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Pacers 90, Heat 84

The SportsXchange

INDIANAPOLIS - Center Roy Hibbert scored 24 points and guard Paul George scored 15 of his 17 points in the second half to help the Indiana Pacers defeat the Miami Heat 90-84 on Tuesday night.

Forward David West added 17 points and nine rebounds for the Pacers (19-3), who improved on the NBA's best record and remained the Eastern Conference's only unbeaten team at home (10-0). The Pacers improved to 10-2 in games they trail at halftime.

The game was a rematch of last year's Eastern Conference Finals series, which the Heat won in seven games on their way to the NBA championship.

Miami forward LeBron James, who entered the game as the league's No. 2 scorer, was held to 17 points on 6-for-16 shooting. He added 14 rebounds and six assists. Guard Dwyane Wade added 17 points for the Heat, who have lost three of their last five.

The game was tight heading into the fourth quarter. Pacers guard C.J. Watson went behind his back at full speed on the break to get past Heat guard Norris Cole before finishing with a layup. James missed at the other end, then forward Luis Scola scored to give the Pacers a 78-72 lead and force the Heat to call timeout with 6:19 to play.

A 3-point shot by George pushed Indiana's lead to 81-72, and the Pacers remained in control from there.

Miami led 47-40 at halftime, but Indiana did its usual third-quarter damage. Pacers guard Lance Stephenson opened the second half with a 3-pointer to trim Miami's lead to four, then Hibbert followed with a hook to cut it to two. A few minutes later, Pacers guard George Hill's three tied it at 55. Hibbert's 3-point play gave Indiana a 58-57 lead midway through the third quarter, the Pacers' first advantage of the game.

George hit two 3-pointers to extend Indiana's lead to 68-62, and Indiana was up 68-64 after three periods. George finished with 12 points and three assists in the third quarter as the Pacers outscored the Heat 28-17. James scored two points on 1-for-4 shooting in the third.

The Heat led 40-29 before George got on the scoreboard with 3:54 left in the first half. The Pacers, outplayed most of the half, cut into their deficit when Stephenson scored and was fouled with 4.2 seconds left in the second quarter. He made the free throw to trim Miami's lead to 47-40 at the break.

George finished with two points in the first half on 0-for-4 shooting from the field.

NOTES: Pacers F Danny Granger remains inactive due to a strained left calf. He has not played this season. ... Singer/actor Justin Timberlake was at courtside. ... The Pacers went 3-2 on a grueling road trip that included wins over the Los Angeles Clippers and San Antonio Spurs. ... Pacers F David West grabbed his 5,000th career rebound in the first quarter.

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