With Davis and LeBron James listed as likely, it was a relief when the two started the game. Unfortunately, early in the first quarter, James rolled his ankle and had to sit out the rest of the first quarter.
Luckily for the Lakers, LeBron came back in the second quarter and seemed fine. Throughout the remainder of the first, the Lakers continued to feud with the Pacers. Wenyen Gabriel and Thomas Bryant dominated the glass, Austin Reaves came on the line and scored off the bench, and the Lakers led 32-29 after one.
The rest of the first half was a back-and-forth affair. In the end, the Lakers took the lead at halftime, leading 62-56 after Dennis Schroder hit a buzzer-beating 3-pointer.
Davis led all scorers with 18, and Los Angeles won the battle of the boards 31-24. Despite the previous injury, James was magnificent. He had 14 points in 17 minutes of play in the first half, including an emphatic dunk alley-oop from AD.
The dreaded “Lakers Third” did not appear tonight. LA won the battle for third 31-28, thanks in large part to a demonstrative run through the middle of the quarter. The Lakers led 74-71 and finished the last five minutes of the quarter, going 20-13. A bad three-point attempt from Russ and an even worse job to come back brought the Pacers to life late in the quarter, but even so, the Lakers were in control to start the fourth.
In the fourth, Reaves came out with a 3-pointer to get into double digits and give the Lakers their fourth double-digit player on the night. Russell Westbrook followed that up with a field goal, a free throw conversion and a nice assist to Wenyen to give the Lakers an 8-0 run to start the fourth.
Not to be outdone, Indianapolis raced 10-0 to cut the lead to seven. The Lakers appeared to settle thanks to Reaves converting on a field goal, drawing a foul, and James creating a one-man fastbreak to once again give the Lakers a double-digit lead. However, the Pacers made another big run to get into a basket with less than two minutes left and turn this game from a comfortable lead into a nail-biter.
Unfortunately for the purple and gold, Andrew Nembhard followed up with a three winner at the buzzer to reverse the result and give the Pacers the victory.
Key points to remember
It’s no secret that the Lakers have been the subject of rumors about Pacer players Myles Turner and Buddy Hield all summer and the rumors are still thriving. Seeing them play up close in LA does what to the public’s perception? Myles had a good game, scoring 15 points, but looked inferior when paired with Anthony Davis, and Hield shot 1-6 (16%) three, which is well below his average.
Is this lackluster performance cooling fan trade talks, or is the loss just making fans even more demanding? It will be interesting to see what happens and if a trade ends, but for now the Lakers’ attention turns to Wednesday’s game against the Trail Blazers. It’s their last game of November and their last home game before they begin their dreaded East Coast road trip in December.
For more Lakers talk, subscribe to the Silver Screen and Roll podcast feed at itunes, Spotify, embroiderer Where Google Podcasts. You can follow Edwin on Twitter at @ECreates88.
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