In­di­ana ends San An­to­nio jinx in style

Pac­ers claim first vic­tory on Spurs’ home court since 2002

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - SPORTS - By AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS in San An­to­nio

This was no or­di­nary vic­tory for Paul Ge­orge and the In­di­ana Pac­ers. They know how dif­fi­cult it is to beat the San An­to­nio Spurs.

Ge­orge scored 28 points and In­di­ana de­feated San An­to­nio 111- 100 on Satur­day night, snap­ping an 11-game skid against the Spurs.

“It means a lot,” Ge­orge said. “We haven’t won here since 2002, so it def­i­nitely means that we are onto some­thing. If we just con­tinue to keep on this path, we have a pos­i­tive fu­ture.”

David West had 20 points and Lance Stephen­son scored 15 for the Pac­ers, who en­joyed a 41-34 re­bound­ing edge. Roy Hib­bert and Luis Scola each had 12 points and 10 boards.

“I couldn’t be hap­pier with how they played, par­tic­u­larly in the sec­ond and third quar­ters,” Pac­ers coach Frank Vogel said.

“Sec­ond quar­ter we got back in the game, but in the third quar­ter we re­ally busted it open. Tough to pick a star in the game with as many con­tri­bu­tions as we got. Just great bal­ance and a great team win.”

Kawhi Leonard scored 18 points for San An­to­nio, which has dropped three of five. Manu Gi­no­bili added 16 points, Tony Parker had 13 and Tim Dun­can fin­ished with 10.

This is one team that never thinks we are out of a game, no mat­ter what the cir­cum­stances are. But we knew we have to get stops and we had to match their en­ergy.” PAUL GE­ORGE IN­DI­ANA PAC­ERS FOR­WARD

In­di­ana had lost 12 straight in San An­to­nio and ap­peared headed for a baker’s dozen early on.

Gi­no­bili’s three-pointer with 9:46 re­main­ing in the first half gave the Spurs a 35-22 lead. It was their largest lead, but also the start of the team’s fall as the Pac­ers’ start­ing five over­whelmed their coun­ter­parts.

“We give a lot of credit to In­di­ana,” Parker said. “They just played bet­ter than us.”

In­di­ana closed the first half on a 30-18 run and opened the sec­ond half with a 12-2 spree.

“We had a good first quar­ter,” Dun­can said. “Sec­ond quar­ter they started mak­ing some shots and we weren’t able to keep up. We went cold, they heated up and got a lit­tle lead there. We just couldn’t re­cover.”

Ge­orge’s three gave the Pac­ers an 85-62 lead with 46.3 sec­onds left in the third. He was four for four from long range and also had six as­sists.

Ge­orge had nine points in the third quar­ter, and the team’s starters had all but two of In­di­ana’s points in a 35-17 pe­riod.

“We knew it was a long game,” Ge­orge said. “This is one team that never thinks we are out of a game, no mat­ter what the cir­cum­stances are. But we knew that we had to get stops and we had to match their en­ergy.”

San An­to­nio held a 23-8 edge in sec­ond-chance points and a 34-26 ad­van­tage in points in the paint, but In­di­ana at­tempted 22 more free throws.

The Pac­ers went 26 for 28 at the line, com­pared to five for six for the Spurs.

“If you lose, you were less ag­gres­sive, and you didn’t have the effort; that is all baloney,” San An­to­nio coach Gregg Popovich said. “That’s psy­chob­a­b­ble. You don’t think Patty Mills and those guys played hard? You don’t think Timmy tried to play hard? That’s silly. They played bet­ter than we did. It’s got noth­ing to do with effort.”

SOOBUM IM/USA TO­DAY SPORTS

In­di­ana Pac­ers for­ward Paul Ge­orge passes the ball un­der the bas­ket against San An­to­nio Spurs for­ward Jeff Ayres (left) and Boris Diaw dur­ing the sec­ond half in San An­to­nio on Satur­day. The Pac­ers won 111-100.

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