GAMEDAY LINKS: Team Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Final
Box Score Indiana Pacers 25 15 21 18 79
Play by Play Los Angeles Lakers 21 12 24 20 77


Hill's clutch shot pushes Pacers past Lakers 79-77


Posted Nov 28 2012 1:25AM

LOS ANGELES (AP) George Hill's high-arching shot over Dwight Howard went in with 0.1 seconds left, and the Indiana Pacers withstood Kobe Bryant's 40-point performance and the Lakers' last-minute rally for a 79-77 victory over Los Angeles on Tuesday night.

Hill scored 19 points and hit that enormous clutch shot for the Pacers, who won their third straight road game over the Lakers after losing 11 consecutive regular-season games since Staples Center opened in 1999.

The Pacers' sturdy defense stifled the Lakers' up-tempo offense for most of the night, turning the game into an ugly grind before the thrilling finish.

Bryant hit a tying 3-pointer with 24.5 seconds left and produced the 114th 40-point game of his career despite playing with an apparent case of the flu for the Lakers, who dropped to 2-3 under new coach Mike D'Antoni.

David West scored 16 points and Paul George had 12 in the opener of Indiana's four-game road trip.

The Lakers flirted with the lowest-scoring game and worst shooting percentage in franchise history before scoring eight straight points in the waning minutes, tying it at 74 on Howard's dunk with 1:56 to play. After West made one free throw, Howard and Metta World Peace combined to miss four straight free throws, dropping Los Angeles' performance at the line to 23 for 43.

After Hill made a running shot, Bryant hit a 3-pointer in front of the Lakers' bench to tie it.

The Pacers wound down the clock for Hill, who beat Pau Gasol off the dribble and arched his shot over the leaping Howard, who blocked four shots and scored 17 points despite 3-of-12 shooting at the free throw line.

Before outscoring the rest of his team combined, Bryant missed the Lakers' morning shootaround when he fell ill. He spent the day in bed, drinking fluids and listening to Bob Marley, before giving another high-scoring performance, albeit with 10 turnovers and 12-for-28 shooting.

The Lakers returned from a three-game trip for a three-game homestand, their final multigame stretch at home before Christmas. After playing six games in a nine-day stretch earlier this month, the Lakers are clearly running near empty - and they had little to give in the first half against Indiana.

The Pacers jumped to an early lead and hung on to it despite falling into a 1-for-23 shooting slump in the first half, playing more than 12 minutes with just one field goal. The Lakers couldn't take advantage, missing 14 of their 18 shots in the second quarter and repeatedly failing to move the ball at D'Antoni's preferred pace.

Bryant made five of his first six shots, emulating his many strong performances with the flu, but fell into a 1-for-10 slump before getting rolling again late in the third quarter while Los Angeles made a 13-2 run. Bryant had nine turnovers in the first three quarters, but also had 29 points - more than his teammates' combined 28.

NOTES: The Pacers stay in California to face Sacramento and Golden State before stopping in Chicago on the way home from their trip. ... The Lakers handed out bobblehead dolls in the likeness of the late Chick Hearn, their beloved broadcaster who would have turned 96 on Tuesday. ... Ashton Kutcher, David Beckham, Landon Donovan, Kaley Cuoco, Gene Simmons, Shannon Tweed and Tenacious D band members Jack Black and Kyle Gass watched from courtside.


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Points Bryant, 40
Rebounds World Peace, 12
Assists West (IND), 8
Steals Bryant/Morris, 3
Blocks Howard, 4


Mike D'Antoni:

On tonight’s game:
“It’s hard to win a game when you miss 20 foul shots, 6 for 28 from the three and shooting 31%. They had a chance to win which defies the logic. Defense is good, they played hard and it’s just offensively. That was not nice. That was tough.”

On Kobe willing himself for points:
“He had that triple double or whatever they call it. But he did. He willed it to them and it wasn’t easy. Obviously he didn’t get a few calls that he might have thought he needed. But I mean you can’t miss 7 out of 8 foul shots in the last four minutes. When playing bad, we didn’t play great obviously but then when you have a chance to win you’ve got to do something, something’s got to go and we just didn’t do it.”

On if lack of energy was reason for the way the team played tonight:
“I don’t think it was that today. I thought we defended really well. Guys wanted it. There were some energy plays. Metta comes off and slaps the ball back in by diving out of bounds, he gets in on defensive rebounders. There was some good stuff. I haven’t witnessed many times that you are 1 for 100 almost from the floor. From everything, from foul shots to three-points to two-points. If you can shoot like that you better be really good defensively. There’s no way you can play that bad offensively and win.”

