Behind Paul George’s nine 3-pointers and Roy Hibbert’s first career triple-double, the Indiana Pacers outlasted the New Orleans Hornets in overtime, 115-107, on Wednesday.
George was instrumental in the Pacers’ fourth quarter comeback, connecting on three 3-pointers in the final minutes of regulation. He poured in 33 of his career-high 37 points in the second half and overtime.
Hibbert, who finished with a career-high and franchise record 11 blocks, hauled in 11 rebounds and scored 10 points in registering his first triple- double before fouling out in OT for the Pacers, who have won three of their last four.
George Hill and David West each chipped in 16 points in the victory.
The Hornets, who led most of the first half and the fourth quarter, seemed to run out of gas by overtime in losing their fifth straight contest.
Anthony Davis sat for a second straight game with an ankle injury, but in his absence, Robin Lopez finished with a double-double, scoring a season-high 21 points and pulling down 13 boards. Jason Smith added 18 points off the bench and Ryan Anderson contributed 17 for the Hornets.
The Hornets held a 90-83 edge with 4:13 remaining in the fourth before the Pacers went on a 14-3 run, which included four threes, to take a 97-93 lead.
However, Al-Farouq Aminu, who also had a double-double for the Hornets, buried a rainbow jumper to tie the game at 97 with 22.3 seconds left. Indiana got an opportunity to win the game, but missed four shots on the final possession.
The Pacers came out hot in the extra period, scoring the first 10 points to take a 107-97 lead. The Hornets cut the deficit to four, the last time with 26.2 seconds left, but were forced to foul Tyler Hansbrough twice and he made all four free throws to seal the win.
The Hornets shot 50 percent in the first and led throughout the opening period, holding a 29-21 lead going into the second quarter.
Hibbert, who had five blocks in the first half, scored on a hook shot to give Indiana its first lead of the game at 35-34, but Smith knocked down three straight shots for Hornets late in the quarter, keeping them ahead through the half, 47-43.
Indiana came out strong in the third, especially George. He nailed 4-of-6 from 3-point range, scoring 14 in the period to help the Pacers take a 75-74 advantage into the fourth.
Aminu’s baseline rainbow jumper tied the game at 97. However, West, Hibbert, Hill and Lance Stephenson all missed shots on the last possession for the Pacers.
Game Notes: The Pacers improved to 4-1 at home this season and are now 39-16 in their last 55 regular season games at Bankers Life Fieldhouse … Aminu finished with 14 points and 10 rebounds … The Hornets will continue their four-game road trip against the Phoenix Suns on Friday … Indiana will host the Spurs Friday before heading out on four-game road trip.
“A really good win for us. Offense is obviously a work in progress. It’s still a bit sloppy and needs work. We’re taking the right steps. We had terrific ball games and effort with Paul George from the perimeter and Roy’s (Hibbert) triple-double. Tonight was a spectacular night for Roy. (On Paul George) We were waiting on a breakout game from him. He hadn’t made a three in the fourth quarter until tonight and he made a bunch of them. With a player you’re trying to develop, the biggest battle is confidence and when you have a game like this it shows what you can do.”
“My team helped me. Not only did they help me make the points, they helped me make good decisions and take good shots. And when you get in a flow as I was and they helped put me in, the sky can be the limit…Can’t do it without teammates. This cannot be accomplished by one or two people. It felt good to be in that zone and hopefully it can come out and give me a chance to do it again. The best thing about this is the win. If you have these kinds of games and don’t win, it doesn’t mean anything. I just have to continue to grow and stay loose and take the open shots when they come. I really felt good out there tonight and I want to thank my teammates for all the help and encouragement they have been giving me.”
“I’ve always wanted to get a triple-double. I wasn’t thinking about it too much tonight. I wanted to go out play aggressive, take the ball to the hoop and help my teammates get this win. They helped me by getting the ball to me and helping me protect the ball. I knew that I had a shot at it when they flashed up the 10 boards on the big screen. I knew that if we continue to play it would come at a time when you least expect it to. Tonight was that night. I thank my teammates for their part in it.”