The Indiana Pacers have been the best team in the Eastern Conference this season, and they gave a fringe Western Conference playoff contender a lot to think about on Monday night. Indiana used their trademark defense to shut down the high-powered Denver offense, and even their solid but usually unspectacular offense got into the act on the way to a 119-80 win.
Defense, as usual, was the calling card for the Pacers, and they held the Nuggets to just 31.5% from the field and just over 23% from 3-point range. Denver was playing without Ty Lawson and that absence showed throughout the game, as no one could create easy buckets on the Nuggets roster, and even their top producers (Wilson Chandler with 17 points, Randy Foye with 9 points and 10 assists) combined to shoot a dismal 8-for-32 from the floor.
On the offensive side, every member of Indy’s starting five notched double-digits, and they were led David West with an ultra efficient 11-for-13 shooting effort for 25 points. The biggest key to Indiana’s success may have been their 19-rebound advantage overall (yikes), but when the Pacers shoot 57.5% from the field in their own building, there isn’t a team in the league that can beat them.
Indiana improves to 25-2 at home (and 40-11 overall) with this dominating victory, and they once again prove just how scary they are when their offense clicks.