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Associated Press
Indiana’s George Hill scored 22 points, including three three-pointers, Friday as the Pacers defeated Phoenix 97-91 in Indianapolis.

Extra work pays off as Hill leads Pacers

– George Hill did some extra work before the Indiana Pacers took on the Phoenix Suns, and it paid off right away.

Hill scored 22 points, including three three-pointers, and led the Pacers to a 97-91 victory over the Suns on Friday night.

Paul George had 15 points, and David West added 14 points and seven rebounds for the Pacers, who have won four straight and seven of eight.

“I came in early and did my ‘Paul George workout,’ ” Hill said. “Paul has been telling me, ‘Hey, get on the gun. Your shot will feel a lot better.’ So I came in a little early today. I got some shots and got into a rhythm, and when I got out on the court it felt pretty good.”

Hill went to the locker room because of a bruised right thigh with 5:35 left in the first quarter, but returned in a big way.

Sebastian Telfair had 19 points and six assists, and Marcin Gortat had 15 points and 10 rebounds for the Suns, who have lost four in a row.

West, who scored eight points in the fourth quarter, netted the go-ahead jumper to give the Pacers an 87-85 lead with 3:17 left to play after the Suns rallied from a 16-point deficit.

“It wasn’t pretty in the second half, but we got the job done,” Pacers coach Frank Vogel said. “We’d like blowouts, but we got the ‘W’ and found a way to win.”

The Pacers led 85-83 before Telfair scored to tie it.

Telfair also got the Suns even at 81 when he scored off a steal with 6:19 left. Jermaine O’Neal then made two free throws to briefly put the Suns ahead.

West sank two foul shots to tie the game and scored again to put Indiana back in front before George went to the line and gave the Pacers an 89-85 lead.

Roy Hibbert put the game away when his two free throws gave the Pacers a 95-89 lead with 47 seconds left.

“We fought hard to come back, but we’re traveling a lot, three games in four days,” Luis Scola said.

“We played team ball tonight,” said Lance Stephenson, who had 10 points, a career-high nine rebounds, and five assists. “I just tried to get my teammates involved, let the game come to me and played smart.”

Indiana led 58-44 at halftime.

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