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The Journal Gazette

Friday, March 01, 2013 9:59 pm

George leads Pacers to 93-81 win over Raptors

IAN HARRISONAssociated Press

Paul George had 22 points and 10 rebounds, David West had 15 points and 11 rebounds, and the Indiana Pacers beat the Toronto Raptors 93-81 on Friday night.

Roy Hibbert returned from a one-game suspension to score 18 points as the Central Division leaders won for the sixth time in seven games.

Rudy Gay scored 21 points and Alan Anderson had 14 for the Raptors, who have lost three straight and four of five.

George scored 11 points in the fourth quarter, nine of them on 3-pointers, including one with 9:56 left that put the Pacers up 72-53, their biggest lead of the game.

This was the first time in four meetings between the teams this season that the margin of victory was more than two points. The Pacers won 90-88 at Toronto on opening night, Oct. 31, but lost twice at home, 74-72 on Nov. 13, and 100-98 in overtime on Feb. 8.

Making his fourth appearance of the season after a 55-game absence caused by a left knee injury, Indiana's Danny Granger scored eight points in 10 minutes. He was rested in the second half with the Pacers on the second night of a back-to-back.

Indiana made just seven of 20 shots in the first period but Toronto was even worse, hitting only three of 17 attempts. The Raptors kept it close by making seven of eight at the free throw line, but the Pacers led 17-13 after one thanks to six points from Granger. Toronto's 13 points in the first were a season low.

DeMar DeRozan scored the basket of the second quarter, a one-handed jam over Indiana's Ian Mahinmi with 6 seconds left. DeRozan scored six points in the second but the Pacers got six from Hibbert to lead 39-34 at halftime.

Hibbert and West each scored eight points in the third as the Pacers closed the quarter on an 11-4 run, taking a 64-51 lead into the fourth.

NOTES: Hibbert sat out Thursday's home loss to the Clippers after a shoving match with David Lee in Tuesday night's win over Golden State. ... Indiana outrebounded Toronto 43-30. ... The Raptors have not won a season series against Indiana since 2007-08. ... Toronto went 7-5 in February, its first winning month since January 2010, when it was 10-5. ... The Raptors begin a four-game road trip at Milwaukee on Saturday. They'll also visit Golden State, Phoenix and the Lakers. ... Actor Steve Schirripa attended the game.