Game Rewind: Pacers 102, Mavericks 89

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FROM THE LOCKER ROOM

PACERS COACH JIM O'BRIEN

Its two quality back-to-back wins for our team. Im proud of the intensity and effort put forth the last two games. Jeff Foster was terrific. The small line-up opens up the court for us and we want to make it as difficult as possible to guard us. " (On Paul George) He is shooting with confidence and hes in and out defensively. But by and large I thought he was very good defensively tonight. He can shoot it. He is going to be a terrific basketball player. I thought we had two very good fourth quarters the last two night, taking good shots, getting stops and being unselfish. Ive seen good signs in every game in 2011 except in Atlanta.

PACERS FORWARD PAUL GEORGE

As a rookie I have been able to sit on the bench and to follow the movement of Brandon Rush, Danny Granger and others. I stay after practice to get a little extra work so that when I get in I am able to contribute. I try to improve my game every day in all aspects." (On Jason Kidd) "We knew he was a great player. We knew he moved well without the ball and it was going to be a tough assignment for us. I feel pretty good as to where I am today.

PACERS GUARD BRANDON RUSH

We must keep working and practicing helping each other out and string back to back wins together and move on. We definitely defended well tonight." (On the offense) "We took what they gave us. We must move forward with these two wins to play Chicago Friday and hopefully go on the road on a positive note.

PACERS FORWARD DANNY GRANGER

We defended well, which resulted in turnovers and some points. We had good movement in the fourth quarter and did not bog down as we have in the past. We were ready, focused and I think ready to get more wins if we play the way we did tonight. Dallas is a good basketball team and they have some good players.

MAVERICKS COACH RICK CARLISLE

They played well. George (Paul) and Rush (Brandon) were the two guys that really hurt us. You have to give them credit for their shot making. You know your defense can always be better. Right now for us I think the key word is precise. We just have to be so precise in everything we do. For instance we only had 12 turnovers and it leads 14 points and thats a huge number. Everything that happens, every possession is precious. We just have to keep pushing. " (On the Pacers) "I like the team a lot, I do. What Larrys done, they are extremely well positioned financially cap-wise. Theyve got a terrific young nucleus of players. Grangers an All-Star. Their bigs are really good and solid and will get better, and the wing players ripped us tonight. Their point guards are really good too.

MAVERICKS GUARD JASON KIDD

(On the difference in the game) "We couldnt make shots when we needed it. And on the other side we couldnt get stops when we needed it. The Pacers made shots. They moved the ball and they got big scores when they needed them, especially in the fourth quarter." (On the absence of Dirk Nowitzki) "We are all professionals. We are a veteran ball club. No one in this room is panicking. We just have to be patient and wait for him to get back. No one likes to talk about it. The fact is he draws so much attention when he is out on the floor that we all get better looks because of it. Also his offense helps our defense tremendously." (On the Pacers) "Theyve got a lot of young talent. Theyve got a good coach. This is a great basketball city and as time will push forward they can be an elite team once again.

MAVERICKS FORWARD SHAWN MARION

They just made the shots. I think we were playing good defense in stretches, but we werent able to sustain it. They hit big shots when they needed to. And we werent able to close the gap." (On the Pacers offensive rebounding at critical times) "We werent coming up with loose balls. They were getting every loose ball. Everything was bouncing their way." (On where the Mavs scoring will come from with Dirk Nowitzki and Caron Butler out) "Everybody. We have people who can score on this teamweve been very effective this season when everybody is contributing. You can see the balance on this team.
Small-ball comes up big again for Pacers

END RESULT

The decision to go back to small ball has come up big for the Pacers.

Once again getting balanced production from the strength of the roster their perimeter players the Pacers led most of the way in a 102-89 victory over the Dallas Mavericks Wednesday in Conseco Fieldhouse.

Continuing the recent trend of balanced production and a variety of contributors down the stretch, Brandon Rush scored nine of his 20 points in the fourth quarter to lead the Pacers. Danny Granger and Darren Collison had 17 apiece and Paul George scored 16 off the bench.

Playing without injured stars Dirk Nowitzki and Caron Butler, the Mavericks were led by Jason Terry, who scored 18 off the bench.

