Pacers nab Bobcats


By JO-ANN BARNAS

Associated Press

INDIANAPOLIS — Lance Stephenson had 20 points and 11 rebounds to help the Indiana Pacers improve their franchise-record home start to 11-0 with a 99-94 victory over the Charlotte Bobcats on Friday night.

Center Roy Hibbert added 18 points and 11 rebounds as Indiana overcame an off night from Paul George, who had 10 points on 2-of-12 shooting in the Pacers’ first game since defeating the two-time defending champion Miami Heat on Wednesday night in a rematch of last season’s Eastern Conference Finals. George entered the contest averaging 24.7 points a game.

Al Jefferson had 21 points and nine rebounds for the Bobcats, who extended their losing streak in Indiana to eight games. Charlotte was trying to win on the Pacers’ home court for the first time since Nov. 28, 2008.

Stephenson added seven assists and David West scored 14 points, George Hill had 13 and Luis Scola 11 for Indiana (20-3). Rasual Butler, playing his most significant minutes (23:47) of the season, scored eight points on 3-of-5 shooting.

The Pacers led 56-55 at halftime, but trailed by 90-89 after Gerald Henderson sank a 15-foot jump shot with 5:17 left in the fourth quarter. Stephenson’s layup made it 91-90 with 4:18 to play and Indiana never trailed again.

ORLANDO, Fla. — Kyrie Irving scored 31 points, Dion Waiters added 21, and the Cleveland Cavaliers used a big second half to earn just their second road victory of the season, 109-100 over the Orlando Magic.

Waiters had 20 points in the second half and Cleveland outmuscled the Magic 36-30 in the paint.

Cleveland has won three straight and five out of six. It was the Cavaliers’ first road win since Nov. 16.

Orlando tried different combinations to try and contain Irving, but nothing worked as it blew a 14-point, first-half lead. The Magic have lost seven of their last eight.

Victor Oladipo tied a career high with 26 points. Arron Afflalo and Jameer Nelson each added 17, but Orlando shot just 43 percent from the field.

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. — Andre Drummond had 22 points and 13 rebounds, and the Detroit Pistons held off a determined Brooklyn rally, beating the Nets 103-99 on Friday night.

Detroit led by 21 early in the third quarter, but the Nets cut the deficit to two before Detroit’s Kyle Singler made two free throws with 10 seconds left. The Pistons snapped a three-game losing streak and ended Brooklyn’s three-game winning streak.

Drummond, who was shooting 38 percent from the foul line coming into the game — and was much worse than that earlier this season — went 6 of 8 on free throws. Those shots ended up being crucial.

Deron Williams led Brooklyn with 22 points. The Nets were without center Brook Lopez, who sat out with a sprained left ankle.

Greg Monroe added 22 points for the Pistons, and Rodney Stuckey had 17.

Detroit outscored the Nets 38-20 in the second quarter and led 61-44 at halftime. Brooklyn’s Mirza Teletovic, who did not attempt a shot in the first half, scored 17 points in the second, making his first five shots from 3-point range.

Drummond had 18 points and seven rebounds at the half, and Stuckey had 16 points. In the third quarter, Drummond missed a dunk along the baseline but was able to tip the ball in almost immediately to give Detroit a 74-55 lead.

Brooklyn’s Kevin Garnett surpassed 14,000 rebounds in the second half. He joined Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Karl Malone as the only players to reach 25,000 points, 14,000 rebounds and 5,000 assists.

 

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