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Pacers end two-game skid with blowout win

The SportsXchange

INDIANAPOLIS -- After a handfuls of last-second defeats and victories and a couple of blowout losses, the Indiana Pacers now know what it feels like to get an easy victory.

And they did it by sharing the basketball and not turning it over.

The Pacers put an end to their two-game losing streak by getting their largest margin of victory of the season in a 103-83 win over the Dallas Mavericks at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on Friday.

"We finally got clicking on the offensive end," Pacers coach Frank Vogel said. "We made some adjustments that we told our guys would have an immediate impact."

All five starters scored in double figures for the Pacers, and they committed a season-low nine turnovers.

Dallas' O.J. Mayo led all scorers with 19 points. David West and George Hill had 15 apiece for the Pacers.

The Pacers opened the third quarter trailing by one, but they came out with a burst of energy led by Lance Stephenson.

Stephenson's first 3-pointer of the quarter put the Pacers up by five, prompting Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle to call a timeout in an attempt to stop Indiana's momentum.

The move worked momentarily, as the Mavericks got the Pacers' lead down to two.

That turned out to be the closest Dallas would get the rest of the game.

The Pacers then went on a 17-4 run to take control of the game.

Stephenson's second 3-pointer pushed the Pacers' lead up to 14. He added to the excitement by kissing his three fingers as he backpedaled down court. Stephenson scored 10 of his 12 points in the third quarter.

"When the ball moves and you have consistent player movement anyone can step up," Vogel said.

The Pacers outscored the Mavericks 28-18 in the third quarter.

"We had mistakes, we had miscues and Indiana capitalized on it," Carlisle said about the Mavs' third-quarter performance. "We didn't respond well to it. The game got away from us."

The Pacers eventually got their lead up to as many as 22 points, allowing Vogel to empty his bench for the final two minutes of the game.

Vogel changed the Pacers' offense for the game. They got away from being predictable offensively and tried to push the tempo to allow the players to play with more freedom.

The Pacers finished with 23 assists on 39 field goals.

"I think it worked out pretty good," Pacers guard Paul George said. "The offense we're doing now is pretty good. We're playing off one another and moving and cutting and getting the defense to shift."

The Pacers showed their pep early by jumping out to a quick 7-0 lead.

But the Mavericks, who have a roster full of veterans, responded by going on a 15-4 run to take the lead and put the Pacers back on their heels.

Rather than crumble the way they did in Milwaukee two nights earlier, the Pacers battled back to tie the game at 24-24 at the end of the first quarter.

Dallas got its biggest lead of the game, 49-44, because of the Pacers' inability to stop picking up cheap fouls.

The Pacers pulled to within three on a West basket. West missed the accompanying free throw, but center Roy Hibbert got his first two points of the game when he tipped in the miss to bring the Pacers to within one, 49-48, at halftime.

The Pacers didn't help themselves in the first half by going 6-of-14 from the free throw line.

Mayo, who was pursued by the Pacers during the offseason, led all scorers with 12 points in the first half.

NOTES: The Mavericks have several players on their roster who played or coached for the Pacers in the past five years: guards Darren Collison and Dahntay Jones, forward Troy Murphy, assistant coaches Darrell Armstrong and Jim O'Brien and head coach Carlisle...Collison, who was traded to the Mavericks in July, said he had no problem backing up Hill this season after losing the starting job to him at the end of the regular season last season...Vogel went back to a 10-man rotation by re-inserting Sam Young in the mix.
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