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(Tuesday, December 31st)
Final Score: Indiana 91, Cleveland 76
Indianapolis, IN (SportsNetwork.com) - Paul George poured in 21 points as the Indiana Pacers used a strong fourth quarter to take a 91-76 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Tuesday.
Roy Hibbert added 19 points and five blocks, while George Hill and Danny Granger finished with 13 and 12 points, respectively, for the Pacers, who have won five straight and improved to 15-1 at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
"Today's game was a perfect example of being able to win a basketball game when you're shot isn't falling," said Pacers coach Frank Vogel. "We buckled down on defense. George (Hill) did a fantastic job on Kyrie Irving, that's not an easy thing to do. It was a really special defensive performance."
Anderson Varejao had 14 points and 11 rebounds, Dion Waiters scored 12 and Kyrie Irving added 10 points and five assists for the Cavaliers, losers in six straight.
Irving was helped off the court late in the third quarter after suffering what appeared to be a left knee injury, but returned at the start of the fourth quarter.
"I thought the worst happened. I continued to play but I felt something pop in my knee and I was falling down around all over the place," Irving said. "I'm going to have an MRI tomorrow and we'll see how it goes. But it was a painful experience. When I went back out it still didn't feel right."
The Pacers trailed 68-65 after a Cody Zeller jump hook 14 seconds into the fourth, but Indiana scored six straight and took a three-point lead on George's three-point play at the 10:12 mark.
Anthony Bennett knocked down a deep jumper from the wing to pull the Cavs within 71-70. Indiana, however, used a 16-4 burst to go up 87-74 and never looked back.
Cleveland was held to just 10 points and committed nine turnovers in the fourth quarter.
The Cavs led 25-23 after the first quarter and owned a 44-41 lead at the break. Cleveland's lead never reached higher than three points in the third and the visitors took a 66-65 lead into the final frame.
The Pacers held their opponent to 80-or-fewer points for the fifth time this season ... Indiana outscored the Cavs by a 42-26 margin in the paint ... Cleveland fell to 2-14 on the road this season.
12/31 18:55:06 ET