The Indiana Pacers welcomed newcomers Evan Turner and Lavoy Allen to the team in a big way tonight, defeating the Los Angeles Lakers by a final score of 118-98. Los Angeles was able to hang around in the first half and trailed just 57-54, but the Pacers came out of the locker room with a new energy and blew the Lakers out of the water. This win was a complete team victory, with great ball movement and help on defense.
Paul George led the way for the Pacers with 20 points to go along with seven rebounds and six assists. George did struggle with his shot all night at just 6-of-18 from the floor, but was still able to make some key shots when Indiana needed them. George Hill started the game very aggressively and finished with 14 points on 6-of-9 shooting. Both Evan Turner and Lance Stephenson scored 13 points on the night, with Stephenson chipping in nine rebounds as well. David West and C.J. Watson both scored 11 points, and Roy Hibbert added 10 to round out the double figure scorers for Indiana.
Evan Turner was very impressive off the bench tonight in his Pacers debut, showing the ability to score the basketball that Indiana was hoping for. If he is able to play at this level for the rest of the season, the Pacers will come out of that trade as clear winners. Lavoy Allen did get into the game late in the fourth quarter for his debut, finishing with three rebounds and an assist.
This was a very nice win for the Pacers and they certainly looked just fine as far as team chemistry goes. Larry Bird certainly looked happy about the outcome and had a smile on his face at times watching Evan Turner play. There’s no doubt that the Pacers look stronger as a whole with the addition of Turner off the bench, and the future looks even brighter than it did at this time last week.
Indiana improved their record to 43-13 with tonight’s win, and are currently two games up on the Heat for the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference. The Pacers now look ahead to the Milwaukee Bucks on Thursday night in a rematch of Saturday’s game. Indiana defeated the Bucks on Saturday night in Milwaukee by a final score of 110-100.
Evan Massey is a Staff Writer for HoopsHabit.com. Follow Evan on Twitter at @Massey_Evan.