Blazers hold off NBA-best Pacers despite George's 43 - NBC Sports

Blazers hold off NBA-best Pacers despite George's 43
December 3, 2013, 1:00 am

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) LaMarcus Aldridge had 28 points and 10 rebounds and the Portland Trail Blazers defeated Indiana 106-102 Monday night, snapping the Pacers' seven-game winning streak.

Paul George had a career-high 43 points for Pacers (16-2), who own the NBA's best record.

The Blazers pulled in front until early in the fourth quarter but the Pacers kept it close, and George hit consecutive 3-pointers that narrowed it to 98-96 with 1:37 left. Damian Lillard answered with a 3-pointer and Nicolas Batum made a pair of free throws for the Blazers before George hit another 3-pointer that got Indiana within 103-99 with 21 seconds to go.

Lillard hit free throws and George made yet another 3 with 10 seconds to go to make it 105-102, but the Pacers couldn't get closer.

Lillard finished with 26 points for the Blazers, who have won 13 of their last 14 games.

The Blazers (15-3) beat the short-handed Los Angeles Lakers 114-108 Sunday night. The victory snapped a seven-game losing streak to the Lakers at the Staples Center.

The Pacers (16-2) were coming off a 105-100 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers on Sunday to open a five-game road trip.

Earlier Monday, the NBA named Indiana coach Frank Vogel the Eastern Conference coach of the month for November. Portland's Terry Stotts was named coach of the month for the Western Conference.

The Pacers went 15-1 in November and opened the season with a nine-game winning streak for the best start in franchise history.

The Blazers went 13-3 under Stotts to start the season, including an 11-game winning streak.

George had a 14-foot jumper that gave the Pacers an early 20-11 lead, but the Blazers hung close through the first half. Mo Williams, who helped Portland keep up with seven points, had three fouls and was sent to the bench.

The Blazers finished out the first half with a 9-3 run to get within 46-45 at the break.

Aldridge's dunk pulled Portland within 59-54 midway through the third quarter, but George answered with an 18-foot jumper on the other end for Indiana. Orlando Johnson's 3-pointer extended the lead to 64-56 and it looked as if the Pacers were pulling away.

But Aldridge hit a flat 20-foot jumper and made a free throw and Joel Freeland dunked to even it at 70. Lillard hit a 3-pointer and the Blazers took a 75-72 lead, their first of the game.

Portland went up 86-78 on Wesley Matthews' 3-pointer to make it 86-78, their biggest lead to that point.

Pacers starter Lance Stephenson fouled out with just under 5 minutes left.

NOTES: It was Portland guard Lillard's 100th career game. He is third NBA player ever to start his first 100 games. ... Among those at the game was Portland native Galen Rupp, who won the silver in the 10,000 meters at the London Olympics. ... Former Blazers coach Nate McMillan is an assistant to Vogel in Indiana.

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