Running thoughts: Pelicans 117, Pacers 112

Here are my running thoughts from the Pacers’ 117-112 loss to the New Orleans Pelicans Tuesday night at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.

  • Solomon Hill, the Pacers’ 2013 first-round pick, remains out after offseason hamstring surgery (ouch, I know!) He did not make the trip back to Indy.
  • Pacers observed a moment of silence before the game for the innocent victims of the recent tragedies in Las Vegas and Houston.
  • Some cheers during pre-game introductions for former University of Kentucky standouts Anthony Davis, DeMarcus Cousins and Darius Miller, as well as Purdue grad E’Twaun Moore.
  • Purdue coach Matt Painter sat in row 1 adjacent to the Pacers’ bench, on hand to see Moore, who played in West Lafayette from 2007-11. Clearly there were more IU fans in attendance – as he received mostly boos when shown on the video board between the first and second quarters.
  • Fun start to this one. Thad Young and Myles Turner each have a foul by the first media timeout. That’s something to watch as Domantas Sabonis was ruled out due to a right calf contusion.
  • Pacers shooting 62 percent and recorded just one turnover in the first eight minutes. Oladipo finished an impressive one-handed reverse jam on Anthony Davis.
  • T.J. Leaf missed Sunday’s loss in New York because of a sprained left ankle, but he checked in late in the first quarter. Joe Young got some early run as Oladipo (8 points) went to the bench with two fouls.
  • 90 seconds into the second frame and Lance Stephenson is having his best offensive game (9 points) since the season opener (16). Remember, he played six games for New Orleans last season before suffering a groin injury that required surgery.
  • Everyone getting involved. Stephenson is locked in, Thad Young is solid as always, and Myles Turner has a pep in his step. Just completed an and-1. 10 players have played – and all have scored.
  • Pacers shot 64% and scored 75 first-half points, their best half since opening night when they scored 75 in the second half. They led 75-61.
  • It took the Pelicans all of eight minutes to erase their 14-point halftime deficit. They took the lead, 89-88. Davis and Cousins have combined for 56 of their 96 points.
  • McMillan: “Offensively we stopped the ball movement. I don’t know if it’s our conditioning, where we are just not conditioned to play that style [late in games]. We got to continue to work at that. Our second half, we just came out flat.”
  • Interesting lineup to begin the fourth quarter: Cory Joseph, Joe Young, Lance Stephenson, T.J. Leaf, and Al Jefferson. They played four minutes together.
  • Thad Young went down after taking an elbow to his left eye from Cousins. It was under review and there wasn’t a good angle. So it was ruled as a double foul? Okay then… Pacers led 103-102 at this point. Cousins then scored – and the Pelicans led the rest of the way.
  • Myles Turner: “That was a tough play for Thad to get taken down like that and still get called for a foul. The momentum changed a little bit, but you got to play through it.”
  • Huge call with 5:37 left, Pacers down 104-103. Oladipo’s corner 3 was wiped way as Turner was whistled for an offensive foul on a screen. He stood his ground and it really was a flop by Antony Davis. Pelicans pushed their lead to five, leading to a timeout by coach McMillan.
  • Coach McMillan is beside himself after another questionable call goes against the Pacers. He avoided a technical foul – which they could not afford down by four with 2:20 left.
  • Huge 3 in the corner from Collison brought fans to their feet, and then Davis answered with a tough jumper at the other end.
  • Darren Collison: “It’s not just one player. It can be everybody. We have an offense where everybody has a chance to make a play. This is not an offense where one player is making a play. We were up by (14) points. We had that game.”
  • Pacers outscored 15-9 since the Young-Cousins double foul. Now a three-game losing streak of Indiana (5-6), and a three-game win streak for New Orleans (6-5).
  • During the losing streak, the Pacers have been outscored in the final quarter by a total of 10 points.
  • Collison: “We just got to figure it out, can’t really overreact to losses. It’s about ourselves now at this point. … We’re giving up games because we’re beating ourselves.”
  • It’s the Pelicans first win in Indy since Jan. 16, 2010.
  • Up next: They’re in Detroit Wednesday to complete their fourth back-to-back of the season (of 14). Three of their next four are on the road.
  • Surprising comment from Stephenson: “I actually like back-to-backs.”

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