George's 21 points lead Pacers past Cavs, 91-76

Published on NewsOK Modified: December 31, 2013 at 6:39 pm •  Published: December 31, 2013
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INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The Indiana Pacers had to wait a little longer than usual to pull away for yet another victory. Kyrie Irving and the Cleveland Cavaliers were left fretting over an MRI on the star's left knee.

Paul George scored 21 points, Roy Hibbert added 19 and the Pacers used a dominant fourth quarter to blow out the Cavaliers 91-76 on Tuesday

The Pacers (25-5) have won eight in a row over Cleveland, their longest active streak against any opponent.

Instead of opening up a nice lead in the third quarter, as is their tendency, they limited the Cavs to 3-of-16 shooting and forced seven turnovers in the final period to seize control.

Cleveland (10-21) dropped its sixth straight but hopes Irving was not lost, too.

After missing a fast-break layup late in the third quarter, Irving went down and clutched his knee. Seconds later, a foul led to a timeout and Irving struggled to leave the court. Cavs coach Mike Brown hustled over to check on Irving when the third-year point guard sat around midcourt.

"I thought the worst happened," Irving said. "I felt something pop in my knee. I was falling down around all over the place. It was a painful experience."

Irving was helped to the locker room with 4:01 remaining in the period, but returned with 9:27 left in the game. Still, he said the knee "didn't feel right" after that and an MRI was scheduled for Wednesday.

Anderson Varejao led Cleveland with 14 points and 11 rebounds.

Irving was a limited factor even before the injury, finishing with 10 points, five rebounds and five assists. The Cavs shot 36.2 percent from the field and committed 15 turnovers.

George Hill had 13 points and six rebounds for the Pacers, who have won five in a row and sent the Cavs to their eighth straight loss in Indianapolis. Indiana won the fourth quarter by a 26-10 margin.

"We played better defense, played smart and hit the open man," said Lance Stephenson, who had a game-high eight assists. "We were protecting the rim. Everybody was in their gaps and G-Hill did a great job on Kyrie Irving."

Cleveland had six turnovers in the first 6 minutes of the quarter, including giveaways on three straight possessions by reserve center Tyler Zeller.

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