Pacers overcome banged up Mavs with stellar effort

Wonderful victory.  Just minutes ago, the final buzzer sounded on the Indiana Pacers’ 102-89 victory over the Nowitzki and Butler-less Dallas Mavericks.

A very good effort, much better than their win over the 76ers just the day before.  Even without those Butler and Nowitzki, the Mavs are still a dangerous team, and the Pacers have been walking on thin ice lately with some of their performances, and it was unclear which team would show up on the night.

Fortunately, the guys buckled down and led most of the second half en route to a well-earned win, moving the team up to 16-20 and getting them their first winning streak since they beat LA and Sacramento back to back in late November.

With players backing up from the night before, Jim O’Brien gave minutes to rookie Paul George, and it paid off.  George scored a career high 16 points in 19 minutes, including four 3 pointers.  Granger and Collison each had 17 while Brandon Rush led all scorers with 20.  O’Brien played 11 players tonight, and each and every one of them had a role, with only Solomon Jones scoreless for the game.

I hope I don’t jinx them, but the Pacers look like they might be getting on track here after a tough December.  I doubt they’ll get back to their giant slaying ways earlier in the season, but if they can keep this level up they’ll be in a good spot.

Next up, another home game on Friday night, this time against the Joakim Noah-less Chicago Bulls.  Derrick Rose will be a handful, but this is one the Pacers can win as long as they continue to hit their shots.  Earlier in the season they went to Chicago and let the Bulls get out to a massive lead early.  They can’t let that happen again if they want to win.

Go Pacers!

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