Pacers miss Roy Hibbert in loss to Clippers
by Mike Wells, USA TODAY Sports
INDIANAPOLIS — Somewhere in Indianapolis on Thursday night, Indiana Pacers center Roy Hibbert was probably walking around, pacing the floor, cussing up a storm as he helplessly watched his teammates struggle protecting the paint against the Los Angeles Clippers.
For all of Hibbert’s struggles on offense this season, he’s been an anchor in the paint defensively for them.
The Pacers could have used Hibbert’s defensive presence when the Clippers scored at will against them in the paint in their 99-91 victory at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
The loss was just the third in the past 12 games for the Pacers.
Clippers point guard Chris Paul had 29 points and eight assists. David West and Paul George scored 22 and 20 points, respectively, for Indiana
Hibbert was suspended for Thursday’s game after he got into an altercation during the fourth quarter of Tuesday’s game against the Golden State Warriors.
The Clippers took advantage of the Pacers not having a true final line of defense to score 50 points in the paint.
The Pacers didn’t help themselves by turning the ball over 20 times.
The Clippers got their biggest lead of the game, 17 points, midway through the fourth quarter, but the Pacers quickly got it down to nine with back-to-back 3-pointers from George and George Hill and a driving layup by Lance Stephenson.
George added another 3-pointer and two free throws to get the Pacers to within four points with a little less than three minutes left.
Paul hit a tough driving layup to push the Clippers’ lead back up to six with 1:57 left. West then drove and tried to dump the ball off to Hill, but the ball went out of bounds.