Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 12/7/12
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INDIANAPOLIS -- The Denver Nuggets were struggling, looking to get a jump-start somehow against an Indiana Pacers team that had all the momentum in its favor. No need to worry, veteran Andre Miller was there to bail them out. Miller scored six points during an 8-0 Nuggets run late in the fourth quarter to help them beat the Pacers 92-89 at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on Friday. "Right now I think he knows how to get shots down the stretch better than some of our other guys, some of our younger guys," Nuggets coach George Karl said. "He was running the pick-and-roll and the actions all game, probably better than anybody out there. He just has that old man knack." Pacers guard George Hill missed a 3-pointer at the buzzer that would have sent the game into overtime. Corey Brewer and JaVale McGee scored 20 points each off the bench for Nuggets. Indiana's Paul George led all scorers with 22 points. Denver's bench outscored the Pacers second unit, 55-12. "Their bench was better than their starters," Pacers coach Frank Vogel said about the Denver's second unit. "Great night by (Corey) Brewer, McGee and Andre Miller." The Pacers (10-10), who trailed by as many as seven in the second half, went ahead when Hill blocked Ty Lawson's layup, grabbed the ball out the air, pushed it up court and found Lance Stephenson in the corner. Stephenson made the extra pass to George on the left wing for a 3-pointer to give the Pacers an 85-82 lead with 3:30 left in the game. The lead didn't last long, as Miller made two free throws, made a layup in transition and hit a pull-up jumper in the lane to give the Nuggets an 88-85 lead. "He's drinking from the fountain of youth," Lawson said. "He was coming down and getting buckets, getting assists. He's playing well for us. He's winning games for us." The Pacers, meanwhile, went cold from the field. Hill missed a 3-pointer, David West committed a turnover and George also missed a 3. "They came out and really brought it up a level and it kind of took us some time to adjust to that," George said. "The tempo they brought really made it tough for us." Denver (10-10) capped off its run when McGee got a breakaway dunk to put the Nuggets up 90-85 with 1:38 left. The Pacers got to within four, 92-88, on a George 3-pointer in the corner with a minute remaining, and Stephenson got them to within three by making one of two free throws with 29 seconds left. The Pacers had a final chance after Hill blocked Lawson's 3-pointer in the corner. Hill passed to West, who got it back to Hill. Hill then tried to draw Lawson's body into his, but the officials didn't call a foul on Hill's 3-point attempt that missed. "I was seeing that he jumped up in the air and I thought once you jumped up in the air it's a foul even on any slight contact, but unfortunately they didn't see that," Hill said. "You have to live and learn from it. (The officials) can't make every call like we can't make every shot." The Pacers jumped out to a quick 12-2 lead by not allowing the Nuggets to get out in transition. The Pacers maintained a double-digit lead for most of the first quarter. But things changed once Pacers coach Frank Vogel went to his bench and the Nuggets went to their bench. Denver, led by Miller, outscored the Pacers 18-6 at the start of the second quarter to go from trailing by six points to leading by six points. The Pacers have been the stingiest team on the defensive end of the court all season because of their ability to protect the paint. That wasn't the case during the first half. Denver scored its first 22 points in the paint and had 36 in the first half. McGee came off the bench and feasted inside. He scored 16 points on 7 of 7 shooting in just 15 minutes in the first half. West was the only Pacer to score in double figures in the first half, scoring 16 points on 7-for-7 shooting. NOTES: Nuggets coach George Karl said Roy Hibbert's ability to defend without fouling has helped the Pacers become one of the top defenses in the league. Hibbert is second in the league in blocks at 3.0. The Pacers lead the league in field goal percentage defense. ... Vogel thought about moving Sam Young into the starting lineup in place of Stephenson for matchup purposes, but decided against it because they went into Friday's game 7-3 in their last 10 contests. ... Nuggets center Kosta Koufos was back in the starting lineup after missing Wednesday's game at Atlanta with the flu. ... After playing 12 of their first 18 games on the road, the Pacers are in the midst of playing seven of their next 12 games at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
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