Back in action for the first time since March 10, the Indiana Pacers took a 61-55 lead over the Philadelphia 76ers on Saturday night in Orlando.
The 76ers used their size advantage to jump out to an early lead on Saturday, pounding the ball into the paint while building a 10-2 lead. To make matters worse for the Pacers, starting center Myles Turner had to head to the bench after picking up his second foul just 3:37 into the contest.
Thankfully for the Blue & Gold, T.J. Warren took over shortly thereafter. Warren buried a 3-pointer on his first attempt of the night at the 8:11 mark. Joel Embiid converted a putback layup on the other end, but Warren answered with a jumper. Then after a baskets by Aaron Holiday and Victor Oladipo, Warren caught fire.
He scored on each of the Pacers' next four possessions, converting a three-point play at 6:03, a jumper at 5:33, a layup at 5:11, and another jumper at 4:41. Oladipo added a jumper of his own at 4:17 to cap a 17-0 Indiana run and give the Pacers a 24-14 lead.
Warren later added a layup and a 3-pointer to cap off a 19-point first quarter as the Pacers took a 35-29 lead into the opening quarter break.
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Philadelphia surged back in front, however, early in the second quarter. Alec Burks hit two 3-pointers and Ben Simmons scored twice in the post as part of a 15-5 Sixers run to open the frame.
The Pacers managed to tie the game at 47 and moved ahead when Oladipo buried a long three with the shot clock winding down with 4:05 remaining in the first half. Then Warren caught fire once again, drilling a 3-pointer at 3:34, a long two at 3:13, and yet another triple at 2:55 to give Indiana a 58-49 lead. The Blue & Gold took a six-point advantage into the break.
Warren racked up 29 points in the first half, going 12-for-16 from the field and 4-for-5 from 3-point range. Oladipo added eight points, while Aaron Holiday chipped in seven points and six assists.
Embiid led Philadelphia with 15 points, nine rebounds, and two blocks in the first half. Tobias Harris added 13 points.
The Pacers were without starting point guard Malcolm Brogdon, who was inactive due to a neck strain.
TV: FOX Sports Indiana - Chris Denari (play-by-play), Quinn Buckner (analyst), Jeremiah Johnson (studio host)
Radio: 93.5/107.5 FM/1070 AM The Fan - Mark Boyle (play-by-play), Eddie Gill (analyst), Pat Boylan (studio host)