The Indiana Pacers' strong start to the season continued on Tuesday as they pulled off an improbable comeback win, thanks to the late-game heroics of Malcolm Brogdon.
Brogdon came up clutch with 1.7 seconds remaining in overtime, burying a floater to seal a 118-116 win over the New Orleans Pelicans to move to 5-2 on the season.
too smooth with the OT winner 🥵@MalcolmBrogdon7 | #PacersWin pic.twitter.com/0XRAusMf27- Indiana Pacers (@Pacers) January 5, 2021
In a game that featured 11 ties and 20 lead changes, the Pacers found an extra gear down the stretch, closing the fourth quarter on a 10-0 run to force overtime, with Myles Turner draining the 3-pointer with 8.2 seconds remaining to square things up.
Turner finished the game with 17 points and three blocks before he fouled out in overtime, while fellow big man Domantas Sabonis was fouled out with four minutes to go in regulation, finishing with 19 points and 11 rebounds.
With their big men on the pine, it was Brogdon and Victor Oladipo who took control for the Pacers, who now sit third in the Eastern Conference standings.
Malcolm Brogdon hit the game-winner in OT.- StatMuse (@statmuse) January 5, 2021
He's averaging 22/5/7 on 52/45/83 shooting this season. pic.twitter.com/Hbnoa1W221
"Coach trusts me with the ball at the end - to make a good decision, to make a big shot," Brogdon said post-game. "I just tried to get to my spot on the floor and not settle."
While Brogdon and Sabonis have led the way for the Pacers so far this season, the re-emergence of Victor Oladipo has been one of the more encouraging signs that this Pacers team is for real.
After missing extended time last season with a ruptured quadriceps tendon, Oladipo has worked his way back into his former All-Star form, averaging 20.8 points, 5.5 assists, and 4.7 rebounds per game, while shooting 45.5 percent from the 3-point line.
His 3-pointer with 20.5 seconds to go in regulation cut the deficit to just three points and then he came up with a clutch steal which set up Turner's game-tying triple.
"Man Vic [Oladipo] was a huge part of the reason [for the comeback]," Brogdon added.
"I think him and T.J. McConnell, gave us so much energy. Victor, energy shotmaking, defence, he did it all for us tonight, so those guys were huge."
The Pacers' 3-point shooting made the difference in the win, as they connected on 19 triples - a franchise record - for the second straight game. Oladipo led the way with five, Brogdon four, Justin Holiday three, Doug McDermott three, and Turner two.
The Pacers are back in action on Thursday when they host the Houston Rockets, before taking on the red-hot Phoenix Suns on Sunday.
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