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Pacers 115, Hornets 107

The SportsXchange

INDIANAPOLIS -- Indiana Pacers swingman Paul George can make 3-pointers in the fourth quarter after all.

And he did it during a crucial time of the game.

George scored a career-high 37 points, including nine 3-pointers, to help the Pacers beat the New Orleans Hornets 115-107 in overtime at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on Wednesday.

The nine 3-pointers set a franchise record. George, who has been asked to step up even more in Danny Granger's absence, made all nine 3-pointers in the second half and overtime.

Pacers center Roy Hibbert also had a career game. He recorded his first triple-double when he finished with 10 points, 10 blocks and 11 rebounds before fouling out in overtime.

Center Robin Lopez led the Hornets with 21 points.

But this night completely belonged to George.

His 37 points topped his career high of 30 that he had at Dallas last season.

George went into Wednesday 0-of-16 on 3-pointers in the fourth quarter this season.

After the Pacers missed four shots on the final possession of regulation, George got things going in overtime by making his seventh 3-pointer of the game.

Teammate George Hill followed George up on the next possession by making a 3-pointer in front of the Hornets' bench to give the Pacers a quick six-point lead.

The Pacers led by as many as eight points in overtime.

The Pacers were down 90-83 with about four minutes remaining when Pacers coach Frank Vogel brought Lance Stephenson in for D.J. Augustin.

Stephenson immediately made a 3-pointer from the corner to get the Pacers to within four. Then George made one in the exact spot on the next possession to make it a one-point game in favor of New Orleans.

George's third 3-pointer of the fourth quarter gave the Pacers a 97-93 lead with about 90 seconds left in the game.

Lopez made two free throws and then Al-Farouq Aminu hit a jumper along the baseline to tie the game at 97-97 with 22 seconds left.

The Pacers looked like they ready to take control of the game when they opened the third quarter by scoring the first eight points to from trailing by four to being up by four.

But as he's done since the day he took over as coach, Monty Williams didn't let the Hornets back down.

The Hornets came back to not only tie the game, but they eventually went up by seven points.

The Pacers would have been in a bad situation if not for George.

The third-year swingman made four 3-pointers and scored 14 points during the third quarter.

The Pacers closed the third quarter on a 10-2 run to take a 75-74 lead into the final quarter.

The Pacers seemed to still be on a high from their victory over Washington earlier this week, as they fell behind 5-0 and then trailed by as many as 10 points late in the first quarter.

The Hornets, who were without top pick Anthony Davis, got six points each from Al-Farouq Aminu and Austin Rivers in the first quarter.

It wasn't until the second quarter that the Pacers woke up.

And it was the bench that got them back in the game.

Point guard D.J. Augustin and swingman Gerald Green came in and gave the Pacers a spark by pushing the ball.

The Pacers got their first lead of the game, 35-34, off a Roy Hibbert layup.

Hibbert wasn't only scoring in the first half, he was also defending. He had five blocks in 15 first half minutes.

Still, the Pacers couldn't find a way to get a big lead over the Hornets.

New Orleans continued to scrap and went into the half with a 47-43 lead because of forward Jason Smith's 10 points off the bench.

NOTES: New Orleans coach Monty Williams said they don't have a timetable on when Davis (ankle) will return to the lineup. Davis, the No. 1 overall pick last summer, got injured against Milwaukee on Nov. 20. ... Pacers rookies Miles Plumlee and Orlando Johnson will play two games for the Fort Wayne (Ind.) Mad Ants, their D-League affiliate this weekend then rejoin the team for its three-game West Coast trip next week. ... Injured forward Danny Granger made his first appearance at Bankers Life Fieldhouse since receiving an injection in his left knee on Nov. 6. He's expected to be on crutches for one more week.
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