INDIANAPOLIS — Point guard Goran Dragic had 28 points and seven assists to lead the high-flying Phoenix Suns to a 102-94 win over the Indiana Pacers on Thursday night.
Phoenix (28-18) swept a four-game road trip against the Eastern Conference and beat the league-leading Pacers for the second time in eight days.
Indiana (35-10) fell behind by 19 points in the first half, missed 14 of 15 3-point shots and committed 15 turnovers as its 10-game home winning streak was snapped in surprising fashion.
Guard Lance Stephenson led the Pacers with 14 points, 10 assists and 10 rebounds, giving him an NBA-best four triple-doubles. Center Roy Hibbert had 26 points and six rebounds as all five Indiana strters scored in double figures.
Former Indiana guard Gerald Green had 16 points for the Suns, who received boosts off the bench from forwards and twin brothers Marcus (16 points) and Markieff Morris (15). Phoenix shot 42.9 percent from the field and made 8 of 17 3-pointers.
The Pacers engineered a push in the third quarter, making 10 of 19 shots in the quarter and slicing their deficit to 77-74 entering the fourth quarter. Forward Paul George cross-matched onto Dragic after halftime and it made a big difference. Dragic scored just four points in the third quarter.
But Phoenix found other sources of offense to hold on, closing the game on an 11-4 run after two free throws from point guard George Hill made it 91-90 with 4:20 remaining.
Guard Leandro Barbosa buried a 3-pointer from the right wing at the buzzer to give Phoenix a 36-19 lead after the first quarter.
The Suns took a 19-point lead on five separate possessions in the second quarter, the last when Marcus Morris’ jumper made it 64-45 with 1:20 left. Phoenix settled for a 66-49 halftime edge as Indiana allowed its most points of any half all season.
NOTES: The NBA announced during the game that Pacers C Roy Hibbert was selected an Eastern Conference All-Star reserve. Fans voted in Pacers F Paul George as a starter, giving Indiana two All-Stars for the sixth time. “This is more about the team and what we’ve accomplished,” Hibbert said in a statement distributed by the team. The Suns did not have a player selected to the Feb. 16 exhibition in New Orleans. … Phoenix owns the three highest-scoring halves of the season against the Pacers’ defense: 62, 62 and 66 points. … The Suns were playing their fourth game in five nights, and Indiana returned home on Wednesday from a five-game West Coast road trip. … Phoenix returns home to play the Charlotte Bobcats on Saturday. The Pacers play host to the Brooklyn Nets on Saturday.
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