Think the Raptors’ defense is atrocious? Likely, and I sure do. Well, folks, it could be much, much worse: The Indiana Pacers just hung 54 points on the Denver Nuggets in one quarter (the third) at home tonight, shooting 20-for-21 in the process and only coming up short on a Josh McRoberts three with 1.9 seconds remaining. Indiana dished out 17 assists in the period, made eight threes and got 24 points from Duke legend Mike Dunleavy.
Indiana led 59-49 through 24 minutes, outscored the Nuggets 54-27 in the third and eventually won it 144-113. The Pacers shot 64.4% (56-of-87) for the game and got 31 total in just 24 minutes from Dunleavy, plus 29 on 12-of-14 shooting from Darren Collison and 20 off the bench from Tyler Hansbrough.
The NBA record for points in a quarter, by the way, is 58 by the Buffalo Braves in 1972. The Nuggets hold the record for most points given up in a half, with 107 (!) in the first half of a 173-143 loss to Phoenix in 1990. Denver also gave up a league-record for points in a game in 186-184 triple overtime loss to the Pistons in 1983.