Goshen News, Goshen, IN

Sports

January 15, 2014

Pacers beat Kings, clinch All-Star spot for Vogel

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — There's something about teams on a hot streak that makes the Indiana Pacers want to beat them.

Don't expect to leave with momentum after playing in Indianapolis.

"It's a different story when you come to play here," Paul George said. "Whatever you've done previously, when a team comes in hot, we make that commitment that it's going to be tough to play here."

George scored 31 points, making four 3-pointers, to lead the Pacers to a 116-92 victory over the Sacramento Kings on Tuesday night.

David West had 16 points and eight rebounds, and Lance Stephenson added 13 points, five rebounds and five assists for the Pacers (30-7), who have won five of six.

The victory clinched the Eastern Conference coaching spot for Frank Vogel, since the Pacers are guaranteed to have the best winning percentage in the conference through games of Feb. 2 with Miami's Erik Spoelstra ineligible after coaching last year.

"My name is on the release, but this is recognition of our team's success," Vogel said. "It's a team honor and I'm really excited about it."

George was fouled driving to the basket with 8:36 remaining and converted the three-point play before Luis Scola made a free throw to cap off a 16-2 run in the fourth quarter.

George sparked the big run for Indiana with a 3-pointer at the buzzer to give the Pacers an 86-74 lead at the end of the third quarter. The shot took away any hope the Kings (13-23) had left after Marcus Thornton made a 3 with seconds left to put Sacramento within nine.

George then opened the fourth with another 3-pointer.

"Throughout our whole locker room we've built that culture as we're going to be dominant at home," George said. "And we're working towards being that team on the road as well, but it's just something about home that we just try to protect."

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