Domantas Sabonis’ first career triple-double helps Pacers get rare road win over Nuggets

There were only two NBA games Sunday, but there was no shortage of drama. After the San Antonio Spurs escaped with a close win over the Miami Heat in the afternoon, the Indiana Pacers completed a double-digit comeback to stun the Denver Nuggets, 115-107, in the nightcap. 

The win was the first for the Pacers in Denver in over a decade. The last time they went on the road to beat the Nuggets was Nov. 27, 2007, when Mike Dunleavy poured in 30 points to take down Carmelo Anthony and Co. This time around, the Pacers were led by their tireless big man, Domantas Sabonis

Playing a whopping 40 minutes, Sabonis finished with 22 points, 15 rebounds and 10 assists on 10-of-16 shooting from the field to record his first career triple-double. But making his night even more impressive was that he dominated the fourth quarter, as the Pacers outscored the Nuggets 41-26 to secure the win. 

Between pounding the offensive glass for vital second-chance points, and finding his open teammates — including Doug McDermott, who dropped 18 points (!) in the fourth quarter — Sabonis finished with eight points, six rebounds and four assists in the fourth alone. Notably, his big man counterpart, Nikola Jokic, had just two points and one rebound in the fourth. While “The Joker” might be the MVP-level player, there was no question who was the better man down the stretch in this game. 

Sabonis is now averaging 18 points, 13 rebounds and 4.4 assists per game as he continues his ascension. In the latest returns from fan voting for the All-Star Game, Sabonis was ninth among Eastern Conference frontcourt players, though one of those ahead of him is Tacko Fall. 

While Sabonis isn’t going to make it as a starter, and choosing the reserves is always a difficult task, performances like this are making it more and more clear he deserves a spot. He may not be in a big market, or have the profile of some of the other big names in the East, but Sabonis is playing at an All-Star level this season. 

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