Nuggets hang on to beat Pacers
by kimball hendrix
INDIANAPOLIS – When Darren Collison made a free throw to cut the Denver Nuggets 12-point lead to 106-105, it appeared the Pacers had a good chance to win their 18th game of the season.
But that was as close as Indiana would get as the Nuggets used strong performances by Ty Lawson and Arron Afflalo to beat the Pacers, 113-109, Saturday night at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
Lawson scored 27 points and Afflalo had 23 points and five rebounds for Denver. Corey Brewer also hurt Indiana, scoring 19 points and grabbing five rebounds. Afflalo made a pair of free throws with 8.2 seconds remaining to secure the win.
The Pacers (17-10) have lost three straight games and four of their last five.
“I thought thought our transition defense was good most of the night, which it has to be against this team,” said Pacers coach Frank Vogel. “We had too many turnovers (20). That probably cost us the game.”
Danny Granger tallied 26 points to lead Indiana, 18 in the first quarter. David West had 22 points and seven rebounds, Paul George finished with 15 points and six boards and Roy Hibbert had 12 points, five rebounds and four assists.
Guard A.J. Price notched 13 points in 17 minutes off the bench.
Indiana’s biggest lead was 46-33 in the second quarter but Denver clawed back, tying the game at 60 at halftime.
“We won the game because we had more effort and energy,” said Nuggets coach George Karl. “Now we can have a good day off and enjoy the stress of a win instead of the stress of losing.”
The Pacers host the Miami Heat at 7 p.m. Tuesday.