Hibbert has big night as red-hot Pacers stay unbeaten


By MICHAEL MAROT

AP Sports Writer

INDIANAPOLIS — Indiana’s Roy Hibbert had the perfect knockout combination Friday night.

On offense, he made all but two shots. On defense, he protected the rim. At the free-throw line, he couldn’t miss and no matter what the Bucks tried to stop the former All-Star center, nothing worked.

Hibbert finished with season-highs of 24 points and eight blocks and added 10 rebounds to lead unbeaten Indiana past Milwaukee 104-77 — the Pacers’ most lopsided rout in a 9-0 start.

“We have expectations and we want to win,” Hibbert said. “We want to play deep, deep into the playoffs. You gain confidence with your teammates when we’re all on the same page and we all have one goal. Some guys on this team before were just trying to get a paycheck and go home and then chilling on the beach and sip mojitos or something like that. That’s not us. “

Hibbert was referring to the teams he played on when he first arrived in Indy.

There’s no doubt that philosophy has changed. On Friday, the Pacers followed the same blue-collar script they’ve used to win their first nine.

Milwaukee had a season-low point total, finished well below its season average of 93.7 points, and shot just 34.1 percent against the league’s No. 1 defense. It’s the fourth time Indiana has held an opponent to 80 or fewer points this season and it’s the second time this week.

Now, after becoming the first team in the league to start 9-0 since Dallas in 2002-03, Indiana has a chance to reach even more milestones.

HEAT 110, MAVS 104

MIAMI — LeBron James scored 39 points, Dwyane Wade had 17 points, eight assists and a career-best eight steals, and Miami held off Dallas.

James made 14 of 18 shots for the Heat (6-3), while Chris Bosh scored 14 points.

Dirk Nowitzki scored 28 points for Dallas (5-4).

BULLS 96, RAPTORS 80

TORONTO — Luol Deng had 19 points, Joakim Noah scored 18 and Chicago overcame the absence of Derrick Rose to beat Toronto for its first road win of the season.

Deng and Noah also had nine rebounds apiece as Chicago earned its third consecutive win. Kirk Hinrich started in place of Rose and scored 12 points, helping the Bulls improve to 1-3 on the road.

DeMar DeRozan matched his career high with 37 points and Rudy Gay had 20 points and nine rebounds as the Raptors lost for the fifth time in seven games. No other Toronto player reached double digits.

BLAZERS 109

CELTICS 96

BOSTON — LaMarcus Aldridge scored 27 points and added 12 rebounds to lead Portland to its first victory in Boston since 2004.

Mo Williams scored 18 with eight assists for Portland, which earned its fifth consecutive victory.

Jared Sullinger, who missed the last game with a bruised knee, had 26 points and eight rebounds off the bench for Boston, which has lost two in a row.

BOBCATS 86

CAVS 80

CLEVELAND — Michael Kidd-Gilchrist scored 16 points and Charlotte used a strong fourth quarter to defeat Cleveland and win for only the second time in 16 games at Quicken Loans Arena.

NUGGETS 117

T-WOVLES 113

DENVER — Wilson Chandler scored 19 points, including a big 3-pointer and three free throws late in the game, and Denver held off Minnesota for its third straight win.

Kenneth Faried added 16 points and 10 rebounds for Denver, and Ty Lawson had 14 points and 10 assists. Lawson then left with 32 seconds remaining when Corey Brewer inadvertently hit him in the eye with his hand as he was defending the guard on a drive into the lane.

Kevin Love led the Timberwolves with 28 points and Kevin Martin, who missed Wednesday’s game against Cleveland because of the illness, added 27 points.

HAWKS 113, 76ERS 103

ATLANTA — Jeff Teague had a career-high 33 points and 10 assists, Al Horford added 20 points and Atlanta beat Philadelphia for its third win in four games.

DeMarre Carroll finished with a career-high 21 points for Atlanta.

Evan Turner scored 27 points, Tony Wroten had 22 points, and Spencer Hawes finished with 14 points and 12 rebounds for the Sixers, who have lost three of four.

Hawks guard Lou Williams, returning to the court for the first time since undergoing reconstructive right knee surgery 10 months ago, finished with seven points, three rebounds and two assists in 15 minutes.

 

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