The NBA bubble is producing some red-hot offense.
None is hotter than T.J. Warren.
The Indiana Pacers forward caught fire again on Tuesday, scoring 32 points in a 120-109 win over the Orlando Magic. The effort was his third 30-point performance in three games — all of them Pacers wins.
With one of those games his 53-point explosion against the Philadelphia 76ers on Saturday, Warren now holds a Pacers scoring record. Warren has tallied 119 points in those three games, tying the team record for most points in that span.
Reggie Miller never did this
The player he’s tied with? It’s not Reggie Miller. Jermaine O’Neal set the same pace in a three-game span in 2005.
While it’s hard to find complaints about Warren’s effort on Tuesday, he threatened to do even more, scoring 17 points on 6-of-6 shooting in the first quarter. He cooled off — relatively — for 15 points the rest of the way, but still finished with an efficient 13-of-17 shooting line as Orlando never threatened Indiana’s 43-22 first-quarter lead.
Along with the 3-0 Phoenix Suns, the Pacers are among the hottest teams in the bubble while playing without injured All-Star Domantas Sabonis. Warren has more than filled Sabonis’ scoring void, having also dropped 34 points in a win over the Washington Wizards on Monday.
Things are about to get a whole lot tougher, though. After facing the Suns on Thursday, the Pacers finish seeding play with games against the Los Angeles Lakers, Houston Rockets and a pair of matchups with the Miami Heat.
Sabonis isn’t expected back any time soon with plantar fasciitis, meaning the fifth-place Pacers will continue to lean on Warren as they battle for playoff positioning.
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