On what bothered him most offensively:
“I think I’ll have to look at the film a little bit but missing 20 foul shots, just that. That’d be 95 points. If we made 10 more or 12 more or whatever it is you’ve got 90 points. We’re off from 90 points, but 20 is remarkable. Then your 6 for 28 on threes and I thought they were wide open. Metta’s went down four times and came back out. Guys were wide open and normally you would make a couple more. And just jump-shots, it was just awful, bad shooting.”

Kobe Bryant:

On the game:
“It was a tough game for us because we didn’t make shots and on top of that we didn’t make free throws. But like I said I got to minimize my mistakes. 10 turnovers is way too many for me so I have to work on perfecting that and bringing that down.

On the team’s missed free throws:
“It’s frustrating, but we’ll work on those. I have to take care of my responsibilities. I can’t really worry too much about things I can’t necessarily control. But the ball is something that I can control, you know, my mistakes.”

“It boggles my mind that I had 10 turnovers. My responsibility is to pick everybody up. It doesn’t matter if we miss 20 free throws, we still could have won the game. The fact is we had 10 possessions where we couldn’t get looks at the basket because I turned it over.”

Dwight Howard:

On defending Geroge Hill’s winning shot:
“I should have just went [for the block] a little earlier. I tried to time it but he didn’t shoot one of those normal layups. It shouldn’t have got down to that point, but we’ll learn from it.”

On the game:
“I think our defense was pretty good towards the end of the game. But we’ll get better. It was a tough game for us tonight, you know, it’s been tough stretch early on in the season, but we can’t lose our faith. We can’t lose our intensity and our effort. We just got to pick it up and continue to play hard and things will start falling for us. We’ll get in a rhythm we’ll get in a groove, but we can’t allow this time right now to break us down.”

Metta World Peace:

On the game:
“The rhythm was different. In Dallas the rhythm came from the start. Tonight relied more on Kobe…when you have so many all-stars on the team you have to utilize the team to put the pressure on the other team. So tonight our team didn’t put enough pressure on the other team.”

“We could have worn them out, but we didn’t do that tonight. Kobe wore his point out, but we didn’t wear the whole team out so that’s a big adjustment we have to make.”

“We have a great team…no reason to get discourage. Just next game, get better and make sure we utilize all five guys out on the court and wear the other team out. That’s how we build leads up and that’s how we win.”

Pau Gasol:

On the free throws:
“It’s a mental thing and it’s a confidence thing. So it’s something you have to work mentally. It’s not just repetition.”

On the game:
“Most of our shots were good, we were open, just didn’t knock them down.”

“We were a little bit out of sync, some plays, you think one thing and the other guy is thinking the opposite and that happens…still I think we did enough to be able to win this game.

On the 21 turnovers:
“Seeing as how our shots weren’t falling, I guess we forced things a bit too much and they did a good job of getting into us a little bit. It was a difficult, ugly game on our part, but we did enough defensively to keep ourselves in the game.”

Frank Vogel:

On the last play:
“It’s a play where if they help he [George Hill] has to throw it back to David [West], if they don’t then he’s trying to turn the corner. It’s a slip play to bate them into a help and have George try to turn a corner and get a shot.”

On George Hill’s last two shots:
“He works on the floater more than anybody I’ve ever met, it’s his money shot. It won the Toronto game for us, and both of those shots won the game for us tonight.”

On beating the Lakers in the fashion they did:
“It’s a huge confidence booster. What enabled us to build steam towards the second half of last year, and have a great second half of last year, was early road wins. We hadn’t gotten any yet this year, and we talked about it and said this is our opportunity to get that first quality road win, and the guys came through.”

On the team’s defense:
“We’re working on our offense, our offense is getting better, but defense is something we can really hang our hat on, it’s been strong all year. We had an offensive focus for a couple weeks, and the defense slipped a little bit, but we had the foundation in place and we had a ‘tightening the screws’ mentality on the defensive end in the last three days in practice and it showed up tonight to the tune of 31%.”

On Ian Mahinmi’s effectiveness on defense:
“That’s why Ian Mahinmi is here; to have a legitimate backup center with size and physicality that you can put on, specifically guys like Dwight Howard and the other big centers in the league. He was huge the whole game, he did a great job on Dwight.”

George Hill:

On the last play of the game:
“Coach drew up a play to isolate me and D-West for a middle pick and roll, if they came and pressured me to get rid of the ball, try to get D-West for the game winner, if not, go for the game winner myself. I saw Pau Gasol top foot up and just decided to attack that. I’ve been working on shots from San Antonio that Tony Parker was teaching me from when I was a rookie, so that’s always a shot I worked on in San Antonio and it paid off today.”

