Pacers’ winning streak ends in blowout loss to Nuggets
LONDON — Coach Nate McMillan put his head down and pointed to a specific spot near the sideline. McMillan wanted a timeout. Jeff Teague, once the referees awarded the stoppage of play, used both hands to pound the ball down onto the court in frustration. Inside the huddle, the Indiana Pacers looked up at the scoreboard as much as they did McMillan.
The scoreboard inside the O2 Arena on Thursday showed the Pacers trailing the Denver Nuggets by 30 points. This was not how the Pacers, in their first regular-season game overseas, envisioned their trip to London ending.
The entire fourth quarter still remained, yet the Pacers knew they had wasted perhaps all their goodwill with fans from the United Kingdom with an utterly embarrassing performance. With their defense reduced to rubbish, the Pacers, in front of sellout crowd of 18,689 fans, fell, rather swiftly, to the Nuggets in a 140-112 blowout loss.
Thursday’s result also snapped two different streaks, the Pacers’ five game-winning streak and the Nuggets five-game losing skid.
• BOX SCORE: Nuggets 140, Pacers 112
Beyond being outworked by the Nuggets, the Pacers compounded their own problems by not demonstrating the excellent ball movement they used to win their previous five games. Many of the Pacers’ passes in the first half were either lethargic, sloppy or ill-advised.
Indiana’s mental mistakes and 16 turnovers led to Denver scoring 29 fast-break points.
The international stage crated by the NBA’s annual global game, which was broadcast in 215 countries, was set for Paul George to showcase his many skills. Instead, George struggled early to find his rhythm and never…