extended West coast road trip of the season. Lance Stephenson, with his boundless energy, scored 23 points, grabbed 10 rebounds and dished out 7 assists. Paul George had 18, 11 and 6, but shot just 33% from the floor. David West missed a lot of open jumpers and finishde with 16 and 6 on 6-20 shooting. Roy Hibbert had 5 points before fouling out in 20 minutes, while his backup, Ian Mahinmi, fouled out also with 5 points in a minute less.

The Pacers were a step slow all night, and they defense hasn't been around on this road trip at all, making this the third game in a row in which they've given up more than 100 points. Give credit to Brian Shaw (who earned his first win against the team he formerly mentored as assistant coach for three years) and the Nuggets though because they were pretty fearless right out of the gate, much like the Kings and Suns were in the last two games. Seems everybody's getting up to play the Pacers these days.

The good news is that the Pacers have two days off now until they play the final game of their road trip against the struggling LA Lakers. It will give them some time to recover, regroup and fix the problematic defense and hopefully allow them to return back to Indiana with a 3-2 record for the trip.

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