On the fourth game of their five-game Eastern Conference road trip in Indiana, the Anthony-Davis-less Los Angeles Lakers, saw their 14-game road win streak snapped.
It was their first loss outside the Staples Center and the first road loss since going down to the LA Clippers on opening night. Despite having their other All-Star LeBron James in uniform, the Lakers had no answer for the Pacers' game-sealing 10-2 run over the last 3:17 minutes.
As the Lakers, still the best team in the West, move on to Milwaukee to face the best team in the East, here are the biggest takeaways from their loss in Indiana:
Lakers' shooting struggles from three
The Pacers are a sound defensive team, ranking in the top 10 in the league for defensive rating.
With the Lakers missing Davis, they clamped down on James, who was forced to play 10:47 minutes of the final quarter. Although he committed no turnovers and scored seven of his 19 in the fourth, those points came on 2-of-6 shooting from the field, 0-of-4 from beyond the arc, and 3-of-6 from the free-throw line.
Greatest passer on the planet 🌎 pic.twitter.com/iUF8C3Xz33- Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) December 18, 2019
Without Davis, they still dominated the paint (62-50) but they struggled mightily from beyond the arc. They shot 8-of-31 (25.8%) from long range including 2-of-11 (18.2%) in the fourth quarter, whereas the Pacers shot 10-of-25 for the game and 3-of-6 in the final period.
The Lakers had five other players finish in double figures, but those major contributors were a combined 4-of-12 from long distance. In the loss, Dwight Howard had a perfect game, scoring 20 points on 10-of-10 shooting from the field.
Having said that, the Lakers have won games with these kinds of shooting games.
In fact, a couple of days back, the Lakers shot even worse from beyond the arc - 5-of-31 (.161) along with a season-high 22 turnovers vs. the Hawks. The only difference was that this time, the Lakers didn't have their All-Star duo to fall back on to win this one.
Sabonis & Brogdon star as Pacers make statement
"It means a lot to beat the best team record-wise in the league. We had to play good basketball tonight to beat them," said Pacers' coach Nate McMillan.
This was the Pacers' second win in as many games against the league's top teams (beating the Boston Celtics six days earlier), having lost all their games against contending teams leading up to last week.
"We are a really good team. We got to come to play every night but we can compete, beat anybody," Malcolm Brodgon said in his on-court postgame interview. The team's big offseason acquisition finished with 14 points for the game, with seven of those coming in their game-sealing 10-2 run.
𝙈𝘼𝙇𝘾𝙊𝙇𝙈 𝘽𝙍𝙊𝙂𝘿𝙊𝙉 𝙄𝙎 𝘼 𝘾𝙇𝙊𝙎𝙀𝙍- Indiana Pacers (@Pacers) December 18, 2019
7️⃣ points in the last 3:17, including a floater to tie the game and an up-and-under for the go-ahead bucket 😮 pic.twitter.com/hlWYPtjfDh
Among the bigs, Domantas Sabonis dominated this game. He recorded his 13th straight double-double with 26 points and 10 rebounds and was a game-high +13 in his 34 minutes off the bench.
The Lakers consecutive road win streak comes to an end at 14 games with their loss in Indiana tonight.- ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) December 18, 2019
The @Pacers have now won 7 straight home games vs the Lakers. Indiana's last home loss against the Lakers came on March 13, 2013. pic.twitter.com/ETf9AWvOGG
Both teams don't have a lot of time to rest on this game.
The Lakers move on to Milwaukee to play the Bucks before heading back home to host the Denver Nuggets and then the Los Angeles Clippers on Christmas Day.
Over the next six games, the Pacers play the other four teams in the top 5 of the East standings.
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