(SportsNetwork.com) - The NBA-leading Indiana Pacers needed overtime to jump
back into the swing of things and hope it gets easier Saturday against the
Denver Nuggets in the continuation of their five-game road trip.
The Pacers dropped a 124-100 decision at Phoenix on Wednesday and rebounded
two nights later with a 116-111 overtime victory in Sacramento. Paul George
scored 12 of Indiana's final 17 points, including a four-point play that
forced overtime. He ended with 36 points on 12-of-22 shooting.
All five starters scored in double digits for the Pacers, as Lance Stephenson
posted 24 points and 10 rebounds, David West added 22 points, and both Roy
Hibbert and George Hill netted 10 points. Hibbert also grabbed 11 rebounds for
Indiana, which leads the NBA with a 34-8 record and is tied with Oklahoma City
(34-10) for the most wins in the league.
The Kings scored 60 points in the first half and received a combined 80 points
from their backcourt duo of Marcus Thornton (42) and Isaiah Thomas (38). But
Sacramento was without DeMarcus Cousins and Rudy Gay due to injuries.
"I'm proud of our guys for weathering their storm," Pacers head coach Frank
Vogel said. "Finding a way to win."
For just the sixth time this season, the Pacers allowed more than 100 points.
They also improved to 24-1 versus teams below .500.
Indiana has won 14 of its last 17 games and is 2-1 on its five-game western
road trip, which concludes Tuesday against the Los Angeles Lakers. The Pacers
have a 13-7 mark outside of Indy this season.
Meanwhile, the Nuggets have dropped three in a row and four of their last five
On Thursday, LaMarcus Aldridge dropped in a career-high 44 points, including
eight clutch free throws in the final 1:07 to send the Portland Trail Blazers
over the Nuggets, 110-105.
"Some of the fouls that we committed, just sending (Aldridge) to the line
without him really having to work for it, I thought is what hurt us,
especially in the fourth quarter," Denver head coach Brian Shaw said.
Wilson Chandler led six Nuggets in double figures with 18 points. Ty Lawson
contributed 13 points and 11 assists but was held scoreless in the second half
as Denver wasted away a big lead. Lawson has recorded 10 double-doubles in his
last 11 games.
Randy Foye (14), Nate Robinson (13), Anthony Randolph (12) and J.J. Hickson
(12) also scored in double figures.
Denver, done in by 22 turnovers, blew a 15-point lead.
The Nuggets visit Sacramento on Sunday, then play four straight at home.
The Nuggets, who are 11-9 in the Mile High City, have won four in a row
against the Pacers and four straight meetings in Denver. Things could be
different this time around because the Pacers are first in opponents' scoring,
allowing just 89.7 ppg. Denver is allowing 103.0 ppg.
The Sports Network