Recap: Stephenson, George lead Pacers to rout of Nets
NEW YORK — Lance Stephenson scored a career-high 26 points in his hometown, Paul George also had 26, and the Indiana Pacers went on to their third straight easy victory, 103-86 over the Brooklyn Nets on Monday night.
Stephenson, who recorded his NBA-leading third triple-double of the season Sunday in a rout of Boston, did most of his damage as a scorer, back where he did plenty of it in high school. He became the career scoring leader in New York state, scoring nearly 3,000 points at Abraham Lincoln High School.
David West finished with 13 points for the Pacers, who pulled away in the third period, when Paul Pierce was ejected for a flagrant foul in only the second scoreless game of his career.
Indiana followed its only losing streak of the season by beating Houston and Boston by a combined 60 points, then blew this one open after a competitive first half.
Joe Johnson scored 17 points for the Nets, who lost their third straight. Kevin Garnett, moving to the center spot after Brook Lopez was lost to a broken right foot, had 12.
The Nets host Chicago on Christmas.
Neither team managed a double-digit lead in the first half. The Pacers went ahead by eight late in the second quarter on Stephenson’s 3-pointer, and they took a 45-39 advantage into halftime.
George hit a 3-pointer to open the third and it was all Indiana from there, highlighted by a 20-4 run that turned an eight-point lead into a 71-47 bulge.
Pierce was ejected during the blitz. George Hill stole a bad pass and was going in for a layup and Pierce hustled back and appeared to be trying to wrap him up, but his arm ended up going around Hill’s neck for a clothesline tackle. Referees ruled it a flagrant 2 after review, an automatic ejection.
Pierce finished 0 for 7. His only other scoreless night in a 15-year career came in a 10-minute outing against the Charlotte Hornets on March 9, 1999, during his rookie season, according to STATS.
Nets reserve Jason Terry had 11 points in his first appearance since Nov. 20 after he missed the last 15 games with a bruised left knee.
Notes: The teams meet again Saturday at Indiana, the start of punishing three-game trip for the Nets that follows with visits to San Antonio and Oklahoma City. … The Pacers, who had 29 and 28 assists in their last two games, finished with 16. … Danny Granger was 0 for 7 in 14 scoreless minutes.