INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — Forward Paul George scored 20 points and guard George Hill added 14, leading the Indiana Pacers to a 118-98 victory Tuesday night over the Los Angeles Lakers at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
The victory was the first for the Pacers (43-13) over the Lakers at home since 2008 and it was their NBA-best 27th win at home this season. The Lakers had won their previous three games in Indy.
George, who this year became just the third All-Star Game starter in Pacers history, turned the third quarter into his own highlight video. He scored 12 points in the quarter, 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.
Guard Kent Bazemore scored a career-best 23 points for the Lakers (19-38) in just his second start, and also had four rebounds and three steals. Forward Wesley Johnson scored 15.
Forward David West added a game-high 12 rebounds and 11 points for Indiana.
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.
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.
The Pacers looked to make quick work of the Lakers, jumping out to a 12-point lead in the opening quarter.
Fueled by Bazemore and guard Jodie Meeks, the Lakers closed the gap to one point in the final minute of the first half. Bazemore had 13 points in the opening half. After a basket by Meeks cut Indiana’s lead to 55-54, a pair of free throws by George gave the Pacers a 57-54 halftime edge.
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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