Pacers rally from 16 points down, beat Cavs 96-81
- Article by: CLIFF BRUNT
- Associated Press
- December 12, 2012 - 8:57 PM
INDIANAPOLIS - Paul George scored 27 points, and the Indiana Pacers overcame a 16-point deficit to beat the Cleveland Cavaliers 96-81 on Wednesday night.
David West had 18 points and nine rebounds and George Hill added 17 points for the Pacers, who snapped a two-game skid.
Indiana, third in the NBA in scoring defense and No. 1 in opponent field-goal percentage coming in, held the Cavaliers to 23 points on 8-for-41 shooting in the second half. It was Cleveland's lowest-scoring half of the season.
The Cavaliers couldn't build on Tuesday's win over the Los Angeles Lakers. C.J. Miles scored 28 points for the second straight game, but Kyrie Irving was held to nine points on 4-for-12 shooting in his second game back after missing 11 straight with a broken finger.
George is averaging 24.4 points and 7.6 rebounds his past five games.
Perhaps the most excitement in the second half came when Cleveland's Tristan Thompson hit Indiana's Ben Hansbrough with an errant elbow early in the fourth quarter and big brother Tyler stepped in and angrily protected his younger brother. Thompson was issued a flagrant foul and Ben Hansbrough made one of two free throws to give the Pacers an 83-73 lead. The Pacers remained in control the rest of the way.
It was all Cleveland early. The Cavaliers took a 54-38 lead on a jumper by Samardo Samuels with 3:39 left in the first half. Indiana closed the half with a 14-4 run to close the gap to 58-52.
George hit a 3-pointer to cut the deficit to 58-57 in the first two minutes of the second half, then Hill made a reverse layup and was fouled. His free throw gave Indiana a 60-58 lead. The 3-point play gave the Pacers their first lead since it was 2-0.
A 3-pointer by Hill gave the Pacers a 73-66 lead and the Cavaliers called a timeout. A putback by West in the closing seconds of the third quarter gave Indiana an 80-70 lead heading to the fourth.
Indiana held Cleveland to 4-for-23 shooting in the third quarter and outscored the Cavaliers 28-12 in the period. Hill had 10 points in the third quarter and George had nine.
NOTEs: Miles scored 16 points in the first quarter to help the Cavaliers take a 29-25 lead. Miles shot 4 for 7 from the field in the first 12 minutes while his teammates were 4 for 14. ... Cleveland didn't have a turnover until 1:59 remained in the second quarter. ... Pacers G Lance Stephenson left the game in the third quarter after spraining his right ankle. He did not return. ... Tyler Zeller, brother of Indiana University star Cody Zeller, fouled out with eight points for the Cavs. ... Indiana C Roy Hibbert had three blocks to notch his 16th consecutive game with multiple swats.
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