Los Angeles, CA – Roy Hibbert shot 11-of-14 from the field to lead six Pacers in double figures with 26 points and 10 rebounds as Indiana survived a late push from the LA Clippers and held on for the 109-106 victory late Monday night at the Staples Center.
"I'm so proud of our team's performance," boasted Hibbert after the game. "We knew they were going to make a run but we weathered the storm. We took care of business tonight."
Paul George added 22 points and 10 assists while David West filled the stat sheet with 16 points, seven rebounds and six assists for Indiana, which led by as many as 24 points before allowing the Clippers to fight their way back. George Hill and Lance Stephenson contributed 13 points apiece.
"That was one heck of a basketball game," said Pacers coach Frank Vogel. "I never felt like we were up 24. Give them credit for the comeback, but the guys were talking after the game and it felt like a playoff road win."
Jamal Crawford helped lead the Clippers charge with 25 points, 15 of which came in the final frame. Blake Griffin chipped in 17 points.
Indiana's lead evaporated in the fourth quarter after the Clippers connected on 15-of-15 from the free throw line and forced six Pacer miscues. However, clutch free throw shooting by George and Tyler Hansbrough proved to be enough for the visiting Pacers.
With 9.7 seconds remaining in the contest and the Pacers holding a 107-103 edge, Crawford drew a foul on George away from the ball, giving the Clippers one free throw and the ball. Crawford sank the foul shot, but Chris Paul's triple from the top of the key rimmed out.
Matt Barnes' tip-in with 1.9 seconds left gave LA some life.
After George drained two from the charity stripe to increase the Pacers' lead back to three, Lamar Odom had one final look to tie the game. His 3-point try was off the mark as the clock hit zero.
The Pacers played terrific team basketball in the third stanza to help build their lead by assisting on nine of 10 field goals.
LA had no answer for Hibbert early on as the Indiana big man started the game 8-of-8 from the field.
"Hibbert had his way with us, especially in the first quarter," proclaimed Clippers coach Vinny Del Negro. "They got off to a 10-0 start and we were playing catch up."
Caron Butler's putback with 0.2 seconds left in the first half cut Indiana's halftime margin to 51-43.
Hibbert has scored at least 20 points in three of his last four contests ... Hansbrough's only points came from the free throw line with 14 seconds remaining ... Indiana's starters all logged at least 32 minutes ... The Clips got a huge boost from their reserves, who outscored their counterparts, 60-18 ... LA scored 41 points in the fourth quarter after registering 21, 22 and 22 points in the previous three.