Against the Los Angeles Lakers, everything that could have gone right for the Indiana Pacers did, resulting in a thrilling buzzer-beater that will undoubtedly live long in the memory. The fact that it’s something that fans haven’t seen in almost eight years makes it even better for Coach Rick Carlisle and company.
On Monday, the Pacers defeated the Lakers, 116-115, thanks to a buzzer-beating three from rookie Andrew Nembhard. With the Lakers leading by as many as 17 points in the fourth quarter, it drove the entire NBA world into a frenzy.
In addition to blowing the lead, the Lakers also made a vital defensive mistake that ultimately cost them the game.
But the Pacers have reason to celebrate since Nembhard’s buzzer-beater is also their first game-winning shot at the buzzer since Solomon Hill did it against the Charlotte Hornets in 2014. Fans can better understand how much time has passed since then by noting that Luis Scola and Roy Hibbert were still employed by the team at the time.
The Pacers’ season record now stands at 12-8, placing them fourth in the Eastern Conference, just below dynasties like the Boston Celtics, Milwaukee Bucks, and Cleveland Cavaliers. After a recent five-game winning streak, they have won seven of their past ten games, and it seems increasingly likely that they will continue their run.