NBA regular season

Pacers’ defense steps up, halts Lakers’ win streak in 19-point rout


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Pacers’ defense steps up, halts Lakers’ win streak in 19-point rout

Mar 29, 2024; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA;Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) drives to the basket while Indiana Pacers forward Aaron Nesmith (23) defends in the second half at Gainbridge Fieldhouse. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

USA TODAY Sports via Reuters Con

All-Stars Pascal Siakam and Tyrese Haliburton conspire to lift the contending Indiana Pacers past the rallying LeBron James and Los Angeles Lakers in the NBA season home stretch

Pascal Siakam scored 22 points with 11 rebounds, Tyrese Haliburton added 21 points with 8 rebounds and 8 assists and the Indiana Pacers flashed some improved defense Friday (Saturday, March 30, Manila time) to earn a 109-90 victory and end the Los Angeles Lakers’ season-best five-game winning streak.

T.J McConnell scored 16 points and Aaron Nesmith added 12 as the Pacers (42-33) exacted revenge after giving up 150 points to the Lakers in a road loss Sunday.

Indiana also lost to Los Angeles in the title game of the inaugural in-season tournament in December, but that contest did not count in the regular-season standings.

The Pacers held the Lakers to a season low in points on 40.7 percent shooting from the floor, while shooting 48.3 percent on their offensive end.

Anthony Davis scored 24 points with 15 rebounds for the Lakers (41-33) after missing Wednesday’s victory at Memphis to rest knee discomfort.

LeBron James scored 16 points with 10 rebounds and D’Angelo Russell was held to six points as the main Los Angeles scoring trio played together for the first time in four games.

Austin Reaves scored 16 points with 13 rebounds and Rui Hachimura added 41 points as the Lakers fell to 2-1 on a six-game road trip.

The Pacers led 27-25 after one quarter amid a significantly slower tempo than the most recent meeting. Indiana was up 54-49 at halftime as Los Angeles made just 2 of 13 attempts from 3-point range (15.4 percent).

The Pacers took control in the third quarter, outscoring the Lakers 32-23 to take an 86-72 advantage. Los Angeles was just 3 of 22 from 3-point range (13.6 percent) entering the final period.

The Lakers inched back into contention in the fourth quarter, using a 7-2 run to pull within 92-85 with 8:07 remaining after a James jumper from close range.

The Pacers put the game away with a 12-0 run to take a 104-85 lead on an Andrew Nembhard steal off a James pass and a fast-break dunk from Siakam with 3:38 remaining. –

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