George leads Pacers past Rockets

NEWYou can now listen to Fox News articles!

Paul George scorched the nets with seven 3-pointers en route to a game-high 31 points, as Indiana continued its impressive play at home with a 105-95 triumph over the Houston Rockets.

George got off to a good start, scoring 18 in the first quarter. He went on to finish with six rebounds, five steals and three assists as well in helping the Pacers to their 11th straight win at home.

David West also impressed, tallying with 20 points, 11 rebounds, seven assists and three blocks. Roy Hibbert added 12 points, nine boards and four blocks while George Hill chipped in with 15 points in the victory.

Following a five-game winning streak, the Rockets have been grounded. In dropping their sixth straight game, they committed 18 turnovers and gave up over 100 points for the fifth consecutive contest.

Omer Asik notched a double-double with 22 points and 12 rebounds to go with three blocks. James Harden was held to 17 points on 5-of-19 shooting, but contributed seven assists, five rebounds and four blocks in the defeat.

"They did a good job of executing and getting the shots they wanted," said Rockets guard Jeremy Lin, who was held to just 10 points. "We were never really able to build the momentum we wanted to build."

The Rockets came out sluggish offensively -- committing eight turnovers while shooting just 35.3 percent in the opening quarter -- and George and the Pacers took advantage.

George netted 18 of the Pacers' initial 31 points, draining 4-of-6 from beyond the arc to help Indiana to a 13-point advantage by the end of the first.

Ian Mahinmi pushed the Pacers' edge to 16 with a three-point play to start the second, but Patrick Beverley and Carlos Delfino quickly responded with triples to highlight a 10-0 Rockets run and pull them within 34-28.

Later in the session, Hill extended Indiana's lead back up to 11 with a 3- pointer and pair of free throws. Harden helped cut the Rockets' deficit to 55-52 with a triple and a pull-up jumper, but George swished a three from the wing to send the Pacers into halftime with a seven-point lead.

"It was a game of runs, we knew that," said George. "We started out hot, they came back and put a lot of points up on the board for a stretch, but we knew our defense would hold up and stay solid and continue to force them to shoot challenged jump shots."

As Indiana ripped off a 12-3 run to take a 73-61 edge in the third, the Rockets struggled to hang around. Harden's four-point play brought them within eight, but the Pacers took control as George knocked down his sixth 3-pointer of the game to create an 80-65 margin.

Houston was able to come within 85-77 following Beverley's triple early in the fourth, but Indiana responded with three quick answered scores to push its edge back to 14.

After another trey by George put the Rockets behind by 15 with 5:21 to play, Delfino helped reduce their deficit to 100-93. He hit on a pair of triples as part of 10 straight points, but Indiana never let them come any closer the rest of the way.

Game Notes

Harden was held under 20 points for the first time since Dec. 4. He had accomplished the feat in 22 straight games ... Pacers forward Gerald Green sat the game out with food poisoning ... George has recorded at least five steals in four games this season ... The Pacers scored 100 points for the seventh time this season. They will begin a four-game road trip on Monday in Memphis against the Grizzlies.