Hibbert leads Pacers over 76ers
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Weary or not, the Indiana Pacers found the energy to beat the Philadelphia 76ers.
Roy Hibbert had 16 points and 13 rebounds to lead the Pacers to an 88-69 victory over Philadelphia on Wednesday night.
The Central Division-leading Pacers won their third game in three nights. Paul George, George Hill and David West each scored 15 for the Pacers, the only team to play back-to-back-to-back games this season.
“We got in here before the game and we just looked each other in the eyes, and I knew it,” George said of a team meeting. “I knew we had to go out, fight for each other, rely on each other and do everything possible to get a win.”
Indiana has won five in a row overall to move a season-best 12 games above .500. The Pacers snapped a three-game road losing streak and won for just the third time in 10 games away from home.
“We got ourselves up for this one in the locker room before the game,” West said. “We had to. A lot of guys didn’t have a lot out there physically, and we had to lean on each other. But we did that, we relied on defense, and slowing the game down, and we got it done.”
Jrue Holiday had 17 points for the Sixers, who saw their season-best three-game winning streak end.
Rookie Arnett Moultrie had a season-high 12 points and Lavoy Allen added 12.
“We looked like a team that played 10 games in 10 nights,” Sixers coach Doug Collins said. “That’s the kind of energy we had tonight. We were not mentally into the game.”
Moultrie, a first-round pick, has been a deep reserve this season. He got extended action because forward Thad Young was injured on Monday night.
The Pacers broke it open in third quarter with a 9-0 run. Hill hit a 3-pointer and George finished it off with a pair of free throws to make it 48-36.
Minutes later, George threw down a dunk off an alley-oop pass from Hibbert for a 54-42 lead. The Sixers didn’t get any closer than nine points the rest of the way.
“Our tanks were on E, but our team is a very, very mentally tough team. And we proved it tonight,” Pacers coach Frank Vogel said. “It never felt like it was easy during the game. Philly plays extremely hard and they are very, very well coached. Obviously they are undermanned. You have to call it like it is. But they still have to go out and win, and they still have an All-Star running the show for them, and I’m proud of our guys for getting the win.”
The teams combined for 33 points and shot 28.6 percent (16 for 56) in the first quarter. It didn’t get much better in the second.
Dorell Wright made the play of the night midway through the quarter after blocking Tyler Hansbrough’s shot at the defensive end. He followed it up with a no-look alley-oop pass to Moultrie for a slam to electrify the sparse crowd at the Wells Fargo Center.
West hit a jumper to send the Pacers into halftime up 37-34.
Notes: The Pacers played three straight games because of a makeup against Chicago on Monday night. … Young is expected to miss three weeks with his left hamstring injury. … Sixers guard Jason Richardson went to New York to get a third opinion on his injured left knee. Collins said he couldn’t comment on a report that Richardson will have season-ending knee surgery. … The Sixers fell to 4-2 during an eight-game homestand. … Indiana is 23-2 when allowing less than 80 points.