The Indiana Pacers now have lost their fourth consecutive game after being defeated 130-114 by the Philadelphia 76ers.
In the beginning stages of this game, the Pacers managed to get out in front. After a Myles Turner finish at the 7:54 mark of the opening period, Indiana held a 16-9 advantage.
Philadelphia immediately answered back with 10 consecutive points and took a 19-16 lead with 6:12 left to play in the first quarter. Neither team managed to gain separation and the Sixers led 33-32 at the end of the frame.
Things quickly unravelled for the Pacers in the second quarter. The Sixers put up a game-high 39 points on a staggering 15-of-23 (65.2%) from the field and 6-of-11 (54.5%) from deep. Indiana trailed 72-55 at halftime as a result.
It was more of the same from the Pacers after the half. The Sixers outscored Indiana by a double-figure margin for a consecutive period and built their lead to being as large as 31 points at one point. Philadelphia put an end to this game through three quarters.
The Pacers ended up not even giving Malcolm Brogdon or Myles Turner any minutes during the fourth quarter. This frame proved to be an opportunity for Edmond Sumner to show off some of his talent as he scored 10 points during this stretch.
One of the themes of this matchup was the incredible scoring execution the Sixers received from their bench unit. In fact, Shake Milton (26) led all scorers in this game while Furkan Korkmaz chipped in 19 points of his own.
It certainly didn't hurt Philadelphia's chances that they went 15-of-35 (42.9%) from beyond the arc compared to the Pacers' mark of 8-of-29 (27.6%). Milton and Korkmaz combined for more makes with nine than Indiana had as a team.
With Joel Embiid leading the way, the Sixers produced highly impressive efficiency on two-point field goals, too. Philadelphia finished going 35-of-53 (66.0%) on these particular attempts as the Pacers routinely failed to contain dribble penetration.
The weaknesses of this Pacers team seemingly are becoming increasingly glaring as the losses are stacking up. Indiana has a difficult schedule after the NBA All-Star break and appears to be headed for the NBA Draft Lottery if they do not turn things around in a hurry.
There just isn't enough scoring punch from the perimeter from this Pacers squad. TJ Warren played a pivotal role in that regard all throughout last season. Not having him on the court has left a significant void.
Meanwhile, Caris LeVert will provide a considerable spark once he returns and has his conditioning down. Indiana will also become deeper with Doug McDermott likely returning to the lineup. In the meantime, they must find ways to win before it's too late.
Following this loss, the Pacers now hold just a 15-18 record. Indiana continues to find themselves on the outside looking in when it comes to the Eastern Conference playoff picture.
The Pacers' next chance to end their losing streak will come against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Wednesday.