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Pacers 119, Nuggets 80

The SportsXchange

INDIANAPOLIS -- Forward David West scored 21 of his 25 points in the first half, and the Indiana Pacers crushed the Denver Nuggets 119-80 for their biggest win of the season Monday night.

The Pacers shot 57.5 percent from the field, sinking 46 of 80 shots.

Indiana (40-11) won for the 14th time in its past 15 home games and made quick work of an opponent missing four of its top players. The Pacers bounced back from a 93-92 loss at Orlando on Sunday in which they blew a 17-point lead in the second half.

The margin of victory was Indiana's largest over Denver in the teams' NBA history. The Nuggets shot just 31.5 percent from the field (28 of 89) and were outrebounded 56-37, never competing in any facet of the game.

Denver (24-26) lost its third straight and fell for the eighth time in 12 games. The Nuggets were playing without three starters -- point guard Ty Lawson, center JaVale McGee and forward Danilo Gallinari -- as well as reserve guard Nate Robinson.

What coach Brian Shaw had left on his bench was no match for the league-best Pacers, who led by 11 after the first quarter, by 21 at halftime and by 29 entering the fourth quarter.

Pacers center Roy Hibbert had 14 points and 12 rebounds, his 13th double-double, while point guard George Hill added 10 points, seven rebounds and five assists. All of Indiana's 13 active players scored, and every starter played fewer than 30 minutes.

Forward Wilson Chandler led Denver with 17 points, while center J.J. Hickson contributed 12 points and eight rebounds.

The Pacers trailed 11-10 before reeling off an 18-8 run, spurred by 13 points from West, who dominated his favorable matchup with slender forward Kenneth Faried.

Indiana led 37-20 on forward Luis Scola's jumper early in the second quarter and then used an 11-2 run, capped by forward Paul George's 3-pointer, to lead 56-36 with 1:33 left in the first half.

Indiana was up 61-40 at halftime and was never challenged after that.

Scola had 11 points and eight rebounds, one of six Pacers in double figures.

NOTES: Nuggets coach Brian Shaw was Indiana's associate head coach for the previous two seasons, helping develop F Paul George into an All-Star and lending knowledge from his championship runs as a player with the Los Angeles Lakers. Shaw received applause during pregame introductions and raised a hand in appreciation. ... Pacers G Orlando Johnson is away from the team and getting game action with the Fort Wayne MadAnts of the NBA Development League. ... Denver concludes its four-game road trip on Wednesday in Minnesota. ... The Pacers host the Dallas Mavericks on Wednesday in their finale before the All-Star break.
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