SAN ANTONIO — Coming into Saturday night’s game with the San Antonio Spurs, David West and Luis Scola shared the floor together for a total of 21 minutes this season (per NBA.com/stats). Head coach Frank Vogel usually keeps it simple with a traditional power forward and center in most of his lineups; West is commonly paired with Roy Hibbert, while Scola joins Ian Mahinmi with the reserves.
However, as the Pacers ran by the Spurs in San Antonio, 111-100, Vogel turned to his power forward duo. West and Scola were on the floor together for 14 minutes together, with the bulk of their action coming in the second half. The two combined for 32 points on 14-of-21 shooting from the field and pulled in 18 rebounds.
The strategic change made defending San Antonio’s lethal, ball screen-dominated offense a bit easier. During the first half, the Spurs were constantly pulling Hibbert out of his natural habitat known as the paint, allowing their guards to take mid-range jumpers; a shot this team is willing to take (and able to make).
The second half proved to be a different story. West and Scola were able to hedge those ball screens more effectively and ultimately help the Pacers’ guards take away the shots the Spurs were finding earlier in the game. During that time, the Pacers took control of the game, outscoring the Spurs by 18 points in the 3rd period. In fact, the Pacers held the Spurs to an Offensive Rating (points scored per 100 possessions) of 83.1 while West and Scola shared the floor. That’s nearly 22 points less than San Antonio’s season average.
Paul George’s fingerprints were all over the Pacers’ second-half demolishing as well, as the 23 year-old put in yet another performance that will surely aid his MVP campaign. George poured in 28 points on 9-of-14 shooting, while not missing a single free throw or three-pointer (6-6, 4-4, respectively).
Indiana had seven players show up in the point column of the box score on Saturday and all seven scored in double figures.
The Pacers will turn around and play the Oklahoma City Thunder (14-4) on Sunday.
(Statistical support provided by NBA.com/stats)
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 ISRon Twitter.
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