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Hill's last-second layup lifts Pacers over Lakers

The SportsXchange

LOS ANGELES -- George Hill bided his time, let the game clock dwindle, then calmly beat three All-Stars to the hole to give the Indiana Pacers a 79-77 win over the Los Angeles Lakers in front of a stunned Staples Center crowd Tuesday night.

Hill took Metta World Peace off the dribble, then outraced Pau Gasol and Dwight Howard to hit a game-winning, arcing shot with one-tenth of a second left.

It was the Pacers' third straight road win over the Lakers, who rallied from as much as 13 down to tie the game on a Kobe Bryant 3-pointer with 24.5 seconds left.

"Big guts," Indiana coach Frank Vogel said of Hill's game-winning runner. "George Hill has, for lack of a better term ... big guts. Big guts."

Hill's 19 points led the Pacers, who got 16 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists from David West.

Bryant's 40 points -- coming after he was questionable before the game because of the flu -- were not enough to make up for a lackadaisical Los Angeles offense that shot 31.6 percent from the field and committed 19 turnovers.

Ten of the turnovers were committed by Bryant, who added 10 rebounds, three assists and three steals.

"I just felt like I played to the crowd too much," Bryant said. "It boggles my mind that I had 10 turnovers.

"I was tired. I was tired ... sick. Just felt drained."

With the loss, Mike D'Antoni saw his record fall to 2-3 as the Lakers' head coach.

"Obviously if you shoot like that, you better be really good defensively," D'Antoni said. "There's no way you can play that bad offensively and win."

Added Vogel: "We held their team to 31 percent shooting. It doesn't matter if one guy is scoring all the points or not -- our team defense was very solid."

Indiana's offense was not at peak performance either, as the Pacers made just 36.7 percent from the field and just four of 19 (21.1 percent) from 3-point range.

That was enough to give D'Antoni hope.

"Our defense is coming around, and that's going to be the most important thing going forward," he said.

Despite Bryant's 16 first-half points, Los Angeles trailed 40-33 at the break. The teams combined to score just 27 second-quarter points. Both teams shot less than 40 percent in the first half, Indiana's 36.2 percent (17-for-47) success rate besting the Lakers' 23.5 percent (13-for-40).

"We didn't give them any of those energy baskets, dunks and things like that," West said. "It was just solid. We've had a few days to prepare for these guys, and I thought collectively, we hung in there."

Indiana led by as much as 12 in the first quarter, using a 13-4 run midway through the quarter to take control.

"We just have to go, not think," said World Peace, who finished with four points on 1-for-8 shooting. "Do it together. Move like a wave of water and just wear the other team down."

West had 12 first-half points on 6-for-10 shooting to lead the Pacers, and George added eight.

Bryant filled the stat sheet early but lacked efficiency as he shot just 6-of-15 from the field in the first half.

He ended up hitting 12 of 28 shots, including five of 11 from 3-point range.

NOTES: The Lakers remain without their top two point guards, as Steve Nash (leg fracture) and Steve Blake (abdominal strain) are still sidelined. Morris has started the past eight games for Los Angeles and averaged less than seven points. ... The Lakers won the two teams' lone 2011-12 matchup, 98-96. ... Gasol entered the night averaging 13.4 points for the season, 5.2 points less than his career average. He wound up with 10 points and nine rebounds against the Pacers. ... World Peace grabbed a game-high 12 rebounds.
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