Published November 07, 2017
INDIANAPOLIS -- The New Orleans Pelicans and Indiana Pacers -- each with a 5-5 record -- will continue to pursue consistency Tuesday night in Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
The Pacers are coming off back-to-back road losses -- at Philadelphia (121-110) and at New York (108-101) -- during which their inconsistent defense could not contain the 76ers' J.J. Redick and the Knicks' Kristaps Porzingis.
Redick scored 31 points, including eight 3-pointers, and then Porzingis scored a career-best 40 points as New York rallied from an 84-65 deficit by outscoring Indiana 36-17 in the fourth quarter.
New Orleans, on the other hand, began the season 1-3 but comes to Indianapolis having won consecutive road games -- 99-94 on Friday night in Dallas and 96-90 in overtime Saturday night in Chicago's United Center.
The Pelicans are 4-2 on the road but only 1-3 at home.
Until losing in Philadelphia and New York, Indiana had won three in a row. Until winning at Dallas and Chicago, New Orleans had lost back-to-back home games.
The Pacers got balanced scoring in New York, led by Thaddeus Young with 18 points, Victor Oladipo with 17, Domas Sabonis with 16, Myles Turner with 15 and Darren Collison with 15 points and 10 assists.
However, Indiana struggled on offense down the stretch and had no answer for the hot-shooting Porzingis.
"They went to switching on defense, and we didn't show patience in attacking the mismatch," Indiana coach Nate McMillan said.
Oladipo said the Pacersmut avoid stretches of futility at each end of the court.
"The loss Sunday is a tough one for us," Oladipo said. "Especially being up, I have to do better as a leader as well, especially down the stretch in the fourth quarter."
New Orleans struggled early in each of its past two road victories but got going in each, thanks to the play of big men DeMarcus Cousins, who is averaging 28.6 points, and Anthony Davis, who is averaging 27.4.
Davis had 27 points, 16 rebounds and three blocks in the come-from-behind victory at Chicago, and Cousins added 25 points, 11 rebounds and four assists. Yet with an inconsistent backcourt, the Pelicans have failed to reach 100 points in four consecutive games.
New Orleans coach Alvin Gentry said his team had to claw back into the road victories at Dallas and Chicago.
"We were struggling, like playing in mud," Gentry said. "Then we woke up. We found a way. We were really good down the stretch. Davis was really solid.
"We are asking a lot of Anthony and DeMarcus playing these kind of minutes. It's a catch-22. Do you take them out and rest them, or play them and try to win the game? You go with what you think will help you win a game."
The Pelicans did not practice Sunday, giving Davis and Cousins a day of rest.
The Tuesday game will be a homecoming of sorts for Pelicans shooting guard E'Twaun Moore, who is averaging 10.2 points. Moore is an East Chicago, Ind., native who attended Purdue, only 65 miles north of Bankers Life Fieldhouse.