Turner, LeVert lead short-handed Pacers over Rockets 118-106

Dec 23, 2021, 4:41 AM | Updated: 7:50 pm
Indiana Pacers' Myles Turner (33) dunks against Houston Rockets' Christian Wood (35) during the sec...

Indiana Pacers' Myles Turner (33) dunks against Houston Rockets' Christian Wood (35) during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Thursday, Dec. 23, 2021, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

(AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Myles Turner had 32 points and 10 rebounds, Caris LeVert had 24 points and 11 assists, and the Indiana Pacers beat the Houston Rockets 118-106 Thursday night.

Turner made 14 of 18 shots as the Pacers hit 52.8% from the field. Chris Duarte scored 18 points and Jeremy Lamb had 16 for Indiana, which played without starters Malcolm Brogdon (sore right Achilles tendon) and Domantas Sabonis (sore right calf).

“Myles was sensational,” Pacers coach Rick Carlisle said. “His offensive decision making was on point. He hit a 3, he hit a couple of mid-range shots, he attacked the rim and made some nice touch passes. He only had two turnovers. He had a calm poise to us that helped us get through the third quarter.”

Christian Wood scored 22 points for Houston, and Jalen Green added 20 in his return after missing nearly a month with a strained hamstring. Jae’Sean Tate had 18 points, and Eric Gordon scored 15.

The Rockets led 94-91 after three quarters, but the Pacers opened the fourth with a 10-2 run and maintained control the rest of the way.

Carlisle said the turning point was assistant coach Lloyd Pierce’s decision to go to the zone in the fourth quarter.

“Their shotmaking was exceptional in the third quarter,” Carlisle said. “(Houston) is a rhythm team. We went to a zone to disrupt their rhythm. The guys did a great job of executing. Zones are harder to play than man-to-man, but we did a terrific job. They scored a few baskets but it wasn’t like the barrage they hit us with in the second half.”

Wood said it did throw the Rockets off their game.

“Our offense got stagnant,” he said. “We didn’t attack the zone the way we should.”

Indiana won the rebounding battle 47-28.

“That’s an effort stat,” Carlisle said of the rebounding. “These guys responded extremely well without two of our top players. It was a game we needed very badly.”

Carlisle said he was especially pleased with the way his team responded following a 125-96 loss at Miami on Tuesday night.

Wood said overall defense was a bigger problem for the Rockets rather than just the Pacers’ edge in rebounding.

ON POINT

LeVert took over point guard duties in Brogdon’s absence.

“Caris has proven he’s a hell of a point guard,” Carlisle said. “Caris is a stone-cold attacker. He knows how to win. If you put the ball in his hands the way we did tonight, he makes really good plays.”

TIP-INS

Rockets: Houston has lost seven of nine. … Coach Stephen Silas said Green would be on a minutes restriction, but he played 25 minutes. Green, the second overall pick in the 2021 draft, was out since Nov. 24.

Pacers: Brogdon played eight minutes Tuesday at Miami and couldn’t suit up Thursday. … Carlisle said Sabonis was kicked in the leg against Detroit on Dec. 16. He played at Miami, but he aggravated the injury. “We’re hoping this thing without Malcolm and Domas is not a long-term thing, and we can get back being more intact sooner rather than later,” Carlisle said.

UP NEXT

Rockets: At Charlotte on Monday.

Pacers: At Chicago on Sunday.

___

More AP NBA: https://apnews.com/hub/NBA and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Associated Press

Cross country coaches on leave after sex assault allegations

HUNTINGTON, Ind. (AP) — A northeastern Indiana university placed its women’s cross country head coach and an assistant on leave Thursday after two former runners claimed in a federal lawsuit they were doped and sexually assaulted. Huntington University, a private, Christian liberal arts university, said it placed head coach Lauren Johnson and assistant coach Curtis […]
17 hours ago
Boulogne-Levallois Metropolitans 92's Victor Wembanyama signs autographs after the team's exhibitio...
Associated Press

Wembanyama’s 2-game Las Vegas exhibition stay ends with win

HENDERSON, Nev. (AP) — Victor Wembanyama blocked a shot Thursday afternoon, ran to the other end of the court, went airborne from just inside the foul line, corralled an alley-oop pass with one hand and slammed home a dunk. The entire sequence lasted eight seconds. It may have been the signature moment — and there […]
17 hours ago
Seattle Mariners starting pitcher Luis Castillo tips his cap as he walks off the field after pitchi...
Associated Press

Manoah, Blue Jays vs Castillo, Mariners in playoff opener

TORONTO (AP) — There’s a whole lot riding on Alek Manoah’s first career playoff start, but the Toronto Blue Jays All-Star right-hander isn’t the least bit fazed about facing the Seattle Mariners in Friday’s wild-card opener. “My high school coach used to say pressure is something you put in your tires,” Manoah joked Thursday. “This […]
17 hours ago
Brazil's national soccer coach Adenor Leonardo Bachi, also known as Tite, poses for a portrait afte...
Associated Press

AP interview: Brazil coach Tite will stick to attack at WCup

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Brazil coach Tite has so many attacking options for the World Cup that he can hardly fit half of them into his team. He promises to use as many of his forwards as he can in Qatar, though, no matter the opponent. “There will be opportunities for all (Brazil’s forwards),” […]
17 hours ago
New York Yankees' Aaron Judge follows through on a solo home run, his 62nd of the season, as Texas ...
Associated Press

Boosted by Judge, Yankees’ YES Network viewers increase 27%

NEW YORK (AP) — Boosted by Aaron Judge’s pursuit of Roger Maris’ American League home run record, Yankees games on the team’s YES Network averaged 368,000 viewers in the New York market this year, up 27% from 2021 and the most in 11 seasons. The network said Thursday the figure was for 126 telecasts. YES’s […]
17 hours ago
FILE - In this Aug. 11, 1936, file photo, America's Jesse Owens, center, salutes during the present...
Associated Press

Jesse Owens friend Luz Long’s silver medal up for auction

One of the most consequential Olympic medals ever awarded is on the auction block — the silver medal captured in 1936 by Germany’s Luz Long, the long jumper who walked arm in arm through the stadium with Jesse Owens to celebrate their triumphs while Adolf Hitler watched from the stands. Long’s family has decided to […]
17 hours ago
Turner, LeVert lead short-handed Pacers over Rockets 118-106