George scored 12 of his team-high 20 points in the third quarter,
more than double any other player, and led the Indiana Pacers to a
118-98 victory over the Lakers at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. His
offensive spark had a sellout crowd of 18,165 on its feet as the
Pacers won an NBA-best 27th at home.
The highlight point: George put the Pacers up by 10 points, 71-61,
when he stripped the ball from Lakers guard Kendall Marshall and
then drove the length of the floor for a three-point play on a
reverse layup. That basket was one of three straight for George and
energized a 12-3 Pacers run.
But as much as the offense brought the cheers, it was a suffocating
defense and dominating inside game that did the job for the Pacers
(43-13). They are now 27-3 at home.
The 62 rebounds were just one short of the season-high total of 63
by Indiana in its previous game this season against the Lakers.
"Everybody has to come in and crash the boards," said Lakers forward
Wesley Johnson, who scored 15 points and had five rebounds. "We have
The Pacers held the Lakers to six baskets and two offensive rebounds
in the difference-making third quarter.
"We do a great job of getting stops," George said. "Once we go
through that point during the game where we're getting stop after
stop, I think that kind of energizes us. We're hungry for another
one after that."
"We came out the second half and played a lot better," Indiana's
C.J. Watson said. "We turned up the defense a little and got some
stops and got some easy buckets."
It deflated the Lakers (19-38).
The Lakers were outscored 34-16 in the third quarter and
out-rebounded, 13-9. They lost to the Pacers in Indianapolis for the
first time since 2008.
"We didn't move the ball," Lakers coach Mike D'Antoni said. "When
they turned the heat on, we just put our head down. We fell into
Forward David West had a game-high 12 rebounds and 11 points for
Indiana. Guard George Hill added 14 points and guard Lance
Stephenson had 13. All five Pacers starters and two bench players
reached double figures in scoring.
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Guard Kent Bazemore scored a career-best 23 points for the Lakers in
just his second start. He also had four rebounds and three steals.
Forward Wesley Johnson scored 15.
"No individual milestone is more important than the team," Bazemore
said. "I just want to come in and give my all. But scoring that many
points doesn't mean anything."
George, who this year became just the third All-Star Game starter in
Pacers history, turned the third quarter into his own highlight
video. In addition to scoring 12 points, he had three rebounds, two
steals and a blocked shot. George's offensive punch turned a
three-point Pacers halftime edge into a 21-point margin.
George added a slam dunk, his fourth basket of the quarter, when he
took a long pass from center Ian Mahinmi and slammed the ball home
with one hand.
The Pacers outscored the Lakers 34-16 in the third quarter and
forced seven Lakers turnovers. Hill and guard C.J. Watson of Indiana
each had five points in the quarter.
"It was kind of similar to a lot of the games we've played this
year. Feeling the game out in the first half and taking over in the
second half," Pacers coach Frank Vogel said.
NOTES: Pacers F Lavoy Allen and G/F Evan Turner, who were obtained
Thursday in a trade with the Philadelphia 76ers, were activated for
Tuesday's game. Turner received an ovation when he made his Pacers
debut in the first quarter. "Hopefully, this will be a little bit of
a spark for our team and help springboard us forward," Pacers coach
Frank Vogel said. ... The Pacers entered the game with an NBA-best
26 home wins, nearly triple that of the Lakers. ... Pacers G Lance
Stephenson's four triple-doubles are one short of a single-season
club record. ... Among the Lakers not making the trip included G/F
Nick Young, G Kobe Bryant and PG Steve Nash. Young scored 10 points
Sunday vs. Brooklyn, but is now out again because he isn't fully
recovered from a fractured knee. ... Tuesday's start was just the
second career NBA start for Lakers G Kent Bazemore.
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