NBA round-up: Pacers ‘figure out’ Nets in third quarter during 105-91 win

Celtics get past Cavaliers, Wizards snap three-game skid and Raptors beat short-handed Knicks team.

Paul George scored a game-high 24 points to lift the Indiana Pacers to a win Saturday night. Maddie Meyer / Getty Images
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INDIANAPOLIS – Even though they shot well in the first half, the Indiana Pacers knew that wasn’t what would win them the game.

Turning up their defense in the third quarter was what it took to pull away from the Brooklyn Nets.

Paul George scored 24 points and Lance Stephenson added 23 to lead the Pacers to a 105-91 victory over on Saturday night.

George Hill finished with 21 points for the Pacers, who put five players in double figures and pulled away with a third-quarter burst.

“This team has a unique way of figuring a team out as the game goes on,” coach Frank Vogel said. “We only forced four turnovers in the first half, so we did feel they were a little too comfortable on the defensive end.”

Roy Hibbert scored 11 and David West 10 for Indiana, which leads the Eastern Conference at 23-6. Stephenson also had nine rebounds and seven assists.

“We felt like we’ve got to be aggressive, and come out with more energy,” George said. “We were allowing guys to beat us on 1-on-1 plays. If we are going to get beat, it’s going to have to be by contested shots and the ball being swung.”

Paul Pierce scored 18 points, Mirza Teletovic 17, Deron Williams 14 and Alan Anderson 10 for the Nets, who fell to 10-20.

“They took control of the third quarter with our turnovers, and those turnovers converting into layups,” Nets coach Jason Kidd said. “George was knocking down jump shots, 3s. He had a four-point play.

“But those guys, we didn’t make them uncomfortable on the perimeter.”

Indiana, leading by three points at the start of the third quarter, went on an 11-3 run as the Nets turned the ball over on four straight possessions.

That pushed the Pacers’ lead to 72-61 with 8:07 to go in the period, and they maintained their edge throughout.

“We had to let the game come to us in the third quarter and play aggressive defense,” Stephenson said.

George hit a 16-foot, pull-up jumper to give the Pacers their biggest lead, 105-89, with 2:15 to play.

The Pacers shot 53.5 percent in beating the Nets for the third time this season. They outscored the Nets 14-2 in the paint in the decisive third quarter and 20-6 in the second half.

Vogel credited Hill with much of his team’s success, saying, “I thought George Hill was our best player tonight. He played exceptional defense on Deron Williams, and every time we needed a big basket or timely play, he made it.”

The Nets continue their difficult three-game road trip with games in San Antonio and Oklahoma City.

The first half was close throughout, with eight lead changes and five ties. Indiana shot 54 percent before halftime and the Nets made 50 percent.

CELTICS 103, CAVALIERS 100 Jeff Green and Jordan Crawford each scored 19 points to help Boston hold off Cleveland.

Brandon Bass added 15 points and a game-saving block in the closing seconds for the Celtics, who led by 19 entering the final quarter and held a 10-point edge with 4 minutes to play.

Before the game, the Cavaliers suspended center Andrew Bynum indefinitely for conduct detrimental to the team and banned him from all team-related activities. Kyrie Irving scored 32 points for the Cavaliers, who lost their fourth straight.

RAPTORS 115, KNICKS 100 Kyle Lowry had a season-best 32 points and 11 assists, Terrence Ross made a career-high seven 3-pointers and Toronto beat short-handed New York for the second straight night.

Lowry came within two rebounds of a triple-double and Ross had 23 points as Toronto won for the fourth time in five games.

Amare Stoudemire scored 20 of his 23 points in the second half for the Knicks, who lost for the fifth time in seven games. Leading scorer Carmelo Anthony sat out his third straight with a sore left ankle.

WIZARDS 106 PISTONS 82 John Wall had 20 points and 11 assists, Marcin Gortat added 16 points and Washington routed Detroit.

Trevor Ariza and Bradley Beal each had 15 points for Washington, which snapped a three-game home losing streak. The Wizards have won four of five overall.

Greg Monroe scored 14 for the Pistons, who have dropped four of five.

HAWKS 118, BOBCATS 116, OT Paul Millsap had a season-high 33 points, Lou Williams scored 10 of his season-best 28 in overtime and Atlanta rallied to beat Charlotte.

Al Jefferson had 24 points and a season-high 23 rebounds, and Gerald Henderson added 22 points for the Bobcats. Jeff Teague finished with 20 points and nine assists for the Hawks.

MAVERICKS 105, BULLS 83 Monta Ellis had 22 points and Dallas took control early in coasting to a victory over Chicago.

Dirk Nowitzki and Vince Carter added 18 points apiece for the Mavericks, who led by as many as 32 while bouncing back from a home loss to San Antonio on Thursday.

The Mavericks took command with a 15-2 run to end the first quarter. Carter, who entered just before the surge started, had seven points during the spurt.

GRIZZLIES 120, NUGGETS 99 Zach Randolph scored 20 points and Memphis got 62 points from its bench against Denver.

Six Grizzlies finished in double figures and Memphis shot 52 percent while sending the Nuggets to their sixth straight loss. Ed Davis led the reserves with 17 points, and Jerryd Bayless had 15. Mike Conley and James Johnson scored 14 apiece, and Mike Miller added 11.

Ty Lawson led Denver with 20 points and eight assists.

ROCKETS 107, PELICANS 98 Dwight Howard had 24 points and 17 rebounds, and James Harden scored 11 of his 21 points in the fourth quarter in Houston's comeback win over New Orleans.

Chandler Parsons added 19 points and seven rebounds, and Terrence Jones had 17 points and eight rebounds to help the Rockets win their third straight game and snap New Orleans’ winning streak at two.

Ryan Anderson had 22 points and 12 rebounds for New Orleans. Anthony Davis added 18 points and 16 rebounds.

TIMBERWOLVES 117, BUCKS 95 Kevin Love had 33 points and 15 rebounds for his sixth straight double-double, and Minnesota climbed back to .500 by routing Milwaukee.

Khris Middleton scored 23 points for Milwaukee on 10-of-20 shooting.

SUNS 115, 76ERS 101 Miles Plumlee scored a career-high 22 points to go with 13 rebounds, and Phoenix bounced back from its worst loss of the season to beat Philadelphia.

Goran Dragic added 21 points and Eric Bledsoe 20 for the Suns, who have won nine of 11. Evan Turner, Philadelphia’s leading scorer at 19.3 points per game, sat out to rest his sore right knee.

HEAT 108, TRAIL BLAZERS 107 With LeBron James injured, Chris Bosh took over for the Miami Heat. Bosh had a season-high 37 points, including the go-ahead 3-pointer with 0.5 seconds left, and the Heat beat the Portland Trail Blazers 108-107 on Saturday night.

Bosh added 10 rebounds to hand Portland just its third loss at home this season. Wesley Matthews scored 23 points for the Trail Blazers, who had won seven of eight.

CLIPPERS 98, JAZZ 90 Blake Griffin scored a season-high 40 points, overcoming early foul trouble and a career-worst eight turnovers to lead Los Angeles past Utah.

Griffin made his first 12 free throws and finished 14 for 17 from the foul line. Enes Kanter had 17 points off the bench for the Jazz, including a 16-footer with 4:20 remaining – their last field goal of the game.