Indiana sends Houston to 4th straight loss, 132-124

Houston Rockets' John Wall drives to the basket next to Indiana Pacers' Jeremy Lamb during the third quarter of an NBA basketball game Wednesday, April 14, 2021, in Houston. (Carmen Mandato/Pool Photo via AP)
Houston Rockets' John Wall drives to the basket next to Indiana Pacers' Jeremy Lamb during the third quarter of an NBA basketball game Wednesday, April 14, 2021, in Houston. (Carmen Mandato/Pool Photo via AP) (2021 Getty Images)

(AP) – Caris LeVert scored 27 points, Domantas Sabonis added 22 and Malcolm Brogdon fell just short of a triple-double as the Indiana Pacers beat the Houston Rockets 132-124 on Wednesday night.

LeVert was involved in the blockbuster January trade that sent James Harden from Houston to Brooklyn and Victor Oladipo from Indiana to Houston. While Oladipo struggled during his brief tenure in Houston, LeVert has starred with the Pacers, scoring at least 20 points in five of his last seven games.

Sabonis was dominant in the paint, making 10 of 18 shots from the field while also grabbing 11 rebounds and adding seven assists.

Brogdon fell one assist shy of his second career triple-double and his first since his rookie season in 2016-2017. He had 23 points, nine assists and 14 rebounds, one shy of his career high.

“It’s just chemistry,” Brogdon said of the team’s latest improvements. “It’s guys learning how to play with each other and learning our strengths and weaknesses. When you add a huge playmaker and scorer and a great player like Caris LeVert, it’s going to take some time to get used to his style of play and for him to get used to how we play.”

Indiana has won five of its last seven games and is 5-3 in April following a 6-8 record in March.

“I just thought that we were playing very well and together,” Pacers coach Nate Bjorkgren said. “I thought we had that initial force right out of the gate. And there were some guys that really stepped up off the bench, too.”

Houston has lost four straight and nine of 10.