“We just wanted to come out and try to just have fun with the game again,” LeVert said. “I feel like we were kind of letting the losses take away from the fact we get to play basketball for a living. I think today we got back to just having fun, and it showed out there on the court.”
Even with injuries sidelining Domantas Sabonis, Malcolm Brogdon, and Jeremy Lamb, Indiana had a season-high point total. Aaron Holiday, Myles Turner, and T.J. McConnell each had 18 points for the Pacers. McConnell and Turner combined for 11 points in overtime.
The Spurs lost their second straight home game in overtime and are 2-6 in their nine-game homestand, which concludes Monday against the Cleveland Cavaliers.
“We just can’t give up 139 points,” San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich said. “The 139 points killed us. End of story.” Spurs veteran DeMar DeRozan had 25 points for his 450th career game with at least 20 points. Dejounte Murray and Keldon Johnson each had 20 points, and Derrick White added 18.
San Antonio outscored Indiana 5-0 in the final two minutes to force the extra period.
San Antonio cut Indiana’s lead to 126-125 with 50.2 seconds remaining on a layup and a pair of free throws by Rudy Gay. Jakob Poeltl then picked off a wild pass from LeVert in the lane. DeRozan, who made one of two free throws to tie the game at 126, missed an 18-footer at the close of regulation.
San Antonio, which entered the game 21-3 when leading by 10 points, took a 10-point lead in the opening period. Indiana pushed back and grabbed an 11-point lead in the second quarter. “We just got to communicate better,” Johnson said. “Communicate better, guard better. It’s all things that we can fix and get better at.”
The Pacers came within four points of tying their season-high for first-half points without Sabonis, Brogdon, and Lamb, who account for 51.5 points per game.
“It felt perfect,” said Indiana guard Kelan Martin, who had nine points. “The energy was just different.”
Indiana had only one 3-pointer in the first quarter, but the long-range shooting wasn’t necessary. The Pacers’ first 12 points were in the paint, as were 10 of the Spurs’ first 12. Indiana shot 68% from the field with 2:30 left in the first half and closed the first half at 66% in taking a 67-59 lead.
Pacers: Indiana had a season-high 71 points in the first half against Memphis on Feb. 2. Sabonis, Brogdon, and Lamb all started that game, which the Pacers won 134-116. … Brogdon missed his second straight game with a sore right hip but moved freely during a brief, pre-game workout. … Sabonis missed the game with a bruised left quadriceps after playing 27 minutes Friday against Charlotte despite the injury. … Lamb missed his third straight game with an injured toe.
Spurs: Johnson joined David Robinson and Tim Duncan as the only players in franchise history with 700-plus points and 330-plus rebounds in their first 60 career games. … DeRozan has 450 games of 20-plus points since joining the league in 2009. Only LeBron James, Kevin Durant, James Harden, Russell Westbrook, Stephen Curry, Damian Lillard, and Carmelo Anthony have more 20-point games over that stretch than DeRozan. … Gorgui Dieng remains out with a shoulder injury. Dieng suffered the injury six minutes into his debut with the team. … Lonnie Walker IV missed his seventh straight game with a sore right wrist. … Poeltl had 14 points and 13 rebounds for his 10th double-double this season.
More AP NBA: https://apnews.com/hub/NBA and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports
Sign up for Daily Newsletters
Copyright © 2021 The Washington Times, LLC.