Pacers 95, 76ers 85

Associated Press  |  Last updated December 14, 2012
Paul George scored 28 points, Roy Hibbert played his best all-around game of the season and George Hill had a triple-double to lead the Indiana Pacers past the short-handed Philadelphia 76ers 95-85 on Friday night. George scored 14 points during a third-quarter flurry that changed the game. Hibbert had 19 points and a season-high 14 rebounds. Hill had 15 points, 10 assists and 10 rebounds. Philadelphia played without guard Jrue Holiday, who sat out with a sprained left foot. Evan Turner scored 20 points and Spencer Hawes had 18 off the bench to lead the 76ers. It wasn't enough. After giving up six points to Philadelphia in the final 3.8 seconds of the first half, the Pacers used a 16-4 third-quarter run to take a 60-52 lead and never trailed again. Hill originally was credited with nine rebounds, but an official scoring change after the game gave him the triple-double. George shot 5 of 7 on 3-pointers. He had six rebounds, three blocks and delivered key baskets from inside and outside all night. Hibbert, the All-Star center who has struggled offensively most of this season, re-emerged with a splendid performance. He was 9 of 16 from the field, finishing one point short of his season high, and matched his season best with three assists. David West helped Indiana change the game with a fast third-quarter scoring outburst. He finished with 14 points and six rebounds. The Pacers did have one notable advantage - they didn't have to deal with Holiday. The official report listed him as out with a right foot injury, but Holiday sat on the bench with a walking boot on his left foot. Philadelphia coped with the loss of its top scorer and best ball-handler by moving Turner to the point and Nick Young into the starting lineup. But the 76ers lacked the offensive punch to beat the NBA's second-best scoring defense. The bigger problem, though, was inside where the Pacers outscored Philadelphia 40-26, thanks in large part to Hibbert and West. Hibbert got things started for Indiana with a 10-point, five-rebound first quarter that included scoring the final five points to give the Pacers a 25-20 lead. Philadelphia fought back in the second quarter, taking advantage of two errant inbounds passes from West in the final 3.8 seconds of the half to score six straight points and take a 44-42 halftime lead. The Pacers changed the momentum quickly in the second half as Hibbert reasserted himself in the post, and West and George took advantage of the openings. After Turner opened the quarter with a 19-footer to make it 46-42, West and Hibbert accounted for the first six points in an 8-0 run that gave Indiana a 50-46 lead. George then scored all of Indiana's points in an 8-2 run that made it 58-50, and the Pacers were still leading 71-66 after three. Philadelphia got as close as 86-83 with 2:59 to go, but George answered with his last 3 of the night to ignite a 9-2 Indiana run that sealed the game.
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