- Eric Martinez
Lakers shocked by Pacer's game winning shot
Each season the Los Angeles Lakers honor the legacy of Hall of Fame announcer, Chick Hearn. In what seemed to be an emotional evening with several of the 1970’s and 1980’s Showtime Lakers players in attendance. The Lakers showed a grit and fight that has not been there most of the season. Entering the game on Monday night, the Indiana Pacers held a steady record of 11-8 and have displayed a tremendous upside with flashes of brilliance from their young players. The Lakers were coming off a 2-game win streak in San Antonio.
The Lakers scored a total of 62 points in the first half and held the Pacers to 56. It was the tempo and pace of play that the Lakers played with in the first half that set the tempo to extend the lead early in the third quarter. The Lakers outrebound the Pacers 57 to 49 and had a better shooting percentage (43%) and three-point percentage (35.5%) throughout the game. Lakers held a 17-point lead in the 4th quarter that was not enough for the Lakers to secure the victory. The hero for Indiana was rookie guard, Andrew Nembhard that sunk a 3-pointer at the buzzer to win the game 116-115.
Contributing to the Pacers comeback was an assortment of players from Indiana. Tyrese Haliburton scored 24 points, 14 assists, and 7 rebounds, Buddy Hield and Myles Turner both scored 15 points and second year player Aaron Nesmith made 4 of 7 three pointers to end with 16 points. For the Lakers, LeBron James had 21 points and 7 rebounds but only shot 8 for 22 from the field, which is part of the process coming back from his injury. Anthony Davis had an efficient night with 25 points and 13 rebounds and Russell Westbrook scored 24 points with 6 assists for the Lakers. The role players did not seem to contribute as the Lakers now dropped their 12th loss of the season. Head coach Darvin Ham understood the lack of ability to close out the game was crucial Monday night. “I wish we would have been a lot more aggressive, continued playing with pace, and also being organized and continuing to move the ball and that falls on me,” coach Ham emphasized.
Lakers host the Portland Trailblazers on Wednesday while Indiana Pacers travel to play the surprising Sacramento Kings. In the words of the late great Chick Hearn, the Los Angeles Lakers could not close out during “Nervous Time” and the Indiana Pacers put “This game in the Refrigerator.”