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Pacers dunk sinking Cavs, 99-89

Published on NewsOK Modified: December 21, 2012 at 10:26 pm •  Published: December 21, 2012

During an 18-5 run by the Pacers, George stole a lazy pass by rookie Tyler Zeller, drove for a layup and was fouled. He missed his free throw, but George poked the ball away from an unsuspecting Zeller and threw down a two-handed dunk to give the Pacers a 69-55 lead.

"In the second half, that was just me being aggressive," George said. "If I didn't get those steals, I know Coach would've put them on his (mistake) tapes because that's not the way we play defense. I saw an opportunity to be aggressive on the basketball."

Scott decided to rest Varejao for the second straight game rather than risk losing him for several more.

The 6-foot-11 Brazilian will also probably sit out Saturday's game in Milwaukee, giving him additional time to heal before the Cavs play again on Dec. 26. Varejao, who is averaging 14.4 rebounds and playing at an All-Star level, bruised his knee Tuesday night against Toronto.

Irving had a puzzling first half and a disappointing game. Scott agreed that his star did not seem "engaged" throughout.

Irving scored just five points on 1-of-4 shooting and had four turnovers by halftime. On one of them, he drove the lane and badly overthrew the 7-foot Zeller but then showed some outward disappointment toward his teammate, who would have needed a step ladder to catch Irving's pass.

Other than an eight-point flurry in the third quarter, Irving never found his groove on offense and settled for jump shots instead of driving to the basket.

"I'm still trying to find that balance where I'm getting everyone involved," Irving said. "I'm trying to get my bigs shots and my guards shots. I'm still trying to figure it out. It's frustrating, but it's a process."

Notes: Not long after his big dunk, Green left with a sprained left ankle. He expects to play Saturday at New Orleans. ... Indiana has won four in a row over Cleveland. ... Scott is looking forward to having three practices next week. Because of Cleveland's brutal schedule and injuries, the Cavs have been reduced to one practice the past three weeks. ... Zeller made his second start for Varejao and finished with 12 points. He scored 20 on Wednesday at Boston in his first career start. ... Indiana's Tyler and Ben Hansbrough are the fourth pair of brothers in NBA history to play on the same team, joining Dick and Tom Van Arsdale, Dominque and Gerald Wilkins and Mark and Brent Price. ... Tyler Hansbrough was called for a technical in the fourth when he got mixed up with Thompson. The two exchanged a shove and some words.