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Associated Press
Pacers center Roy Hibbert grabs a rebound during Wednesday night’s win over Portland in Indianapolis.
NBA

Pacers ride George to victory

– A few different versions of Paul George have been showing up lately for the Indiana Pacers. The dominant one made an appearance Wednesday night against Portland.

George scored 22 points to help Indiana beat the Trail Blazers 99-92 on Wednesday night.

George, Indiana’s No. 2 scorer, has been inconsistent. He scored four points at Sacramento and went scoreless at Golden State before going for 34 points at Chicago on Tuesday.

He followed that by scoring 14 of his 22 points in the second half against the Trail Blazers.

The question remains whether the talented 22-year-old is just teasing the Pacers.

“You just watch him and some of the shots that he’s making and you think, ‘Boy, if he could ever stabilize and do this on a consistent basis,’ ” Indiana coach Frank Vogel said.

George doesn’t worry about the consistency issue.

“I don’t look at it like that anymore,” George said. “I just come out and play. I feel like I’m preparing myself well enough to just go out and play, take the shots that are there and be confident in those shots.”

George Hill added 18 points and David West had 16 points and 10 rebounds for the Pacers (10-9) , who have won four of five and moved above .500 for the first time since a 2-1 start. Indiana, the league leader in scoring defense, held the Blazers to 43 percent shooting.

“We guarded,” Vogel said. “We try to take pride in being the best defensive team in the NBA and we got after it. By getting stops we were able to get out and break a little bit and get some easy baskets.”

Damian Lillard led Portland (8-11) with 23 points.

BULLS 95, CAVALIERS 85: In Cleveland, Marco Belinelli scored a season-high 23 points, Luol Deng added 22 and Chicago took control early. Belinelli was starting his second game in place of the injured Richard Hamilton.

SPURS 110, BUCKS 99: In San Antonio, Tony Parker and Gary Neal each scored 22 points, and San Antonio had a season-high 53 rebounds. Tim Duncan added 17 points and 10 rebounds for San Antonio.

KNICKS 100, BOBCATS 98: In Charlotte, N.C., J.R. Smith hit a fallaway jumper from the left wing as time expired to lift New York.

The Bobcats appeared in position to win after a miss by Raymond Felton with 14 seconds left, but rookie Michael Kidd-Gilchrist made an ill-advised pass and Smith intercepted it. After a timeout, Smith drove to the left side and hit an 18-footer over Kidd-Gilchrist.

LAKERS 103, HORNETS 87: In New Orleans, Kobe Bryant scored 29 points, making him the fifth player in NBA history to score 30,000, and Los Angeles snapped a two-game skid.

Bryant entered the game needing only 13 points to eclipse the scoring milestone and did so with a short jumper late in the first half.

CELTICS 104, TIMBERWOLVES 94: In Boston, Kevin Garnett scored 18 points, grabbed 10 rebounds and remained unbeaten against his former team as Boston won in Rajon Rondo’s return from a two-game suspension. Rondo had 17 points and 11 assists.

WARRIORS 104, PISTONS 97: In Auburn Hills, Mich., Klay Thompson scored 19 of his 27 points in the third quarter to lead Golden State.

HAWKS 108, NUGGETS 104: In Atlanta, Josh Smith’s steal, jam and free throw with 31 seconds remaining extended Atlanta’s lead and the Hawks held firm.

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