This was a pretty important game for both teams. San Antonio is still struggling to climb up the standings in the Western Conference, and before tonight Indiana sat only two games out of the 8th seed in the East. Manu Ginobili sat out for the back to back, while Indiana's superstar Paul George is still out from the horrific injury he suffered in the off-season.
After a horrendous shooting performance last night in Toronto, the Spurs came out hot in Indiana, hitting eight of their first nine shots. Tony Parker took control of the game from the tip off, fearlessly taking it to his former teammate, George Hill. He racked up 11 points and three assists in the first six minutes of the game, after having just 10 points last night. Despite Indiana's big man Roy Hibbert waiting in the paint, the Spurs were slicing and dicing and getting in the lane. What kept the Pacers in it was their quick offensive pace and hitting 4/5 threes in the first.
Things started to fall apart for the good guys in the second half, which has been the reoccurring theme of this season. After the Spurs had a two point lead at half time, the Pacers came out and outscored the Spurs 34 to 18 in the third quarter. While the Spurs struggled from three (24% for the game), the Pacers were active on defense, moved the ball on offense, hit their shots, and seemed to be doing everything right. Finally the Spurs showed some life late in the fourth quarter, getting some stops and scoring in transition.
San Antonio's late surge proved enough to win a close one in Indiana, much thanks to Marco Belinelli who hit the game-sealing jumper with two seconds left to regain the lead just in time.
Parker finally looked like Parker, finishing with the game high 19 points along with six assists. Tim Duncan made his impact with some late offensive rebounds, finishing with 15 points and eight boards. Danny Green was 1/8 from three, but made up for it leading the team in rebounds with 12.
With the victory, Coach Popovich is just the second coach in NBA history to get his 1000th win with a single team. The Spurs improve to 33-19.
The Spurs set out for Detroit to face the 20-32 Pistons for their third game of the rodeo road trip on Wednesday night. Tip-off is at 6:30.