By MICHAEL MAROT
AP Sports Writer
INDIANAPOLIS — Paul George had 24 points and nine rebounds and Lance Stephenson added 16 points, leading the Indiana Pacers to a 114-81 rout of the Houston Rockets on Friday night.
The Pacers ended their only two-game losing streak of the season and maintained their grip on the Eastern Conference’s best record (21-5) with their most lopsided win of the season.
Dwight Howard finished with 19 points, 12 rebounds and five blocks for the Rockets. James Harden, the NBA’s No. 6 scorer, was held in check most of the night by George, finishing with 12 points on 3-of-14 shooting.
Former Indiana All-Star Danny Granger received a standing ovation when he made his season debut late in the first quarter and fans chanted his name when he made his first basket, a 3-pointer, early in the fourth.
The Pacers, who lost their first home game Monday night, never gave the Rockets a chance.
After Indiana took a 12-11 lead, it never trailed again. The Pacers extended their lead to double digits in the second quarter, to 26 in the third and 36 in the fourth.
The featured attraction — Howard vs. Roy Hibbert — was almost as one-sided on the stat sheet as the game was on the scoreboard. Hibbert finished with nine points and six rebounds.
But on a night that the Pacers made a season high 12 3-pointers, got a morale boost from Granger’s return and Howard’s teammates struggled to keep up with Indiana’s suddenly strong shooting, Hibbert and his teammates happily ceded the individual battle to Howard.
They were more concerned with trying to put distance between themselves and Miami in the battle for home-court advantage.
And they did it by holding one of the league’s best offensive teams to 38.1 percent shooting from the field and a season-low point total.
76ERS 121, NETS 120, OT
PHILADELPHIA — Evan Turner hit the winning basket at the buzzer and scored 29 points to lead the Philadelphia 76ers to a 121-120, overtime win over the Brooklyn Nets on Friday night.
Paul Pierce hit a 3-pointer with 16.9 seconds left in OT to give the Nets the short-lived lead.
Turner, sensational all game, drove past a pair of defenders and tossed up the last-gasp shot. The ball bounced three times around the rim before it dropped through the net. After a brief review, the bucket stood, Turner was mobbed by his teammates and the Sixers snapped a seven-game losing streak.
Thaddeus Young scored 25 points for the Sixers, and Michael Carter-Williams had 15 points and 10 assists.
Alan Anderson had a season-high 26 points for the Nets, Pierce scored 24 with 10 rebounds, and Deron Williams had 17 points and 14 assists.
BOBCATS 116, PISTONS 106
AUBURN HILLS, Mich. — Kemba Walker scored 34 points and Al Jefferson led a fourth-quarter rally that carried Charlotte past Detroit after trailing by as many as 20.
Charlotte was down 14 after three quarters before dominating the fourth. Jefferson scored 13 points during a decisive 16-3 run.
Brandon Jennings had 26 points for Detroit, which rallied from a 21-point deficit to beat Boston on Wednesday but blew a big lead two nights later.
HEAT 122, KINGS 103
MIAMI — Chris Bosh scored 25 points, Dwyane Wade added 20 and Miami put up a season high for points in rolling past Sacramento.
LeBron James had 18 points, eight assists and six rebounds while sitting out the fourth quarter for Miami, which has won four straight overall and 18 of its last 19 against the Kings.
Ray Allen added 18 and Mario Chalmers scored 16 for the Heat, who shot 61 percent.
DeMarcus Cousins led Sacramento with 27 points and eight rebounds in 32 minutes. Ben McLemore scored 20 and Rudy Gay added 14 for Sacramento, which has now dropped the first three games of its four-game trip.
CAVS 114, BUCKS 111, OT
CLEVELAND — Kyrie Irving made four free throws in the final 21.5 seconds of overtime and finished with 39 points while battling a flu bug, leading Cleveland over short-handed Milwaukee.
Irving played despite being ill the past two days and missing practice Thursday. The All-Star guard played 43 minutes and carried the Cavs to their fifth win in six home games.
Earl Clark made a 3-pointer as the shot clock expired with 44 seconds left, and Jarrett Jack added 17 points for the Cavs.
With Milwaukee down by three, O.J. Mayo missed two 3-pointers in the last 10 seconds.
Mayo had 20 points, John Henson 18 and Brandon Knight added 17 and a career-high 14 rebounds as the Bucks lost their fifth straight.
HAWKS 118, JAZZ 85
ATLANTA — Lou Williams scored 25 points and Atlanta continued its offensive upswing in cruising past Utah to win its third straight and for fourth time in five games.
The Hawks never trailed and pushed their lead to double digits for good in the opening period.
Atlanta set a scoring high with its 124-107 win over Sacramento on Wednesday night and has topped 110 points in three straight games.
Al Horford has been a key in the flurry of high-scoring games, averaging 23.8 points in his last four games. He had 23 points in only three quarters. Horford was rested as the Hawks took an 85-58 lead into the final period.
Enes Kanter had 13 points and 13 rebounds for Utah. Alec Burks also had 13 points.