The Pacers just couldn’t be denied in the third quarter of their 144-113 win over the Denver Nuggets Tuesday night at Conseco Fieldhouse. They made 20-of-21 shots and scored a team record-high 54 points in the quarter.
Leading the way for the Pacers in their near-perfect third was Mike Dunleavy. Through the Pacers’ first five games this season, Dunleavy’s 3-pointer hadn’t been getting along with the bottom of the net. Heading into Tuesday, he had made only 6-of-25 3-pointers. In the third quarter, though, he made 7-of-7 3-pointers and had 24 of his game-high 31 points.
Dunleavy wasn’t the only one with the hot hand. Darren Collison had his best scoring night in a Pacers’ uniform. He scored 29 points on 12-of-14 shooting, including 4-of-5 from 3-point range.
While the Pacers hot shooting – 56-of-87 (64.4 percent) from the field – helped them improve their season record to 3-3, it’s been cold shooting that has kept them from playing above .500. In their three losses, the Pacers shot 40.7 percent, while in their three wins, they’ve shot 50.3 percent.
The Pacers are off until Friday when they take on the ailing Houston Rockets at Conseco Fieldhouse. The game is scheduled for a 7 p.m. start with plenty of tickets still available – seriously people, get out and support your Blue & Gold. These guys aren’t bad, and its unfortunate to look out and see so many empty seats this early on in the season, especially considering the whooping they gave Denver tonight.
The one that got away
The only shot the Pacers missed in the third came in the waning seconds of the quarter when Josh McRoberts missed a 3-pointer that looked good all the way until it bounced hard off the back iron.
For the Denver Nuggets, Tuesday’s game was their fourth in five nights, which leads me to believe fatigue might have had something to do with Carmelo Anthony’s off-night. He shot 5-of-15 from the field, scoring a season-low 13 points. Melo’s fellow starters didn’t play too hot either, though. Denver’s starting five scored just 56 points combined, while Indiana’s starters scored 98.
The loss drops the Nuggets to 4-4 on the season. Their next game is Thursday at home against the Los Angeles Lakers.
Danny Granger went 8-of-10, scoring 19 points with 3-of-4 3-point shooting… Tyler Hansbrough had a pair of season-highs, scoring 20 and taking down nine rebounds… Brandon Rush played nearly 30 minutes in his first game after a 5-game suspension for violating the leauge’s substance abuse policy. He scored 16 points and had seven rebounds… Josh McRoberts led the team with 10 rebounds.