INDIANAPOLIS – The Indiana Pacers were almost unrecognizable in the first half against Cleveland. They bounced back in a historic way after the break.
Paul George scored 27 points and the Pacers held the Cavaliers to 23 points in the second half of a 96-81 victory on Wednesday night. It was the fewest points Indiana has given up in a half since they joined the NBA in 1976.
We just made some adjustments to how we’re going to guard them on the ball, Indiana’s David West said. We took away their first option, took away their first initial movement, then made them go to that second round of things that they wanted to do, and they weren’t as efficient as they were in the first half.
Indiana, one of the league’s best defensive teams, was trailing by 16 at one point.
There wasn’t much for Indiana’s coaches to say at halftime – they mostly just showed film.
They kept it short, and when they keep it short, you know what that means, George said. It’s something we have to do better. The whole team knows what we needed to get better at and that’s challenging shots and really defending. We wasn’t really playing defense.
Indiana bounced back and held Cleveland to its lowest-scoring half this season.
West had 18 points, nine rebounds and seven assists and George Hill added 17 points. Indiana held the Cavaliers to 8-for-41 shooting in the second half.
C.J. Miles scored 28 for the Cavs for the second straight game, but Kyrie Irving was held to nine on 4-for-12 shooting.
BULLS 96, 76ERS 89: In Philadelphia, Joakim Noah scored 21 points, Luol Deng added 19 points and 12 rebounds, and Chicago won its fourth in a row. Marco Belinelli had 16 points and Nate Robinson had 14 for Chicago.
Jrue Holiday scored 26 for Philadelphia.
CELTICS 117, MAVERICKS 115, 2OT: In Boston, Paul Pierce scored 34 points, including a three-pointer at the start of the second overtime to give Boston the lead for good. O.J. Mayo scored 24 points for Dallas.
Pierce made five of six free throws in the second overtime to help clinch the Celtics’ second straight victory.
WARRIORS 97, HEAT 95: In Miami, Draymond Green made a layup with 0.9 seconds left to lift Golden State.
LeBron James led Miami with 31 points as he reached the 20-point mark for the 25th consecutive game, the longest current streak in the NBA.
TIMBERWOLVES 108, NUGGETS 105: In Minneapolis, Nikola Pekovic had 22 points and 11 rebounds and Minnesota used a big advantage at the free-throw line to overcome Kevin Love’s shooting struggles (3 for 17).
THUNDER 92, HORNETS 88: In Oklahoma City, Kevin Durant scored 35 points and Oklahoma City extended its winning streak to nine.
The Thunder rallied from an 11-point second-half deficit and matched their longest streak since the franchise moved from Seattle.
CLIPPERS 100, BOBCATS 94: In Charlotte, N.C., Chris Paul had 19 points and 10 assists as Los Angeles beat Charlotte for its eighth straight win.
BUCKS 98, KINGS 85: In Milwaukee, Brandon Jennings scored 19 points and Monta Ellis had 17 points and 11 assists to lead Milwaukee.
HAWKS 86, MAGIC 80: In Orlando, Fla., Josh Smith and Jeff Teague scored 16 points apiece, Al Horford added 13 points and 13 rebounds, and Atlanta held off a late charge by Orlando.
NETS 94, RAPTORS 88: In Toronto, Joe Johnson scored 23 points as Brooklyn snapped a season-high five-game losing streak.
ROCKETS 99, WIZARDS 93: In Houston, James Harden scored 31 points to lift Houston.