|Date of game: 10/29/2014
Recap: Indiana vs. Philadelphia
Indianapolis, IN (SportsNetwork.com) - Roy Hibbert had 22 points, eight rebounds and seven blocks in the Indiana Pacers' 103-91 season-opening win over the Philadelphia 76ers on Wednesday.
"He played a physical brand of basketball and he really worked for position before he got the ball," Pacers coach Frank Vogel said of Hibbert's performance. "Most of the fouls that he picked up were before he even got the ball, just posting with physicality and trying to live in the paint."
The Pacers were the Eastern Conference's best team last season and lost for the second straight year to the Miami Heat in the Conference Finals, but things took an ugly turn this summer.
Lance Stephenson bolted Indiana in free agency and landed with the Charlotte Hornets. To make things worse, All-Star Paul George broke his leg at a scrimmage for Team USA before this summer's FIBA World Cup. George is expected to miss the season.
Donald Sloan had 16 points, 10 rebounds and six assists for the Pacers, who went 56-26 last season. Rodney Stuckey added 16 points and five assists in his Pacers debut.
C.J. Miles and Chris Copeland donated 15 and 11 points, respectively. The Pacers also played without starters David West (sprained ankle) and George Hill (knee contusion) and backup point guard C.J. Watson (foot).
Tony Wroten ended with 22 points, eight boards, seven assists and three steals for the Sixers, who went 19-63 last season. Alexey Shved tallied 18 points.
"We're not worried about what's on paper. They put the ball out there for a reason, to play 48 minutes," Wroten said. "Every game, we come out to play hard and try to win."
Nerlens Noel had six points, 10 rebounds and three blocks in his NBA debut. Noel was acquired on draft night in 2013 and sat all of last season to heal from a torn ACL.
Michael Carter-Williams, the reigning Rookie of the Year, is on the shelf after offseason shoulder surgery. Joel Embiid, taken third overall in June, has a foot injury and will most likely miss the season, and Dario Saric, who the team traded for on draft night, has a two-year contract overseas.
After Indiana started the fourth quarter on a 13-5 run to build a 91-78 lead, the Sixers responded with an 11-1 surge. Wroten capped Philadelphia's spurt with a slam to make it 92-89 with 4:18 to play.
But the Pacers scored the next 11 points to put the game away.
Trailing 24-14, the Pacers scored the final 12 points of the first quarter. Stuckey tallied five points during the surge which Miles capped with a three- point play.
Stuckey helped Indiana build a 38-30 lead early in the second, but Hollis Thompson scored five points during Philadelphia's ensuing 10-0 spurt. The Sixers took a 51-48 edge into the locker room.
Ahead 68-66 late in the third stanza, the Pacers went on a 10-1 run. Sloan and Miles made 3-pointers during the flurry to help the home team take a 78-67 margin with 1:12 to go.
Shved responded with a pair of 3-pointers to get the Sixers within 78-73 heading to the fourth.Game Notes
Brandon Davies and Chris Johnson each had 12 points for the Sixers ... Luis
Scola ended with 10 points and six rebounds for the Pacers, who turned the
ball over 18 times ... Philadelphia visits Milwaukee on Friday, while the
Pacers host the Grizzlies on Friday.