George scores 31 points, Pacers top Clips for 6th in a row
LOS ANGELES (AP) Paul George had 31 points and 10 rebounds, and the streaking Indiana Pacers broke open a close game early in the fourth quarter to beat the injury-depleted Los Angeles Clippers 103-91 on Wednesday night for their sixth consecutive victory.
Rodney Stuckey scored 18 points, Ian Mahinmi added 14 and Jordan Hill had 13 points and eight rebounds for the Pacers, who have won 12 of 14 after opening the season with three straight defeats. Their only losses during that stretch were by four points at Cleveland and one at Chicago.
The victory was the 2,000th in Pacers history, spanning 40 seasons in the NBA and nine in the ABA.
Blake Griffin and Lance Stephenson each scored 19 points to lead the Clippers, who had won three in a row. They shot 38 percent, their second-lowest mark of the season.
Jamal Crawford added 16 points and DeAndre Jordan grabbed 15 rebounds for Los Angeles.
The Clippers played without All-Star point guard Chris Paul, a late scratch due to a strained rib muscle that forced him out in the third quarter Sunday against Portland. Paul is expected to miss more than one game, according to coach Doc Rivers.
Los Angeles guard J.J. Redick sprained his right ankle on the first possession of the game when he landed on the foot of Indiana's George Hill. Redick made two free throws but lasted only one more second before being removed. He did not return.
Leading 72-69 going into the fourth quarter, the Pacers reeled off a 14-1 run capped by George's 3-pointer that gave Indiana an 86-70 lead with 8:28 to play.
The Clippers, held without a field goal for the first 3:37 of the period, rallied to 88-82 on Crawford's 3 with 4:49 left. They got no closer as the Pacers hit nine of 12 free throws down the stretch to seal it.
C.J. Miles hit a 3 at the third-quarter buzzer to send the game into the final period with the Pacers leading by three. Indiana had opened a 68-59 lead with 2:56 left in the quarter, only to see the Clippers reel off a 10-1 run to tie the score on a pair of free throws by Pablo Prigioni with 22.8 seconds left in the period.
CLOSING IN ON 26,000
Clippers forward Paul Pierce had five points to give him 25,985 in his career. Only 14 players in NBA history have scored 26,000. Minnesota's Kevin Garnett is in 15th place with 25,995.
Pacers: Due to a quirk in the NBA schedule, the Pacers spent four days in Los Angeles, arriving Saturday for a game against the Lakers at Staples Center on Sunday night, then spending Monday and Tuesday in the city before playing the Clippers in the same building. ''It's a challenge being on the road anywhere for that long,'' coach Frank Vogel said. ''In one city, it's certainly tougher.''
Clippers: Jordan played in his 341st consecutive game, the longest active streak in the NBA. Cleveland's Tristen Thompson is second at 307.
Pacers: At Portland on Thursday night.
Clippers: Host Orlando on Saturday night.