INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – In a game that appeared to be neck and neck all the way through, former Indiana Pacer Paul George became too much to handle down the stretch for the Los Angeles Clippers.
The Pacers led after the first quarter and were only down by three points heading into the fourth. But George and the Clippers were too much down the stretch, pulling away for a 126-115 win
The Clippers (38-18) outscored Indiana 26-18 in the final period.
The loss ended the Pacers' three-game win streak and extends the Clippers' win streak to six. During the hot streak, the Pacers averaged 128 points per game, and they couldn't match that output against the Clippers. Indiana is now 25-28 on the season, in the ninth spot in the Eastern Conference.
George, who played for the Pacers from 2010 to 2017, went off for 36 points, seven rebounds and eight assists. The Pacers also allowed a total of six different Clippers players to score in double digits.
George has scored 30-plus points in each of his last four games while dealing with a lingering bone edema injury in his right toe.
"We've been doing an incredible job of managing the toe," George said. "Getting everything that I need for it and just taking care of it, we've been ahead of it. Sitting out these back-to-backs and just being smart, day-offs, getting work in that I need to, but not putting too much stress through it, so just being smart and it's been paying off."
Back on the Pacers' side, Caris LeVert had another big night, scoring 26 points, and Malcolm Brogdon led the way with a team-high 29 points on 67% shooting.
But the Pacers continue to struggle on the defensive end, and it hurt them again in the loss to the Clippers. Myles Turner's defensive presence being absent was evident as they let up 126 points and allowed the Clippers to shoot 54% from the field and 46% from the three-point range.
This was the first of a back-to-back for Indiana. The Pacers play at Houston on Wednesday night in a 9 p.m. ET start.
"It would have been great to win this one," Pacers forwards Domantas Sabonis said postgame. "It doesn't matter if it's a back-to-back. We're professionals. This is what we do; we're going to come out with energy regardless. It would have been great to get this one, but (Wednesday) our focus is to go and get that one on the road."
Indiana coach Nate Bjorkgren added that there is a possibility that Turner (right ankle sprain) will return to action in Houston.
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