Philadelphia (TSN) – The heavy-legged Indiana Pacers, led by Roy Hibbert’s 18 points and 14 rebounds, displayed their defensive prowess in downing the Philadelphia 76ers, 88-69, for their third win in as many days.
Playing the final test in the NBA’s only back-to-back-to-back this season, the Pacers held Philadelphia to 34 percent shooting in rolling to their fifth consecutive victory, including a rescheduled Central-Division clash with the Bulls on Monday and a double-digit win over the Hawks on Tuesday.
George Hill, Paul George and David West all chipped in 15 points for the victors.
The already-ailing Sixers fell to 4-2 on their eight-game homestand and received more dire news Wednesday as it is being reported starting guard Jason Richardson will need to undergo season-ending surgery on his knee. On Monday, the club’s second-leading scorer and top rebounder, Thaddeus Young, suffered a grade one left hamstring strain and will miss the next three weeks.
Rookie Arnett Moultrie saw more playing time as a result and netted 12 points to follow up Jrue Holiday’s team-high 19-point effort in the club’s lowest scoring output of season.
Both teams shot under 36 percent from the field in the first half. Indiana led most of the way and went into the break holding a slim 37-34 advantage.
After trading baskets to start the third quarter, the Pacers went ahead by double digits for the first time via a 9-0 run. George hit a fadeaway to start the spurt and made two free throws to end it for a 48-36 lead.
It was a 59-48 game heading to the fourth, and the closest in got in the final frame was nine.
Indiana had dropped three straight on the road and improved to 11-16 as the visitor this season … The Pacers have won nine of the past 13 meetings in Philadelphia dating back to the 2005-06 season … Indiana outscored the Sixers at the free throw line, 19-5 … Lavoy Allen, who started in place of Young, scored 12 points.