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George leads Pacers past Kings in OT, 116-11

Published on NewsOK Modified: January 25, 2014 at 1:38 am •  Published: January 25, 2014
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SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Midway through the season, Indiana's Paul George is being mentioned as an MVP candidate.

On Friday night, he showed why he deserves such consideration.

George scored eight of his 36 points in overtime to help the Pacers beat the Sacramento Kings 116-111.

George sent the game to overtime with a four-point play to cap a nine-point fourth quarter. He made a 3 and was fouled by Derrick Williams with 15 seconds left. George then made the free throw to complete the four-point play and tie the score at 103.

"We run that play a lot and I practice that shot," said George, who has seven 30-plus point games this season. "I was coming off a screen and felt him pushing me from behind. I just knew to rise up."

Isaiah Thomas missed a jumper in the closing seconds for the Kings, sending the game into overtime.

In overtime, George made 3 of 4 shots and had a key steal to thwart any thoughts of a Sacramento comeback.

David West made 3-pointer and George dunked after a steal, putting Indiana up 110-106. George, voted a starter for the Eastern Conference in next month's All-Star game, later added a corner jumper for a 114-111 lead.

After his heroics on offense, George added one at the defensive end. He stole the ball from Thomas with 12 seconds left and was fouled. George made two free throws for a 116-111 lead.

"They got some incredible bounces tonight," Kings coach Michael Malone said. "But when we defend like we did tonight I can't ask a whole more from our guys. The difference between winning and losing close games is going to come down to execution on offense and can you get the best shot possible."

The Pacers overcame a 17-point second-quarter deficit and rallied in the fourth to tie the score.

Indiana then outscored the Kings 13-8 in overtime to avoid a rare two-game losing streak. The Pacers were coming off a humbling 124-100 loss Wednesday in Phoenix.

Marcus Thornton matched his career high, scoring 42 points and hitting seven 3-pointers for the Kings. Thomas had a career high-tying 38.

The undermanned Kings played without injured leading scorers DeMarcus Cousins and Rudy Gay.

"Even though they were missing two key players, we weren't taking them lightly," Pacers center Roy Hibbert said. "But in the first half I was thinking, 'is it going to be one of those nights again?' It took a big heart (by George) to make that shot. Then we took over the game in overtime.'

Lance Stephenson had 24 points, 10 rebounds and six assists for the Pacers. David West had 22 points and 11 rebounds, and Hibbert and George Hill scored 10 points each.

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