George pours 30; Pacers hold off Pistons | Inquirer Sports

George pours 30; Pacers hold off Pistons

/ 01:20 PM February 07, 2016

INDIANAPOLIS — Closing out games is a challenge for the Indiana Pacers.

On Saturday (Sunday Manila time) at home against the Detroit Pistons, they nearly blew a 20-point third-quarter lead but got the plays they needed when it mattered most.

Paul George had 30 points and eight rebounds and the Pacers held on for the 112-104 win. Leading 104-100 with just more than a minute to play, Monta Ellis and George Hill hit the two shots Indiana needed to seal the win.

Tight games are becoming the norm for the Pacers, who have played 20 decided by six points or less. Closing games out, specifically when leading late in the fourth quarter, has been Indiana’s Achilles heel.

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Coming off a close loss Friday at Atlanta after leading with less than five minutes to play, the Pacers saw the Pistons surge in the third quarter with a 24-8 run after falling behind 73-53 just more than three minutes into the period.

Anthony Tolliver, who finished with a season-high 17 points, did his part to keep the Pistons in it. He scored eight in the third quarter and his triple with 2.4 seconds left in the period had Detroit within 87-81 entering the final 12 minutes.

Paul George, Anthony Tolliver

Indiana Pacers forward Paul George (13) drives against Detroit Pistons forward Anthony Tolliver (43). AP

Indiana held on to its lead late thanks to five missed free throws from Andre Drummond in the final 3:30. Those late misses allowed the Pacers to play without pressure and set the stage for the clinching baskets.

Reggie Jackson led Detroit with 26 points. Anthony Tolliver scored a season-high 17 points. Drummond finished with 10 points and 13 rebounds for his 43rd double-double through 52 games.

Myles Turner had 16 points and four rebounds for the Pacers. George Hill had 17 points and CJ Miles scored 10 points off the bench for Indiana.

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TAGS: Basketball, Detroit Pistons, Indiana Pacers, NBA, Paul George

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