With Davis and LeBron James listed as probable, it was a relief when both started the game. Unfortunately, early in the first quarter, James rolled his ankle and had to sit out for the rest of the first quarter.
LeBron went down with a twisted ankle. Is now back on the bench. pic.twitter.com/eE0ZsPzhZq— Sportskeeda Basketball (@Basketball_SK) November 29, 2022
Luckily for the Lakers, LeBron returned in the second quarter and seemed to be all right. Throughout the rest of the first, the Lakers kept on competing with the Pacers. Wenyen Gabriel and Thomas Bryant were dominating the glass, Austin Reaves was getting to the line and scoring off the bench, and the Lakers led 32-29 after one.
The rest of the first half was a back-and-forth affair. In the end, the Lakers took a lead into halftime, ahead 62-56 after Dennis Schroder hit a buzzer-beating 3-pointer.
Davis led all scorers with 18, and Los Angeles won the battle of the boards 31-24. Despite the earlier injury, James was magnificent. He had 14 points in his 17 minutes of first-half play, including an emphatic alley-oop lob dunk from AD.
The dreaded “Lakers third” didn’t appear tonight. L.A. won the battle of the third 31-28, largely due to a demonstrative run midway through the quarter. The Lakers were up 74-71 and finished the final five minutes of the quarter, going on a 20-13 run. A poor Russ three-point attempt and an even worse job getting back gave the Pacers life at the end of the quarter, but even so, the Lakers were in the driver’s seats to start the fourth.
In the fourth, Reaves came out with a 3-pointer to put himself in double figures and give the Lakers their fourth player in double digits on the night. Russell Westbrook followed that up with a basket, a free throw conversion and a beautiful assist to Wenyen to give the Lakers an 8-0 run to start the fourth.
Not to be outdone, Indianapolis went on a 10-0 run of their own to cut the lead down to seven. The Lakers appeared to settle down thanks to Reaves converting on a basket, drawing a foul, and James creating a one-man fastbreak to give the Lakers a double-digit lead once again. However, the Pacers made another significant run to get within one basket with under two minutes to go and turn this game from a comfortable lead into a nailbiter.
Unfortunately for the purple and gold, Andrew Nembhard followed that up with a game-winning three at the buzzer to flip the result and give the Pacers the victory.
It’s no secret the Lakers have been in rumors regarding Pacer players Myles Turner and Buddy Hield all summer long and rumors are still flourishing. Seeing them play up close in Los Angeles does what to public perception? Myles had an okay game, scoring 15 points, but was looked inferior when matched up with Anthony Davis, and Hield shot 1-6 (16%) from three, which is well below his average.
Do these lackluster performances cool trade talks from fans, or does the loss only make fans demand a trade even louder? It will be interesting to see what happens and if a trade ever does go down, but for now, the Lakers' focus turns to Wednesday’s game against the Trail Blazers. It’s their last game of November, and their last home game before they start their dreaded East Coast road trip in December.