In the final box score, the Indiana Pacers “only” beat the San Antonio Spurs by 11 points on Saturday night, but make no mistake, it was one of the more dominant 11-point victories that you will ever see.
The Pacers led the Spurs by a staggering 22-point margin after 3 quarters, and only a late push by San Antonio it what amounts to “garbage time” saved them from an embarrassing final score at 111-100. Indiana finished the night with stellar offensive numbers across the board, shooting 53.5% from the field, 47.4% (9 for 19) from 3-point land, and a lights-out 92.9% (26 for 28) from the free throw line. In addition, they easily won the battle on the glass (41 to 34) and placed 7 players in double-figures during the game.
Paul George, who has firmly jumped into the MVP discussion, led the way for Indiana with an ultra-efficient 28 points on just 14 field goal attempts. “PG24″ was 4-for-4 from beyond the arc and 6-for-6 at the free throw line, and he threw in 6 assists and 4 rebounds for good measure.
In support of George, David West (20 points, 8 rebounds, 3 steals, 2 blocks), Roy Hibbert (12 points, 10 rebounds), and Luis Scola (12 points, 10 rebounds) dominated the front-court match-up in this one. Indy’s trio of bigs clearly performed statistically, but also held Tim Duncan to just 10 points, and they utterly befuddled the remainder of San Antonio’s big man options.
It’s important to note that San Antonio did fight back in this one, and that was mostly pulsed by the 3-point line. The Spurs shot an outstanding 13-for-26 from 3 in the game (against a notoriously stingy 3-point defense), but that was basically the only bright spot, as only Kawhi Leonard (18 points) and Manu Ginobili (16 points on 9 FGA) had what could be termed as even “average” statistical days.
At 18-2, the Pacers are absolutely cooking right now, and there is a real argument (despite Miami’s dominance on Saturday night) that they are the best team in the NBA right now. Beating the Spurs is always a good measuring stick for just how good a team is, and the Pacers just aced that test.