CLEVELAND – Paul George scored 16 points, Roy Hibbert made a putback and two free throws in the final 1:09, and the Indiana Pacers held off Cleveland’s late rally for an 82-78 win over the short-handed Cavaliers on Sunday night.
The Pacers led by 16 in the fourth before Dion Waiters brought Cleveland back by scoring 12 points in a 16-1 run that got the Cavs within 75-74 with 3:35 left. Hibbert’s free throw with 7.9 seconds left put the Pacers up 81-78, and Indiana got the ball back when Cleveland’s Earl Clark stepped out on an inbounds pass 1 second later.
David West made one free throw with 5.4 seconds left, and the Pacers escaped with their seventh win in eight games. At 27-6, Indiana has the NBA’s best record.
C.J. Miles scored 21 and Waiters had 14 for the Cavaliers, who played without All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving. He missed his third straight game with a bruised left knee.
The Pacers had to grind this one out after taking control with 14-0 run bridging the third and fourth quarters.
Hibbert added 15 points and David West 11 for the Pacers, who shot just 36 percent from the floor but played their typically tough game on defense.
GRIZZLIES 112, PISTONS 84: In Auburn Hills, Mich., Jon Leuer matched a career-high with 23 points, Zach Randolph had 16 points and 16 rebounds, Memphis dominated the second half.
WARRIORS 112, WIZARDS 96: In Washington, Klay Thompson scored 26 points and Golden State has its longest in-season winning streak (nine games) since 1975.
THUNDER 119, CELTICS 96: In Oklahoma City, Reggie Jackson scored a career-high 27 points, Kevin Durant added 21 points, seven rebounds and eight assists, and Oklahoma City halted its home-court swoon.
HEAT 102, RAPTORS 97: In Miami, LeBron James scored 30 points, Michael Beasley came off the bench to add 17 and Miami held on down the stretch.