On getting the ball over tall defenders:
“Well the first floater, they let me gather myself so I didn’t have to rush it. It was just like going through practice when I’m practicing against the big paddle that I use to work on my floaters so I knew since I gathered myself and I didn’t have to rush it. It was going to be a great look but the second one, I just wanted to kind of catch them off guard with a quick scoop but to make it high enough because earlier I was on a fast break, when I got fouled, I thought I put it to the top of the glass and he (Dwight Howard) still went to go get it so I’m just trying to make sure I put it high enough so he couldn’t affect it.”

On hitting the game winner:
“It was a great feeling. It’s something you dream about all the time to hit game winners and things like that. To do that and help this team win a basketball game, it just makes it that much better. So I’m thankful to God blessing me with being able to play and I was happy to go out there to help this team win games.”

David West:

On tonight’s game:
“Kobe had a big game but I thought we had forced him into 10 turnovers and that was a team effort in terms of keeping our hands active, and again we were able to control the game, even when it got close.”

On their defense:
“We take pride in playing defense. We feel like we set ourselves that we can defend with the best teams in the league. You know tonight this teams got a lot of weapons, they got Kobe, they got Dwight, Pau. I just thought we did a good job of loosening up our coverages and making things tough for them.”

On team chemistry:
“We’re still a work in progress, were gelling. The line-ups we’ve been using have been working and we’ve been getting contributions from a lot of different guys, and our effort has been consistent defensively. In this league, some nights you’re going to struggle offensively but we try to make a consistent effort defensively”




Posted Nov 26 2012 11:03PM

The Los Angeles Lakers finally may be getting the hang of coach Mike D'Antoni's up-tempo offense, which may be in for one of its toughest tests against the defensive-minded Indiana Pacers.

Los Angeles begins a three-game homestand Tuesday night versus the Pacers, who will be kicking off a four-game road trip with the first of three straight games in California.

The Lakers (7-7) ended a two-game skid with a 115-89 rout of Dallas on Saturday, as Kobe Bryant, Metta World Peace and Antawn Jamison led six players in double figures with 19 points apiece.

Los Angeles, which improved to 2-2 under D'Antoni, hit 12 3-pointers, including five from World Peace, for the third straight game. It hit 10 or more only four times all of last season - with 12 being the high once - and has already equaled that total.

Bryant is averaging 26.9 points while shooting 51.0 percent from the field this year. His highest field goal percentage in a season is 46.9 in 2001-02.

"I think the system has a lot to do with it," Bryant said of his efficiency. "We're spaced out a little bit more, I can penetrate and get to the free-throw line a lot more. I have more lanes to the basket. We don't have people on the block or in the post all the time, so it enables me to drive to the rim, draw fouls and get to the free-throw line a lot."

Dwight Howard finished with 15 points and Pau Gasol added 13 on Saturday. They each combined for 14 points in the previous two games, and neither sees the ball much in the post in D'Antoni's system.

"Me and Pau want to get as many touches as we can on the block, but we have to dictate that by running the floor and being active," Howard said. "If we don't get the ball, make up for it on the defensive end and get stops."

That's something Indiana (6-8) hopes to do after having three days off, giving coach Frank Vogel extra practice time with his team that ranks third in the NBA allowing 92.2 points per game.

The Pacers, though, are coming off a 104-97 loss to San Antonio on Friday after a 115-107 overtime win over New Orleans two days earlier. David West scored a team-high 22 points for Indiana, which is in the midst of playing 12 of its first 18 on the road.

It faces Sacramento on Friday and Golden State on Saturday before finishing this trip at Chicago on Dec. 4.

"I encourage our guys to keep any frustrations in perspective and understanding that we play 41 at home and 41 on the road," Vogel said. "We're weathering the storm of an early, tough part of our schedule. Manage it, stay in the hunt and we'll have our run."

It won't get any easier against a Lakers team that Vogel said creates plenty of matchup problems, especially given the up-tempo style of offense.

"Probably Howard and Kobe on anybody that we have," Vogel said of the most difficult matchups. "They are guys that warrant double teams and we have to be ready for everything."

Indiana beat Los Angeles 98-96 in the most recent meeting Jan. 22 despite 33 points from Bryant, who is averaging 35.0 points in his last three versus the Pacers.

Copyright 2012 by STATS LLC and Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
Probable Starters .
  #15 World Peace SF #21 West  
  #16 GasolPF #24 George  
  #12 Howard C #55 Hibbert  
  #24 Bryant SG #3 Hill  
  #1 Morris PG #1 Stephenson  


Lakers Steve Blake
(abdominal strain) is day-to-day.
Jordan Hill
(herniated disc/sprained right wrist) is probable.
Steve Nash
(non-displaced fracture, left leg) is out.
Mavericks Danny Granger
(sore left knee) is out.

11/27 - IND @ LAL
03/15 - LAL @ IND