Pacers aim to stay hot at home versus Knicks

( - Paul George got back into the swing of things quickly and will try to lead the Indiana Pacers to a victory Thursday versus the New York Knicks at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.

George scored just eight points in a win over Washington last Friday and rebounded with 31 points in Tuesday's 116-92 victory versus Sacramento. He made 10-of-18 shots and sank 4-of-7 3-pointers for the Pacers, who have won the first two tests on a four-game homestand and are unbeaten in the last eight as the host.

"The biggest thing that we did tonight was just run," said George. "We got a couple of days to rest to get our legs under us and that's one thing coach told us to get that energy we've had."

David West tallied 16 points and eight rebounds, Lance Stephenson had 13 points and both Roy Hibbert and C.J. Watson scored 10 points for the Pacers, who became the first team in the Eastern Conference to reach 30 wins and improved to 19-1 as the host. The Pacers have won five of six games overall.

The East-leading Pacers will close the homestand Saturday versus the Los Angeles Clippers.

New York will try to start a new winning streak after having a five-game run come to an end with Tuesday's 108-98 road loss to the Charlotte Bobcats.

Al Jefferson was too much for the Knicks and pumped in 35 points. The Knicks were led by Carmelo Anthony's 20 points, while Amare Stoudemire added 17 points and Raymond Felton scored 13 for the Knicks, who fell to 8-11 away from Madison Square Garden.

Knicks guard J.R. Smith did not play (coach's decision) and has been lightning rod of attention for all the wrong reasons lately.

"I'm not even commenting on J.R. (Smith). I just didn't play him tonight. I just didn't play him," Knicks coach Mike Woodson said.

After the Knicks visit the Pacers they will return to MSG for eight games versus the Clippers, Nets, Sixers, Bobcats, Lakers, Celtics, Cavs and Heat.

The Knicks dropped a 103-96 overtime decision to Indiana at home on Nov. 20, as George hit three free throws with 5.2 seconds remaining to force overtime and scored nine points during the extra session. George finished with 35 points in that one for the Pacers, who have won three of the last four meetings with the Knicks.

New York has lost its last three visits to Indiana.