Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 12/12/12
INDIANAPOLIS -- It took nearly a full half before the Indiana Pacers realized they were playing one of the worst teams in the NBA. When they did wake, the Pacers were off and running. The Pacers used an 18-0 run that stretched from the end of the second quarter into the third quarter to beat the Cleveland Cavaliers 96-81 at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on Wednesday night. Paul George led the Pacers (11-11) with 27 points. Guard C.J. Miles followed up his strong game against the Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday by scoring 28 points. The Pacers started sluggish and acted like the team that played the night before and had to travel to its next destination during the majority of the first half. Miles took advantage of the Pacers' lackadaisical defense. Entering the game averaging 8.4 points, he scored 16 of his team's first 18 points. Miles scored 16 points on 4-of-7 shooting to help the Cavaliers have a 29-25 lead at the end of the first quarter. The rest of the Cavaliers stepped up their game in the second quarter. They eventually got their lead up to 16 points before the Pacers woke up. The Pacers closed the first half on a 9-0 run to trim a 15-point deficit down to six points, 58-52. Miles had 23 points in the first half. George led the Pacers with 16 points. The Pacers weren't done making their run. They scored the first nine points of the third quarter to make it an 18-0 run and to take a 61-58 lead. The Pacers played most of the second half without starting shooting guard Lance Stephenson, who went down with a sprained right ankle early in the third quarter on a drive and kick to George for a 3-pointer. The game got testy in the third quarter when Cavaliers forward Tristan Thompson was given a flagrant foul penalty-one for delivering an elbow to the side of Ben Hansbrough's head. Hansbrough went to the ground and his older brother, Pacers forward Tyler Hansbrough, quickly came to his defense and confronted Thompson. NOTES: Cavs forward Omri Casspi missed the game with a stomach bug. ... Cavaliers rookie center and Indiana native Tyler Zeller only had to come up with three tickets for family members for his first NBA game in his home state. Zeller, who is averaging almost 23 minutes a game, is from Washington, Ind. ... Pacers coach Frank Vogel said despite their poor start, he believes point guard Kyrie Irving and center Anderson Varjeo deserve to be All Stars with the way they're playing for the Cavaliers this season. ... Ben Hansbrough, played his first game as George Hill's backup at point guard. D.J. Augustin, who used to be Hill's backup, has been demoted to third string because of his poor play this season. ... The Pacers host the Philadelphia 76ers on Friday.
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