George, Hibbert help Pacers hold off Nets 97-96
ANDY PROFFET, Associated Press
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The Indiana Pacers' bench didn't provide much in Saturday night's 97-96 win over the Brooklyn Nets.
Danny Granger, Luis Scola, C.J. Watson and Ian Mahinmi combined to shoot just 4 of 18 for 16 points. None played more than Watson's 18:33.
"We've got to figure out something to get a better rhythm with that group," Pacers coach Frank Vogel said.
Maybe the arrival of Andrew Bynum will help.
Hours after the Pacers signed the free-agent center for the rest of the season, Indiana overcame an early deficit and held off the Nets to improve to an NBA-best 22-2 at home.
Bynum wasn't in the arena — Vogel said before the game that the mercurial big man had returned to Cleveland and hadn't had a chance to meet his new teammates yet.
But Indiana's All-Star starter, Paul George, isn't concerned about Bynum's reputation.
"I think it increases our chances (of winning a championship)," George said. "A lot of teams have three centers. With us only having two, him being one of the best ones out there, it's a no-brainer to go after a talented guy like that."
The Pacers (36-10) eked out the win despite a season-high 24 turnovers that Brooklyn converted into 36 points.
"We didn't play a great game," Vogel said. "We've got to get under control."
George and Roy Hibbert both had 20 points for the Pacers, who swept the four-game season series.
Lance Stephenson, left out of the All-Star game despite leading the NBA in triple-doubles, added 14 points for Indiana. David West had 17 points and George Hill scored 10.
"We've got to be a little more patient. We're swinging for the fences a little too much in terms of trying to make some tight interior passes as opposed to making the simple play," said West, who had a game-high seven assists.