INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Even though they shot well in the first half, the Indiana Pacers knew that wasn't what would win them the game.
Turning up their defense in the third quarter was what it took to pull away from the Brooklyn Nets.
Paul George scored 24 points and Lance Stephenson added 23 to lead the Pacers to a 105-91 victory over on Saturday night.
George Hill finished with 21 points for the Pacers, who put five players in double figures and pulled away with a third-quarter burst.
"This team has a unique way of figuring a team out as the game goes on," coach Frank Vogel said. "We only forced four turnovers in the first half, so we did feel they were a little too comfortable on the defensive end."
Roy Hibbert scored 11 and David West 10 for Indiana, which leads the Eastern Conference at 23-6. Stephenson also had nine rebounds and seven assists.
"We felt like we've got to be aggressive, and come out with more energy," George said. "We were allowing guys to beat us on 1-on-1 plays. If we are going to get beat, it's going to have to be by contested shots and the ball being swung."
Paul Pierce scored 18 points, Mirza Teletovic 17, Deron Williams 14 and Alan Anderson 10 for the Nets, who fell to 10-20.
"They took control of the third quarter with our turnovers, and those turnovers converting into layups," Nets coach Jason Kidd said. "George was knocking down jump shots, 3s. He had a four-point play.
"But those guys, we didn't make them uncomfortable on the perimeter."
Indiana, leading by three points at the start of the third quarter, went on an 11-3 run as the Nets turned the ball over on four straight possessions.