Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 1/2/13
INDIANAPOLIS -- Indiana Pacers third-year swingman Paul George is continuing to do his best to make sure they don't suffer too much without Danny Granger. George continued his offensive surge by opening the new year by scoring 29 points in the Pacers' 89-81 victory over the Washington Wizards at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on Wednesday. Guard D.J. Augustin added 18 points and six assists for the Pacers. Jordan Crawford led the Wizards with 20 points. The Pacers have now won nine of their last 11 games, with the majority of those wins coming against teams with a losing record. The Wizards have dropped nine of their last 11 games. The schedule is about to change for the Pacers. Their next four games are against teams that have a chance to make the playoffs in the Eastern Conference. The Pacers opened the game quickly and led by 13 after the first quarter. The Pacers extended their lead to 17 at one point. Game over? Not even close. The Wizards are a struggling team, but they still compete. That's what they did in the second quarter when the Pacers went to their bench. The Pacers opened the second quarter with a 13-point lead, but it was quickly trimmed to nine points, then seven points, five points and eventually three points before Pacers coach Frank Vogel started putting his starters back in the game. The Pacers never gave up the lead. In fact they quickly pushed it back up to 10 points less than a minute after Washington trimmed it to three. But just like they did in the first half, the Wizards didn't back down. The only difference this time is they came back against Indiana's starters. Rookie Bradley Beal's fasbreak layup made it 51-49 in favor of the Pacers. But George wasn't about to let the Pacers down. He scored his team's final four points to give them a nine-point heading into the final quarter. NOTES: Pacers point guard George Hill missed his second straight game with a right thigh contusion. Hill warmed up before the game, but his thigh was still tight, giving him problems exploding off of it. The Pacers didn't have to rush him back because they were playing the struggling Wizards. They play back-to-back games against Boston and Milwaukee on Friday and Saturday. D.J. Augustin got his second straight start at point guard. ... Former Butler guard Shelvin Mack said he was surprised when the Wizards called him after they made him their final cut of training camp. "It was a little weird," he said. ... The Dec. 26 game between the Pacers and Chicago Bulls has been rescheduled for Feb. 4 at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. The game was postponed because of poor weather conditions in Indianapolis. The rescheduled game means the Pacers will be playing back-to-back-to-back games in February.
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