IMPACT

The Pacers won consecutive games and scored at least 100 twice in a row for the first time since November and improved to 16-20 overall, 10-9 at home. They also snapped a five-game losing streak to the Mavericks. Dallas dropped to 26-11 overall, 12-3 on the road but the Mavericks are just 2-6 without Nowitzki.

QUOTEWORTHY

  • Its two quality back-to-back wins for our team. Im proud of the intensity and effort put forth the last two games." Pacers coach Jim O'Brien
  • We defended well, which resulted in turnovers and some points. We had good movement in the fourth quarter and did not bog down as we have in the past. We were ready, focused and I think ready to get more wins if we play the way we did tonight." Pacers forward Danny Granger
  • They played well. (Paul) George and (Brandon) Rush were the two guys that really hurt us. You have to give them credit for their shot making." Mavs coach Rick Carlisle
  • "The Pacers made shots. They moved the ball and they got big scores when they needed them, especially in the fourth quarter." Mavs guard Jason Kidd

STAT OF THE GAME

The Pacers improved to 10-2 when they score at least 100 points.

HIGHLIGHTS

Though Dallas was missing a lot of offensive punch without Nowitzki and Butler, the Mavs field a stout defensive lineup and that was in evidence early as the Pacers managed just four points and committed four turnovers in the first six minutes. But the switch flipped and Indiana's offense remained on the rest of the night.

After trading baskets most of the first half the teams were tied nine times in the second quarter alone, including 52-all at the half the Pacers made the first big move of the game with a 12-4 run in the third quarter that opened a 75-66 lead.

Dallas closed to 77-71 early in the fourth but George hit back-to-back 3-pointers to make it 83-71. Rush then answered the Mavericks' final two threats. Dallas closed to 87-80 on a Jason Kidd 3-pointer with 7:25 left but Rush came back with consecutive jumpers to push the lead back to 11.

Another Kidd 3-pointer made it 93-87 with 3:43 left but Rush produced a 3-pointer of his own to start a 9-2 finishing kick that put away the Mavs.

BY THE NUMBERS

The Pacers shot just .446 overall and 8-of-24 (.333) from the 3-point line but had timely scoring. Rush was 7-of-16 overall, 2-of-5 from the arc for his 20. Granger scored six of his 17 from the line, adding six assists to bring his two-game total to 13. Collison hit 6-of-9 shots, adding five rebounds, four assists and three steals to his 17. George also was 6-of-9, hitting 4-of-6 from the arc, adding four rebounds and two steals in 18 minutes off the bench. Mike Dunleavy had 11 rebounds and Jeff Foster eight for the Pacers, who outrebounded Dallas 46-41.

Terry shot 9-of-20 for the Mavs, adding five rebounds and three assists to his 18-point night. Kidd was 4-of-7 from the arc and finished with 13 points, seven assists, three steals and two blocks. Tyson Chandler scored 13 with nine rebounds. Shawn Marion had 12 with seven rebounds and four assists and DeShawn Stevenson had 10 points. The Mavs shot 41.3 percent overall and were 9-of-22 (.409) from the arc.

NOTEWORTHY

  • With his second 3-pt field goal tonight, the Mavericks' Jason Kidd moved ahead of former Mavericks' guard Dale Ellis into third place on the NBA's all-time career 3-point field goals list. Kidd now has 1,722.
  • The Pacers' win is their first against Dallas since 2007.
  • George has scored double figures in three of the last six games.
  • With their 20-22 FT, the Pacers attempted more free throws than their opponent (14-19) for just the fifth time this season.
  • The Pacers had just eight turnovers tonight and gave up a season-low one point off those miscues. Indiana's eight turnovers are one off its lowest total of the season.
  • With a record of 16-20 this season, the Pacers are five games ahead of last year's mark after 36 games.
  • Having won last night at Philadelphia, the Pacers have swept a back-to-back for the third time this season.

UP NEXT

The Pacers face the Central Division leading Chicago Bulls on Friday at 7 p.m. (Fox Sports Indiana, WIBC 93 FM) in Conseco Fieldhouse. Tickets: Buy Now | Lucas Oil Family Night

--Conrad Brunner, Pacers.com