NBA: Caris LeVert, Myles Turner lead Pacers past Rockets

Field Level Media/Reuters

Posted at Dec 24 2021 12:10 PM

Caris LeVert and Myles Turner recorded double-doubles and alternated turns delivering timely baskets in the fourth quarter to help the Indiana Pacers defeat the Houston Rockets 118-106 on Thursday night in Indianapolis.

LeVert, serving as the point guard with Malcolm Brogdon (Achilles) sidelined, posted his first double-double of the season by pairing 24 points with 11 assists. Turner added his eighth double-double with 32 points and 10 rebounds. LeVert had eight boards and Turner two blocks.

LeVert scored four points during a 10-2 run that opened the final period, and Turner later scored twice in the paint to help the Pacers reclaim their double-digit lead at 108-97.

Indiana shot 52.3 percent and finished with a 62-40 advantage on points in the paint.

Christian Wood had 22 points and eight rebounds for the Rockets, while rookie guard Jalen Green added 20 points on 6-for-9 shooting from long range in his return from a 14-game absence due to a hamstring injury.

Jae'Sean Tate scored 18 points and Eric Gordon added 15 for Houston.

Consecutive 3-pointers from Green and Gordon helped cut an 11-point deficit to one, and when Gordon made a runner with 6:32 left in the third, the Rockets led 78-77. Thus began a back-and-forth third period that featured one tie and seven lead changes.

Later in the quarter, Houston built its largest lead of the game at 94-89 with a 7-0 spurt down the stretch.

Charged with filling the void at point guard with Brogdon and T.J. McConnell (wrist) unavailable, LeVert got off to a roaring start with seven assists in the first quarter. The Pacers recorded 12 assists on their 13 field goals and shot 65% overall while converting 5 of 8 of their 3-point attempts as they led 36-28 going to the second quarter.

But Green, who drilled a pair of 3-pointers in the opening frame to keep the Rockets afloat, had two more to anchor an 8-2 run that enabled Houston to slice what was a 49-39 deficit following a LeVert steal and transition layup to four points.

That rally included a four-point possession when Turner fouled Wood while Green made a 3-pointer, but Turner followed with a 10-foot jumper.

When the Rockets pulled to within three on a pair of free throws by Wood, LeVert nailed two 3-pointers that enabled Indiana to rebuild a working margin, 63-58 at the half.

Rookie Chris Duarte scored 18 points for Indiana, while Jeremy Lamb added 16 off the bench.

--Field Level Media


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