NEW ORLEANS — Entering Monday night, NBA teams holding a lead of six points or more with less than 25 seconds remaining in regulation were 8,104-2 over the past 10 seasons, according to ESPN Stats & Information research. The Indiana Pacers made sure the New Orleans Pelicans took loss No. 3 in that scenario with a shocking 118-116 win at the Smoothie King Center.
With the Pelicans holding a 106-100 lead, Indiana’s Victor Oladipo hit a 3-pointer with 20.5 seconds to play, then the Pacers forced a steal and got another 3-pointer, this one by Myles Turner with 6.9 to go to send the game into overtime. In the extra period, Malcolm Brogdon provided the game-winning floater with 1.7 seconds left.
It was a remarkable comeback for a team that battled foul trouble throughout the night. Brogdon’s shot meant the Pacers wouldn’t have to play a second overtime without Turner and Domantas Sabonis, both of whom had fouled out.
“All I was thinking about was getting to my spot,” Brogdon said of his winning shot. “Everything else at that point was irrelevant. I was thinking I can make this shot and the game would be over. We wouldn’t have to worry about who fouled out or who is going to continue to play. Let me just make this shot.”
The Pacers appeared to be on their way to their third loss of the young season in the fourth quarter. New Orleans seemingly took control with a 19-2 run that gave the Pelicans a 104-94 lead with 3:46 to play. Sabonis was hit with his sixth foul on the play that capped the run, a Brandon Ingram and-1, as all the momentum was riding with the home team.
But Indiana kept chipping away, setting up the frantic finish to regulation.
Myles Turner knocks down a clutch 3-pointer to tie the game for the Pacers, and Brandon Ingram comes up with a big block for New Orleans on the next possession to force overtime.
Oladipo’s pull-up 3-pointer with 20.5 seconds to go cut the lead to a single possession. New Orleans guard Lonzo Ball then inbounded the ball to JJ Redick while Ingram, Steven Adams and Zion Williamson all ran into the frontcourt.
Doug McDermott and Oladipo went to trap Redick instead of fouling right away, and while Redick managed to get away, he wound up on the floor. He was able to get the ball to Ball, who took a dribble toward the Pacers’ defending duo and allowed himself to be trapped.
That’s when Oladipo saw his chance. He went for the ball and was able to take it away from Ball, as no other Pelicans were coming to help.
Turner ran to the 3-point line, caught the pass and drilled the shot to tie the score at 106.
“At the end of the day, you gotta be smart,” Oladipo said. “I just felt like, first and foremost, we didn’t want to foul right away. We wanted to try and get a travel. I felt like I could try and get a steal, and I went for it and I got it.
“The game is never over. You just have to give 110 percent all the way until the very end. It was a great play, a huge shot by Myles. We had some huge plays down the stretch. Just something we can continue to build on.”
Turner, who battled foul trouble throughout the game, including picking up two fouls in the first 80 seconds, said he was ready when the ball hit his hands.
“I’m very confident in everything I do,” Turner said. “Obviously, it was a big shot. I had struggled most of the game with foul trouble. But I’m always ready for moments like that. I just let the game come to me.”
New Orleans coach Stan Van Gundy took the blame for not calling a timeout when Redick or Ball had possession, which could have helped give the Pelicans the victory.
“I screwed that up,” Van Gundy said. “All we had to do was get a timeout when we were struggling with the press. All we had to do was advance the ball up the floor and we win the game. That one was on me.”
Both teams had their chances in overtime — there were three ties and three lead changes in the extra period — but it was Brogdon who put the game away with his left-to-right floater over Eric Bledsoe to ice the game for Indiana.
“Coach trusted me with the ball, wanted me to get to my spot and make the last shot,” Brogdon said. “I got to my spot and it dropped.”