George, bench help Pacers hold on to beat Nets
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) Paul George didn't get going until late. Monta Ellis was ineffective because of a sore right knee.
Add in an off-shooting night for the Indiana Pacers, and the Brooklyn Nets almost stole a rare road win.
Jordan Hill and Rodney Stuckey did their part off the bench and George got hot late, leading Pacers to 104-97 victory on Friday night that kept the Nets winless on the road since Nov. 11.
Hill finished with 14 points and 11 rebounds, and Stuckey added 15 points and seven rebounds to help the Pacers' bench outscore Brooklyn's 45-23. Hill didn't make himself available for comment after the game, but his coach and teammates did the talking for him.
''When he came here, I knew what to expect out of him,'' George said of acquiring Hill from the Lakers in the offseason. ''I don't think he's been getting enough credit for what he's been doing.''
George scored 23 points and Hill made key contributions until the Pacers' leading scorer picked it up.
''Is he a little better than we thought? Yes. I think he is,'' Vogel said of Hill. ''I had a high-impression of him before he came here but he's exceeded my expectations.''
The Pacers have won four of their last five games after dropping three in a row. Their 16th victory last season did not come until two weeks before the All-Star break.
George scored seven points in the final six minutes. Hill had 10 points in the final quarter, including an emphatic dunk with 2:36 left that put the game out of reach.
Jarrett Jack had his second-best offensive game of the season, scoring 26 points for Brooklyn in its first road game since Nov. 28.
Thaddeus Young had 14 points and 14 rebounds for the Nets. Brook Lopez scored 18 points and Andrea Bargnani had 12 in his fifth game back from injury.
Indiana outscored Brooklyn 21-14 down the stretch after it was tied at 83 thanks in large part to Hill's timely rebounds and baskets. The Pacers' lead got to 104-92 with 90 seconds left before Jack and Joe Johnson combined for 5 points in a last-ditch comeback effort.
With only six turnovers entering the fourth, Brooklyn committed six turnovers in the fourth quarter. Jack attributed the loss to losing focus when it mattered most.
''Our offense went a little stagnant and they were able to get some transition baskets that kind of put them in a rhythm,'' Jack said. ''We gave ourselves an opportunity. We just let go of the wagon a little bit in the fourth.''
Nets: The Nets fell to 1-12 on the road this season and 3-9 overall in December. . Young's team-high 13th double-double gave him 12 in his last 17 games. Only LeBron James has played more minutes than Johnson since the start of the 2003-04 season
Pacers: George passed Jeff Foster for ninth in franchise history with his 508th career steal. . Point guard Monta Ellis was listed as questionable with a sore right knee but started and played 34 minutes for the Pacers. . Indiana is 5-0 this season when Hill has a double-double.
NO EASY ROAD
Friday's game was the first game outside New York for Brooklyn since Nov. 28. With the loss, the Nets are now 1-12 on the road this season and have lost eight straight. Their last road win was Nov. 11 at Houston.
Indiana is 7-4 when its bench scores 40 points or more and the Pacers are 9-3 when their bench outscores an opponent.
Nets: Host Minnesota on Sunday.
Pacers: Visit Memphis on Saturday.