Matthews fuels rally, Pacers beat Pelicans 126-111
INDIANAPOLIS — Wesley Matthews scored 15 of his 24 points during a third-quarter rally, Domantis Sabonis had 18 points and 12 rebounds, and the Indiana Pacers overcame a 20-point deficit to beat the New Orleans Pelicans 126-111 on Friday night.
Matthews came up big in his third game with the Pacers, finishing one point short of his season high while helping fuel a 22-8 run in the second half. Indiana trailed 71-58 at halftime and didn’t lead until Matthews’ three free throws with 6:23 remaining in the third quarter. The Pacers took the lead for good on Tyreke Evan’s 3-pointer with 3 seconds left in the third.
Sabonis got his 23rd double-double of the season, and Bojan Bogdanovic added 20 points for Indiana.
Matthews set up Indiana’s second-half surge when he drained a 3-pointer with 2.5 seconds remaining in the second quarter, cutting New Orleans’ lead to 13 after it reached 20 a few minutes earlier.
Six Pelicans scored in double figures, led by Cheick Diallo’s 16 points. Julius Randle, Elfrid Payton and Anthony Davis each had 15 points.
It was the first time Indiana won by at least 10 points after trailing by at least 20 since December 2015.
Pelicans interim general manager Danny Ferry said Thursday that Davis would see limited minutes the rest of the season while New Orleans focuses “on the future of the team.” Davis has made it clear he won’t re-sign with the franchise when his contract ends after next season, so the Pelicans plan to scale back his usage — though NBA rules state that Davis must play if he’s healthy, especially on the road and on national television.
Davis played 20 minutes, getting eight rebounds and four assists. It’s unclear if he’ll play against the Lakers on Saturday night.
Pelicans: New Orleans’ 71 first-half points were one point shy of its season high. … The Pelicans are 0-17 on the road when they trail at the end of the third quarter. … New Orleans blew a double-digit lead against Indiana in both meetings this season.
Pacers: Myles Turner was ruled out with a bruised left hip. … The Pacers are 36-7 when leading at the end of the third quarter. …. The Pacers had at least six players score in double figures for an NBA best 27th time this season.
Pelicans: Host the Lakers Saturday night.
Pacers: visit the Wizards Saturday night.