INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Myles Turner provided the Indiana Pacers with a more physical presence over the past month.
They’re hoping he keeps it up — with a revamped look.
Turner scored 20 points, grabbed eight rebounds and blocked four shots in less than 24 minutes on Monday, helping to lead the Indiana Pacers past Atlanta 116-108 before breaking his nose midway through the third quarter.
“Luckily it wasn’t anything major,” All-Star guard Victor Oladipo said after scoring 22 points. “He’ll be back. He’ll be fine. He’ll be all right with the mask but he’s going to have to get used to it.”
Turner departed with 4:44 left in the third quarter and did not return.
While his status for Friday’s game, at Chicago, remains uncertain there’s little doubt Turner had been playing the best basketball of his four-year career. His scoring had increased and his rebounding became more consistent.
He helped the Pacers weather Oladipo’s 11-game absence and has played a key role in a seven-game winning streak that ended in mid-December and the five-game streak Indiana is currently on.
Oladipo may have delivered his most complete game since returning from a knee injury December 12, and the Pacers have a solid supporting cast.
Oladipo was nine of 19 from the field, had four rebounds and seven assists and four steals. Domantas Sabonis, Turner’s replacement, wound up with 20 points and eight rebounds as Indiana became the third NBA team to record 25 wins this season.
“We’re confident, we just have to keep the confidence rolling,” Turner said, downplaying the injury. “Just keep being ourselves, don’t try to do too much and keep our defensive efforts high.”