The Los Angeles Lakers threatened late, hitting a flurry of three pointers in the fourth to slowly chip away at the lead of the Indiana Pacers, but clutch free throws from Paul George helped Indiana to close out the win late. George scored 12 of his 39 in the final two minutes, including 10-12 at the line. The Pacers led almost all night, including a 21-point third quarter lead.
The Pacers were locked in defensively in the first half, coupled with a 2-26 shooting start from the Lakers, the Pacers held Los Angeles to just 35 first half points. But Nick Young opened the door in the second half, hitting six three pointers as part of his team high 22 points, all coming in the second half. In the second half, the Lakers scored 68 points, including a 38-point fourth quarter.
The Lakers had four three pointers in the final 70 seconds, including a pair from Kobe Bryant, to bring them to within a point, but time wasn't on their side with George putting the game on ice at the line. Monta Ellis had 15 on 5-7 shooting with six assists with George Hill and Rodney Stuckey each scoring 11 to reach double figures on the night.
Ian Mahinmi and Jordan Hill each reached double figure rebounding with 10 apiece. Mahinmi scored eight, including from the line when the Lakers implemented the Hack-a-Ian strategy late in the fourth. But as was the case against Chicago, once Mahinmi found a groove at the line, he was on point and looked comfortable from the line, even cracking a smile as he was shooting (and making) his last free throw of the night.
The win moved Indiana's win streak to five games, keeping them in second in the East. While they're only 1.5 games out of first, their West Coast trip could provide enough bumps to keep that gap between them and Cleveland out of reach. They'll stay in Southern California for a few more days before taking on the Los Angeles Clippers on Wednesday.