INDIANAPOLIS – Two of the NBA’s brightest stars shined at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on Tuesday night.
The New Orleans Pelicans‘ (6-5) duo of Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins combined for 69 points, as the Pelicans stormed past the Indiana Pacers (5-6) in the second half to pick up a 117-112 victory. Davis scored 37 points and grabbed 14 rebounds, while Cousins added 32 points and 13 boards.
Indy’s losing streak now stands at three. All three losses have been disheartening for the Pacers, as Indiana held double figure leads in all three ballgames.
The Pacers looked very good in Tuesday’s first half, as the home team dropped 75 points on 64% shooting in the game’s first 24 minutes. It was a fast-paced first quarter, with Indy outscoring New Orleans 37-34. Indiana kept the offense coming in the second quarter, taking a 14-point lead to the half after outscoring the Pelicans 38-27.
The second half was a different story for the Pacers.
Indiana’s shooting went flat in the third quarter, a problem the Pelicans did not share. New Orleans erased their 75-61 halftime deficit in a hurry, trimming the Pacers’ lead down to five less than four minutes into the period. The Pelicans ultimately outscored Indy 35-19 in the third, giving them a 96-94 advantage heading into the game’s final quarter.
The fourth quarter was a relatively close one, as neither side was able to siege control. Indiana trailed 113-112 with under a minute left, and was able to get a stop with 37 seconds to go, but the Pacers rushed into their offense and it resulted in a missed Myles Turner jumper.
Davis and Cousins dominated on the glass all night, combining for 27 of New Orleans’ 43 rebounds, but their last two were the most important.
Jrue Holiday went to the line with 20 seconds remaining and after connecting on his first attempt, he missed his second. Davis pulled down the long rebound, however. Holiday went to the line again, this time with 16 seconds on the clock, and found the same result. First shot dropped, second one was no good. This time around, Cousins skipped grabbing the rebound and instead tipped the ball into the basket for a back-breaking two points.
The Pacers misfired on a pair of shots to follow and when the buzzer sounded, New Orleans got to leave town with a 117-112 win.
Facing two of the league’s best big men, Indy missed 6-foot-10 center Domantas Sabonis on this night. Sabonis was sidelined for the first time this season on Tuesday, dealing with a bruised right calf. It is unknown if he will travel with the team to Detroit for Wednesday’s game. Sabonis is day-to-day.
Fan favorite Lance Stephenson has struggled early on this year, but he turned in a solid performance on Tuesday. Stephenson scored 14 points and recorded eight rebounds, arguably his most productive game thus far.
Aside from Stephenson, the starting five did most of the scoring for the Pacers on Tuesday. All five players scored in double figures, led by Turner’s team-best 21.
Indiana will now head out to Detroit to face the Pistons on Wednesday on night two of a back-to-back. Tipoff from the brand new Little Caesars Arena is scheduled for 7:00 p.m.