Nuggets choke away big leads to lose to Pacers in overtime

Ruben Hill
December 11, 2017

Victor Oladipo led a fourth quarter comeback then scored six of his career-high 47 points in overtime to help in beat Denver 126-116 on Sunday at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.

IN outscored the Nuggets 31-22 to turn a 66-59 halftime deficit into a 90-88 lead after three quarters. He has struggled with his shot of late though, hitting just 28.8% of 3-point attempts in his last seven games, and he will hope to regain his shooting touch against one of the best shooters in the business this season.

The Pacers (16-11) produced a 12-2 advantage in overtime as Oladipo scored six points in the extra session. Oladipo made six 3-pointers, with the biggest coming with 2:10 to play in the third quarter to give in its first lead of the game.

Oladipo scored on each of Indiana's next three possessions to make it 114-112, then corralled a rebound off a Barton miss with 36 seconds to play raced down the court and pulled up for the go-ahead 3-pointer. He drove past Wilson Chandler, forcing Kenneth Faried out to contest his shot. An 8-0 run capped by a Thaddeus Young putback with 5.5 seconds to play tied the score, before a Will Barton pull-up jumper was off-target just before the buzzer to send the game to overtime.

The Pacers won their third game in a row on Friday night, downing the Cavaliers 106-102 despite 29 points and eight assists from LeBron James. Young added 18 points and six boards in the victory. "He made big shot after big shot, got hot from 3-point line shooting 5 of 7, and that's one of reasons we kept him out there". He went into the day six points shy of the milestone. Consecutive turnovers and a long 3-pointer preceded Barton's last second miss in the final two minutes.

Denver is the most likely to capitalize on their opponent's weakness inside, with their 48.9 points in the paint per game the third highest in the National Basketball Association. IN mounted a late rally, however, closing the half with a 17-8 run to make it 66-59.

Oladipo brought the house down a few minutes later, when he cut baseline, took a pass from Stephenson, and threw down a two-handed, 180-degree slam to give IN an 88-85 lead and force a Denver timeout. Their bench proved pivotal in the victory, with Kenneth Faried adding 20 points and ten rebounds and Emanual Mudiay posting 18 points, five rebounds and five assists. Thanks to him, IN forced overtime and won, 126-116. Barton added 21 points, six rebounds, and nine assists, while Harris also scored 21.

On Sunday they face a Denver team coming off a 14-point win at Orlando despite an injury-stricken roster. Cory Joseph started in his place, scoring two points on 1-of-7 shooting.

The Pacers have two days off before welcoming Paul George and Oladipo's former team - the Oklahoma City Thunder - on Wednesday in the fifth game of a six-game homestand.

You can catch that game on NBA Leaguue Pass.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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