George, who heads into the midseason break for his first All-Star Game, responded well following a 1-of-10 shooting effort for just five points in Monday’s loss versus Brooklyn.
Tyler Hansbrough, starting in place of an injured David West, added a double- double with 19 points and 10 boards for the Pacers, who bounced back from back-to-back overtime losses at home following a season-high five-game winning streak. Roy Hibbert contributed 10 points and eight rebounds and George Hill donated 11 in the victory.
West suffered a scratched eye in the Pacers’ 89-84 loss to the Brooklyn Nets on Monday.
Byron Mullens paced Charlotte with 19 points and Bismack Biyombo scored five points, but snagged 16 rebounds for the Bobcats, who have lost eight of their last nine games despite coming off a surprising victory over the Boston Celtics on Monday.
The Pacers went on a 9-2 run to close out the first half, where Hansbrough had 15 of his points on 6-of-9 shooting. The former North Carolina Tarheel broke a tie during the surge with a steal and slam dunk with just under two minutes remaining in the half.
Around the midway point of the third quarter, Hansbrough’s jumper from the right wing increased the margin to 63-54. Orlando Johnson then went 1-of-2 from the free throw line with eight seconds remaining in the quarter to make it 70-60 in favor of Indiana.
The Bobcats slowly faded as the game entered the fourth, while Johnson and Hill increased the edge to 15 points under one minute into the quarter on a layup and a 3-pointer.
The lead quickly mounted to 87-66 on Hill’s triple with seven minutes remaining before the Pacers cruised to the much-need victory,
Indiana held a 30-29 edge after one quarter of play and headed into the break with a 49-46 cushion.
Notes: The Pacers originally hoped Danny Granger, who has yet to play this season, would make his debut Wednesday night, but an illness kept him out of the lineup … Indiana had won five straight and 15 in a row at home before suffering the rare back-to-back home losses … Indiana has defeated Charlotte 12 of the last 13 games in the series, including nine straight at home … The Bobcats committed 16 turnovers, while the Pacers committed just seven … Indiana outscored the visitors 50-20 in the paint.
“Heck of a team win. Obviously a great defensive effort holding them to 31.7 percent shooting. We have to start at the power forward spot. Tyler Hansbrough is a starting power forward in this league. He proves every chance he gets what he can do. Jeff Pendergraph is a rotation player…to get 29 points, 18 rebounds out of those two guys is very impressive. (On the three solid power forwards) It’s a great problem. Both Tyler and Jeff are incredibly good kids and incredibly good basketball players, but David West is David West. Paul George, that was a beast of a triple-double, 23-12-12 and only one turnover. All players have tough nights. We knew he’d bounce back and have a solid game. He’s truly a team first guy and a big reason why we’re 11 games over .500.”
“(On the triple double) It came in the course of me trying to do whatever I could, not only to win the game but to try to extend the lead. (Was he aware?) I didn’t know how close I was until I had about 17, 8, and 8 or something like that. I knew I had to go extra to try to finish it this time. (On the team coming back from two home losses) The last couple of games we really struggled letting teams hang around. We did a good job of just applying pressure defense and continuing to take it to the next level. (On his play in this comeback game) I knew I needed a big game. I didn’t play well at all (on Monday night) and didn’t help, I thought, to win that game. I had to have a better game. I wasn’t having intentions of coming out and having a triple double, but I knew I had to be more aggressive this game.”
“We got a little confidence (tonight). We didn’t want to go into (the All-star break) on a three game losing streak. It was big for us. (On him starting the game) I feel like I can get a better rhythm coming straight from warm-ups. Also I think a little more focus. I’m not going in and trying to force things. (I am) just relaxed and letting things come to me. I think relaxing and letting the game to come to me is a big deal. (On his role the rest of the season) I just got to come out there and do my part, whatever this team needs. I have to find a way to come in with some energy and be effective.”