Running thoughts: Pacers 116, Suns 101

Here are my running thoughts from the Pacers’ 116-101 win over the Phoenix Suns Wednesday night at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.

  • Despite practicing for the first time in two weeks on Tuesday, the Pacers held Myles Turner out of the lineup. He is close to returning, working out on a basketball floor three times over the last 24 hours.
  • Pacers starting point guard Darren Collison was not with the team due to personal reasons. It was just his second missed game of the season. In his absence, Joe Young made his first career start as coach Nate McMillan wanted to keep in the second unit intact with Cory Joseph and Lance Stephenson in the backcourt.
  • Ben Moore, who signed a two-way contract with the Pacers with the rest of the season on Jan. 13, suited up in his first NBA game. The rookie out of SMU averaged 11.4 points and 6.8 rebounds over 27 G League games with the Mad Ants.
  • Lance Stephenson was clearly happy to be back playing in front of the home crowd. He was engaged early and sent off several impressive passes that resulted in Pacers baskets.
  • Early in the second quarter, T.J. Leaf limped to the locker room. Leaf has dealt with a right ankle sprain, listed as questionable for tonight’s game anyways. He did not return to the bench.
  • Up 14 points after 1 and 19 at the break, the Pacers blew this game open in the third quarter.
  • With the Pacers up 38, Turner’s Block — Myles’ fan section — is keeping busy by going down the bench chanting each Pacers player’s name until they are acknowledged. First Turner, then GRIII and now Poythress, etc.
  • Appreciate the shoutout, y’all.
  • The Pacers had 99 points through three quarters. They average 106.2 points per game, 11th in the NBA.
  • Ben Moore (No. 26) made his NBA debut, checking in with 6:23 left.
  • Lance Stephenson received a technical foul with 3:29 left.
  • Al Jefferson fouled out for the first time in two seasons. He had 10 points, two rebounds, and two assists in 21 minutes.
  • Thad Young led all scorers with 22 points. Oladipo had 21 points and nine assists.
  • With two wins in a row, the Pacers have the longest active win streak in the Eastern Conference. It’s been that kind of January for teams. Home for five of their next seven games, they have gone 7-3 over their last 10 games.
  • Up next: The Pacers (26-22) face the Cavaliers in Cleveland on Friday. The Cavs are in a downward spiral and have lost six of their last seven games.

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