PACERS UP HOME RECORD TO 11-0
An off night from Paul George wasn’t enough to derail the Indiana Pacers.
Lance Stephenson had 20 points and 11 rebounds and center Roy Hibbert added 18 points and 11 boards to help Indiana overcome a poor night from George to improve its franchise-record home start to 11-0 with a 99-94 victory over the Charlotte Bobcats on Friday night.
“I think he was in the flow for most of the game,” Pacers coach Frank Vogel said of Stephenson. “Lance has great will, too. Lance made sure we had energy at both ends of the floor.”
George, who entered the contest averaging 24.7 points a game, finished with 10 points on two-of-12 shooting for Indiana (20-3).
The 23 games are the fewest the Pacers have needed to reach 20 wins in franchise history, beating the old mark set when they started 20-7 in 2003-04. That team finished 61-21, best in franchise history.
Al Jefferson had 21 points and nine rebounds for the Bobcats (10-13), who extended their losing streak in Indiana to eight games. Charlotte hasn’t won on the Pacers’ home court since Nov 28, 2008.
Stephenson added seven assists and David West scored 14 points, George Hill had 13 and Luis Scola 11 for Indiana. Rasual Butler, playing his most significant minutes (23:47) of the season, scored eight points on three-of-five shooting.
“That’s a good win against a good team that we have respect for,” Vogel said. “We understood this would be a battle.”
The Pacers led 56-55 at halftime in their first game since defeating the two-time defending champion Miami Heat on Wednesday in a rematch of last season’s Eastern Conference Finals.