Paul George (Frank McGrath – Pacers.com)
ISR Pacers Beat Writer
There were a lot of familiar faces on the court Wednesday night as the Indiana Pacers were blitzed by the Phoenix Suns from the opening tip, 124-100. Gerald Green and Miles Plumlee were shipped to the Suns in exchange for Luis Scola during the summer and they were clearly out to make a point against their former team, especially Green.
Green poured in 23 points and knocked down three three-pointers to lead all Phoenix scorers. After an electrifying dunk and a charge taken on the other end, Green got tangled with Roy Hibbert running back down the floor midway through the first half, both were handed technical fouls after exchanging a few words. Green admitted during a halftime interview that it was just two players getting caught up in the moment and there’s no hard feelings towards Hibbert.
Plumlee pitched in 11 points and seven rebounds while Scola struggled with the Suns’ speed and athleticism in the front court, adding just five points on 2-of-5 shooting from the field. Phoenix’s pace, three-point barrage, and pick-and-roll attack threw off not just Scola, but the entire Pacers team as well. The Suns play at the ninth fastest pace in the league (98 possessions per game, according to ESPN.com) and that was on display Wednesday as Goran Dragic and the rest of the young Suns looked to push the ball up the floor as much as they could. Dragic scored 21 points.
The Pacers shot the ball decently, but the 20 turnovers helped produce the Phoenix fast breaks. Paul George led all Indiana scorers with 26 points, showing he’s back into a rhythm after a mini-slump. Both Hibbert and Lance Stephenson struggled, as the two combined for just 12 points on 6-of-17 shooting. Hibbert fouled out of the game in the fourth quarter.
The Pacers travel to Sacramento on Friday to take on a Kings team hoping for a playoff spot out West. Despite Wednesday night’s loss, Indiana still holds a 3.5 game lead over the Miami Heat for the top seed in the Eastern Conference.
Brandon Curry is the Pacers Beat Writer at the Indy Sports Report and is recognized as an accredited member of the media by the Pacers and has full media access. Follow Brandon and the ISR on Twitter.