THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Published — Friday 22 February 2013
Last update 21 February 2013 11:46 pm
INDIANAPOLIS: Paul George scored 27 points and Indiana powered its way closer to the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference by beating New York Knicks 125-91 on Wednesday night.
David West had 18 points and nine rebounds, and Lance Stephenson added 14 points for Indiana (33-21), which pulled within a half-game of the Knicks for second place in the East.
The Pacers shot 53 percent from the field, scored a season-high point total and had a season-best 28 assists against the Atlantic Division leaders. It was Indiana’s largest margin of victory this season and New York’s worst loss.
Tyson Chandler led New York with 19 points and 11 rebounds. Carmelo Anthony, the league’s No. 2 scorer, finished with 15 points on 7-for-21 shooting.
George, fresh off a strong performance in his first All-Star Game appearance, made 11 of 19 shots and grabbed eight rebounds.
New York was called for three individual technical fouls and a flagrant foul, and J.R. Smith was ejected.
The Pacers led 37-21 in the second quarter when Amare Stoudemire picked up his third foul and was called for a technical.
As Indiana’s lead grew, the Knicks unraveled. Kurt Thomas committed four fouls in six minutes, in the second quarter, then argued with fans when he went to the bench. Raymond Felton was called for a flagrant foul for elbowing Jeff Pendergraph.
Smith and Stephenson were jawing for much of the final minute of the first half, and they were called for double-technicals right after the halftime buzzer.
Rockets 122, Thunder 119: James Harden scored a career-high 46 points and Jeremy Lin added 29 as Houston mounted a furious fourth-quarter comeback for a victory over Oklahoma City.
Houston was down by 14 points with about seven minutes left. The Rockets used a 21-4 run to erase the deficit and take a 114-111 lead with 1:46 remaining.
Thabo Sefolosha led the Thunder with 28 points and had six 3-pointers. Russell Westbrook had 28 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists. Kevin Durant had 16 points, 12 rebounds and 11 assists.
Heat 103, Hawks 90: Miami scored the first 13 points of the fourth quarter to erase Atlanta’s 10-point lead and the Heat, led by LeBron James’ 24 points, beat the Hawks to extend their season-best winning streak to eight games.
Dwyane Wade scored 20 points and Shane Battier had 17. James had 11 assists and six rebounds.
Al Horford led the Hawks with 27 points and nine rebounds.
Pistons 105, Bobcats 99: Greg Monroe scored 10 of his 19 points in the fourth quarter, stepping up with Brandon Knight on the bench nursing a hyperextended right knee, to lead Detroit.
Knight had 21 points before injuring his knee late in the third quarter. Monroe then took over, finishing with seven rebounds and seven assists.
Kemba Walker led Charlotte with 24 points.
Timberwolves 94, 76ers 87: Nikola Pekovic had 27 points and tied a career high with 18 rebounds to power Minnesota to a victory.
Derrick Williams had 17 points and eight rebounds and Andrei Kirilenko added 15 points and five assists for the Timberwolves.
Evan Turner scored 17 points for the 76ers.
Cavaliers 105, Hornets 100: Kyrie Irving scored 20 of his 35 points in the fourth quarter to lead Cleveland.
Anthony Davis had 12 points and four rebounds for the Hornets.
Grizzlies 88, Raptors 82: Zach Randolph had 17 points and 18 rebounds, Mike Conley scored 17 points and Memphis won its fifth straight game.
Toronto’s Rudy Gay had 13 points and nine rebounds but struggled with his shooting, making just five of 15 attempts. He also had a game-high five turnovers.
Nets 97, Bucks 94: Deron Williams scored 23 points and Nets escaped with a victory over Milwaukee after Monta Ellis missed on a chance to tie the game with three foul shots in the final seconds.