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Hill leads balanced attack as Pacers top Suns
Indianapolis, IN (Sports Network) - George Hill scored 22 points and the Indiana Pacers ran their winning streak to a season-high four games with a 97-91 decision over the Phoenix Suns at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
Hill went 9-of-13 from the field to lead five Indiana players in double figures, and the Pacers bounced back after squandering a 16-point third- quarter advantage to record their fourth consecutive victory at home as well.
David West netted eight of his 14 points in the fourth quarter to help Indiana prevail, while Paul George added 15 points and Roy Hibbert pulled down a game- high 14 rebounds in the triumph.
"I just tried to be aggressive," said West. "You can't run away from those situations. You have got to be willing to make plays at the end."
Sebastian Telfair, starting in place of an injured Goran Dragic, registered a season-best 19 points -- 13 of which came after halftime -- to spur Phoenix's near-comeback. The Suns ultimately came up short, however, and were dealt their fourth straight defeat and seventh road setback in a row.
Marcin Gortat finished with 15 points and 10 rebounds in a losing cause.
The Suns trailed by a 66-50 count four minutes into the second half, but slowly climbed back in it and tied the score at 81-81 on Telfair's steal and layup with 6:20 left to play. After another Indiana turnover on the ensuing possession, Jermaine O'Neal drew a foul and sank both free throws to give Phoenix its first lead since the game's initial stages.
The contest remained deadlocked at 85-85 with under 3 1/2 minutes to go, but West sent the Pacers back in front with a jumper and George converted a pair from the line following an unsuccessful offensive series by the Suns.
Telfair turned it over shortly afterward, and West knocked down two more foul shots with 1:25 remaining to put Indiana on top by a 91-85 score.
Jared Dudley gave Phoenix some life by burying a 3-pointer just seven seconds later, but West countered with a step-back jumper and the Pacers made four free throws down the stretch to hold on.
"We haven't been able to make winning plays to close out games," Suns coach Alvin Gentry said. "Once again we have one of those games where we can say it was a good effort, but we have nothing to show for it."
Indiana shot a scorching 61.1 percent from the field to build a 27-20 edge after one quarter, and later went up by double digits before Phoenix trimmed the deficit to 37-34 near the midway mark of the second with an 8-0 spurt.
George and Hill then led the Pacers on a 15-2 tear, with the latter's 3-point basket with 2:45 left in the half giving his club a commanding 52-36 lead.
Hill finished with 15 points on a perfect 6-for-6 shooting prior to intermission as Indiana went into the break with a 58-44 advantage.
Phoenix's rally began with an 8-0 third-quarter run that pulled the visitors within 66-58, and the Suns drew closer when Luis Scola's second-chance bucket with 13.3 seconds to play in the frame trimmed the differential to 75-71.
Michael Beasley then began the fourth quarter with a successful outside shot to make it a two-point affair, and the game stayed tight until the Pacers began to gain some late breathing room.
Dragic sat out the contest with a bruised hip suffered during Wednesday's loss to the New York Knicks ... Phoenix's seven-game road skid is its longest since dropping seven straight away from home from Dec. 1-26, 2009 ... The Pacers halted a string of four straight losses in the series and bested Phoenix for only the third time in the last 14 matchups between the teams ... Indiana's Gerald Green returned to action after missing Saturday's game at New Orleans with an ankle injury and chipped in eight points in 20 minutes.
12/29 01:53:07 ET
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