NBA: Spurs beat Pacers in triumphant return home
Rookie Jeremy Sochan recorded his first career double-double with 22 points and 13 rebounds as the San Antonio Spurs beat the visiting Indiana Pacers 110-99 on Thursday.
Playing its first home game since Feb. 3, San Antonio won its second straight following a 16-game losing streak. Devin Vassell, Zach Collins and Devonte’ Graham each scored 18 points, and Keita Bates-Diop added 10.
Buddy Hield scored 27 points to lead Indiana, while Chris Duarte added 18 and Myles Turner had 14. The Pacers played without All-Star point guard Tyrese Haliburton, who is listed as day-to-day with right calf tightness.
Indiana, which leads the league in double-digit comeback wins, trailed by 18 midway through the fourth quarter before pulling within 10 on Hield’s trey with 5:34 remaining.
Graham made five 3-pointers for the Spurs, who did not allow the Pacers to get closer than nine points in the final minutes. San Antonio completed a two-game season sweep of Indiana while holding its second straight opponent under the century mark.
— San Antonio Spurs (@spurs) March 3, 2023
T.J. McConnell and Jordan Nwora scored 10 points apiece for Indiana, which owned a 29-21 advantage after the first quarter. Hield scored nine of the Pacers’ first 11 points and had 13 for the period.
Indiana stretched its lead to 11 midway through the second quarter before San Antonio cut the deficit to 54-52 at the break. Sochan and Collins scored a combined 19 points for the Spurs, who were 2 of 15 from 3-point range for the half.
San Antonio moved ahead 67-57 after opening the third quarter on a 15-3 run. Vassell, who had been out since Jan. 2 while recovering from left knee surgery, scored 10 points in the period to help put the Spurs ahead 83-70.
San Antonio was without leading scorer Keldon Johnson, who sat out due to a sprained left foot. Spurs guard Doug McDermott exited the game in the third quarter with a right thumb sprain.
San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich missed the game due to non-COVID illness. Mitch Johnson served as the team’s acting coach.