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George leads Pacers over Grizzlies

Published on NewsOK Modified: December 31, 2012 at 5:50 pm •  Published: December 31, 2012

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The Indiana Pacers are now finding ways to win on a regular basis with or without veteran players.

"I'm proud of them and the effort to be a really good basketball team," Pacers coach Frank Vogel said.

Paul George scored 21 points to lead the Pacers to an 88-83 win over the Memphis Grizzlies on Monday.

D.J. Augustin had 17 points and David West added 13 points and nine rebounds for the Pacers, who have won five of six. George also had six rebounds and five assists.

Zach Randolph had 21 points and 15 rebounds and Marc Gasol scored 13 for the Grizzlies, who have lost three of four.

"We played, I thought, really well in the first three quarters," Randolph said. "But we have to learn how to close out a game."

Indiana played without starting point guard George Hill, who injured his right thigh against the Phoenix Suns last week.

Coming from behind or winning the close games didn't happen early in the season when they fell in a hole early with a 3-6 record.

Still without star forward Danny Granger and with the injured Hill on the bench and even without center Roy Hibbert putting up the expected numbers, Indiana remains atop the Central Division and now a game up on the Chicago Bulls.

Augustin started at point guard for Hill, a decision that came right before tip off.

"We knew with George out, it would be a challenge," George said. "But D.J. stepped up and made the game easy. Everybody had to step up and everybody did."

Augustin hit shots when they were needed most, too, including four free throws down the stretch that kept Indiana ahead.

"It felt good out there tonight," he said. "I wanted to come in and do my best to help the team win.I felt I got in a good rhythm tonight."

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