Pacers team effort shoots them past Rockets
Indianapolis, IN (SportsNetwork.com) - Paul George led six Indiana scorers in double figures with 24 points and grabbed a team-high nine rebounds, as the Pacers pounded the Houston Rockets, 114-81, Friday at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
Lance Stephenson supplied 16 points, six boards and six assists, Luis Scola scored 13 points and David West and George Hill each netted 12 for the Pacers, who were coming off back-to-back losses for the first time all season.
Former All-Star Danny Granger made his season debut for the Pacers after missing the first 25 games with a strained left calf and all but five games of last season thanks to a knee injury. He finished with five points in just over 22 minutes.
Dwight Howard led the Rockets with 19 points, 12 rebounds and five blocks, while James Harden managed just 12 points on 3-of-14 shooting from the field in the setback, Houston's third in its last five games.
Indiana led 25-20 after the opening quarter before a Stephenson 3-pointer capped a 12-4 Pacers' surge that extended the margin to 41-29 with just over eight minutes left in the half.
The Rockets responded with 10 straight points to pull within two, but Hill fueled a 12-2 Indiana answer that quickly pushed the Pacers' cushion to 53-41 with 50.6 seconds left in the half.
With the difference at 13 just over 3 1/2 minutes into the third quarter, George scored eight points during a 17-4 spurt that he capped with a two- handed reverse slam in transition that made it 81-55 Indiana with 4:38 to play in the frame.
The Pacers carried an 87-65 advantage into the fourth and never allowed the visitors to cut into the margin over the final 12 minutes.
The Pacers have taken four straight against Houston ... Indiana outscored Houston 18-8 in fastbreak points ... The Pacers shot 53 percent from the field while holding Houston to 38 percent shooting ... Indiana recorded 29 assists, compared to just 10 for the Rockets.
12/20 23:00:04 ET