All five Pacers starters scored in double figures, led by 15 points apiece from David West and George Hill, as Indiana finally lit up the scoreboard in a 103-83 win over the Dallas Mavericks.
The Pacers, who had lost five of six coming in, eclipsed the century mark in regulation for the first time this season. They came in averaging a league-low 87.8 points per game, but shot a respectable 47 percent from the field and made 6-of-16 attempts from behind the arc on Friday.
Sam Young chipped in 14 points off the bench for Indiana, which received 14 points and eight rebounds from Roy Hibbert. Lance Stephenson scored 10 of his 12 points in a lopsided second half, while Paul George netted 11 points in the victory.
Dallas was paced by O.J. Mayo’s 19 points and lost for the fourth time in five games. Darren Collison, who spent the last two seasons in Indiana, was held to 10 points on 3-of-10 shooting in defeat.
There were 11 lead changes and 10 ties in the first half, but the Pacers began pulling away with a 15-2 run in the third quarter. They held a 61-59 edge at the start of the three-minute stretch, which was highlighted by 3-pointers from Young and Stephenson.
Vince Carter was hit with a technical foul when he landed an inadvertent elbow to the face of fellow North Carolina alum Tyler Hansbrough. Hill made the bonus free throw for a 76-61 advantage with 2:11 remaining in the quarter.
Dallas scored the final six points of the frame, but gave up nine straight points early in the fourth to fall behind by 18. Young started the spurt with a jumper and ended it with a 3-pointer for an 87-69 cushion with 8:23 to go.
The closest the Mavs got from there was 15.
Notes: The Mavs led, 49-48, at the half, the ninth time in 10 games they were in front at the break … Mavs forward Shawn Marion returned from a five-game absence (knee) and scored just two points in 25-plus minutes … Carter scored all 10 of his points in the first half … Dallas shot 2-of-13 from 3-point range … The Pacers scored 106 points in a double-overtime win over the Kings on Nov. 3 … Ian Mahinmi, acquired by the Pacers for Collison and Dahntay Jones in the offseason, netted seven points.
Pacers Head Coach Frank Vogel
“We finally got clicking on the offensive end. We made some adjustments that we told our guys would have an immediate impact. (On the play of Sam Young and Ian Mahinmi) When the ball moves and you have consistent player movement anyone can step up. Both had really strong nights. (On the offensive struggles of late) There’s always slippage in areas and you have to stay on top of it. Playing faster with more speed and force helps everything with your offense. Ball movement and player movement, we put in a couple sets to make sure that happened. (On Roy Hibbert) He had a strong night. We’ll really start clicking when he starts going.”
“Today I took it upon myself to try and get other people involved and be more vocal on the offensive end and the defensive end. (What was the difference tonight?) Defense. We had a great team in Dallas and we knew this new offense was going to open up a lot of doors for a lot of players. It opened up the floor to create for others. And we made shots tonight. Defensively we were playing the way we did last year, really getting into people and challenging shots and then boxing out, rebounding, and pushing it right down their throat.”
“I just thought we played a little harder, played a little smarter, and did what we had to in terms of our execution. I thought defensively we were solid. (Can this be a turning point moving forward?) We can’t overreact. We have to continue to get better. Obviously we are not where we want to be. We have to continue to improve. That has to be our mindset.”
“It was good to get after it early on. But we still have a lot of work to do. It was a real team effort. I feel like on the defensive end, everybody was locked in and helping in the gaps. It’s a lot easier to lock in defensively when shots are falling. That’s what has been the struggle for us. We haven’t been able to make shots. Today shots were going down for us. (Is it a nice win for the future?) This could be a changing factor with our team. It’s a huge relief. We let a lot of games go. It was good to come out early and jump on them.”
Mavericks Head Coach Rick Carlisle
“(On the third quarter) Well a lot of things happened. We had mistakes. We had miscues. Indiana capitalized on it. We didn’t respond well to it. The game got away from us. A lot of guys got hot. Collectively I think their collective will was stronger than ours. After a really encouraging first half and a couple minutes of the third quarter it just went the other way. (Was it disturbing to you when there wasn’t more fight when things started to go South?) Yeah. (On Shawn Marion) I thought Shawn gave a good effort and this is a beginning for him coming back. He did some good things. He competed, he rebounded. He did a lot of the things we need him to do. (On the last play or two of the second quarter) Little things are adding up right now. The free throw rebound at the end of the half was a big momentum play.”
“It’s frustrating right now. We put ourselves in a good position to win the game in the first half then we come out and we couldn’t stop anything in the second half. I don’t know why we are doing these things. We can’t seem to sustain anything. We are continuing to have lapses, mental lapses. We have to be more consistent at both ends of the floor. We have to do a better job of helping each other. Right now there seems to be no communication, our trust in each other doesn’t seem to be there. A play like at the end of the half, can kill the moral of the team. We’re just not doing what we should be doing right now. And everybody is guilty, including me.”
“(On what changed from first half to second half) I think transition hurt us. Lance got a couple of baskets, he hit those transition threes and that helped them out. The first five minutes of the third quarter really hurt us. Like I said, Lance got those two lay ups then he hit a three pointer in transition that seemed to give him a lot of confidence. They were a team that was struggling on offense coming into the game. (On any emotions coming back to Indiana) Not really. I’ve got my own issues worrying about what this team is trying to do. We have to leave this game in the past. We’ve got a tough game tomorrow night against Cleveland. We have to get off to good starts in both halves. The first five minutes of the third quarter is just as important as the first five minutes of the first quarter. Indiana played a good game and we made too many mental mistakes.”