George powers Pacers to win over Clippers
(The Sports Xchange) - Forward Paul George scored 31 points and grabbed 10 rebounds, and the Indiana Pacers won their sixth in a row with a 103-91 victory over the short-handed Los Angeles Clippers on Wednesday at Staples Center.
Reserve guard Rodney Stuckey added 18 points, center Ian Mahinmi chipped in 14 points and seven rebounds and forward Jordan Hill contributed 13 points and eight rebounds for the Pacers (12-5), who have captured 12 of 14 after an 0-3 start.
Forward Blake Griffin and reserve guard Lance Stephenson, the former Pacer, scored 19 points apiece for the Clippers (10-9), who had a three-game winning streak snapped. Guard Jamal Crawford finished with 16 points.
The Clippers played without point guard Chris Paul, who missed the contest with an inflamed rib cartilage and could be out for an extended time, coach Doc Rivers said before the game. Seventeen seconds into the contest, guard J.J. Redick came down on the foot of Pacers guard George Hill while taking a jumper and suffered a sprained ankle. Redick left the contest and did not return.
Back-to-back 3-pointers by George sparked a 14-1 spurt to open the fourth quarter and staked the Pacers to an 86-70 cushion with 8:28 left in the contest. Los Angeles, though, rallied and sliced the margin to five on a Griffin layup with 2:59 remaining but got no closer.
Los Angeles rallied from an 11-point first-quarter deficit to lead 50-47 at the break. The Clippers bench played a big factor, scoring 29 of the team's points. Stephenson was particularly effective, converting five of seven shots from the floor and two of three from behind the 3-point stripe for 12 points.
In the third, the Pacers went on an 11-2 run after a bucket inside by Hill for a 68-59 advantage with 2:56 left. However, the Clippers rallied with a 9-1 surge to knot the score at 69 after two free throws by guard Pablo Prigioni with 22.8 seconds remaining in the quarter. Miles' 3-pointer at the end of the quarter gave Indiana a three-point lead.
(Editing by Peter Rutherford)
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