Thursday, February 22, 2018
Sports

Pacers regroup, reclaim East lead

INDIANAPOLIS — The Pacers were back to being themselves Sunday.

They made shots. They defended hard for 48 minutes. Lance Stephenson regained his swagger and, yes, reeling Indiana even looked like a playoff-ready team.

David West made three free throws in the final 15 seconds and Stephenson produced his league-leading fifth triple double to give the Pacers a 102-97 win over the Thunder, putting them on the cusp of clinching the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference.

"We're going to treat it (the season finale) like a playoff game. We have to get that No. 1 spot," Stephenson said. "That's what we wanted from the beginning of the season, so we have to take it, not get it, we have to take it."

All they need is a win Wednesday at Orlando or one more Miami loss. The Heat visits Washington tonight and hosts Philadelphia on Wednesday.

It has been a wild second-half ride for Indiana (55-26), which held the top spot in the East from opening night in October until the last week of March. When the Pacers beat the Heat on March 26, they had a three-game lead and a seemingly firm grasp on homecourt advantage.

As the losses mounted, though, Miami charged back and finally took the top spot March 31. But rather than pulling away, the two-time defending champ gave the lead right back.

Miami retook a half-game lead by beating the Pacers at home Friday, then fell into a tie with Indiana after losing Saturday night in Atlanta.

The Pacers went into Sunday's game with six losses in eight games and the knowledge that all they had to do was win their last two because they have a better conference record than the Heat.

They flipped the switch and got back to looking like a championship contender.

Six players reached double figures including West, who had 21, and Stephenson, who had 17 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds. He broke Detlef Schrempf's franchise record for triple doubles in a season (four in 1992-93).

League scoring leader Kevin Durant had 38 points for Oklahoma City.

GAME HIGHLIGHTS: DeMar DeRozan scored 14 of his 30 in the fourth quarter, and the visiting Raptors (47-33) tied a franchise record for victories with a 116-107 win over the Pistons. … Tim Hardaway scored 20 and the host Knicks, a night after being eliminated from playoff contention, beat the Bulls 100-89 to snap Chicago's seven-game winning streak. The Bulls dropped into a tie with Toronto for the No. 3 seed in the East, but the Raptors own the tiebreaker. … Mirza Teletovic scored 20 and Joe Johnson and rookie Mason Plumlee added 17 each as the host Nets beat the Magic 97-88. Orlando has lost two in a row.

DUMARS OUT: The Pistons have decided not to renew Joe Dumars' contract as president of basketball operations, the Associated Press reported. He will remain with the club as an adviser, according to the AP. Dumars was named the 2003 executive of the year, and the Pistons won the title the following season. But Detroit hasn't made the playoffs since 2009, and the retooled Pistons flopped badly this season.

Pacers 102, Thunder 97

OKLAHOMA CITY (97): Durant 13-27 10-10 38, Ibaka 4-11 2-2 11, Perkins 1-3 0-0 2, Westbrook 7-23 4-5 21, Sefolosha 0-1 0-0 0, C.Butler 6-10 0-0 13, Adams 2-3 0-0 4, Jackson 3-4 2-2 8, Collison 0-1 0-0 0, Fisher 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 36-84 18-19 97.

INDIANA (102): George 6-17 5-5 20, West 9-11 3-4 21, Hibbert 0-9 0-0 0, G.Hill 1-3 1-2 3, Stephenson 7-10 1-2 17, Watson 6-10 4-6 20, Mahinmi 4-4 3-4 11, Turner 0-1 0-0 0, Scola 5-7 0-0 10. Totals 38-72 17-23 102.

Oklahoma City 21 24 21 31— 97

Indiana 22 25 27 28— 102

3-Point GoalsOklahoma City 7-28 (Westbrook 3-10, Durant 2-11, Ibaka 1-2, C.Butler 1-3, Fisher 0-1, Sefolosha 0-1), Indiana 9-20 (Watson 4-7, George 3-6, Stephenson 2-5, G.Hill 0-2). Fouled OutNone. ReboundsOklahoma City 36 (Westbrook 9), Indiana 53 (George 12). AssistsOklahoma City 21 (Westbrook 7), Indiana 23 (Stephenson 11). Total FoulsOklahoma City 24, Indiana 21. TechnicalsIbaka. A18,165 (18,165).

Raptors 116, Pistons 107

TORONTO (116): Ross 2-4 1-1 6, Johnson 3-3 2-3 8, Valanciunas 5-12 8-9 18, Lowry 9-18 6-8 28, DeRozan 10-19 8-10 30, Patterson 2-5 0-0 4, Salmons 0-3 0-0 0, Hansbrough 0-0 2-2 2, Vasquez 5-9 2-2 14, De Colo 2-5 0-0 4, Hayes 1-3 0-0 2. Totals 39-81 29-35 116.

DETROIT (107): Singler 4-9 4-6 14, Monroe 8-13 7-11 23, Drummond 5-9 4-8 14, Jennings 6-18 3-4 17, Stuckey 5-11 8-10 18, Jerebko 2-5 1-1 6, Mitchell 1-2 0-1 2, Datome 0-2 0-0 0, Siva 2-9 5-7 9, Caldwell-Pope 2-6 0-0 4. Totals 35-84 32-48 107.

Toronto 42 21 24 29— 116

Detroit 26 23 37 21— 107

3-Point GoalsToronto 9-23 (Lowry 4-7, Vasquez 2-4, DeRozan 2-4, Ross 1-3, De Colo 0-2, Patterson 0-3), Detroit 5-20 (Singler 2-4, Jennings 2-9, Jerebko 1-1, Caldwell-Pope 0-1, Stuckey 0-1, Datome 0-1, Siva 0-3). Fouled OutRoss, Lowry. ReboundsToronto 46 (Hayes 10), Detroit 67 (Drummond 17). AssistsToronto 22 (Lowry 7), Detroit 25 (Jennings 7). Total FoulsToronto 35, Detroit 29. TechnicalsMonroe. A16,944 (22,076).

Nets 97, Magic 88

ORLANDO (88): Harkless 4-8 1-1 10, O'Quinn 5-7 0-0 10, Dedmon 1-4 0-0 2, Oladipo 5-8 1-2 14, Afflalo 2-7 0-0 5, Harris 7-11 3-5 18, Lamb 1-7 0-0 3, Nicholson 5-8 2-2 12, Moore 3-6 2-2 8, Price 2-8 1-2 6. Totals 35-74 10-14 88.

BROOKLYN (97): Kirilenko 1-4 0-0 2, Pierce 3-7 4-4 10, Garnett 1-3 1-2 3, Williams 5-10 2-3 16, Johnson 6-13 2-2 17, Plumlee 6-8 5-8 17, Thornton 3-11 1-2 8, Teletovic 7-12 2-2 20, Gutierrez 0-2 0-0 0, Blatche 2-3 0-0 4, Collins 0-0 0-0 0, Teague 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 34-73 17-23 97.

Orlando 28 21 21 18— 88

Brooklyn 25 21 33 18— 97

3-Point GoalsOrlando 8-20 (Oladipo 3-3, Afflalo 1-2, Harkless 1-2, Harris 1-2, Price 1-4, Lamb 1-5, Moore 0-1, Nicholson 0-1), Brooklyn 12-29 (Williams 4-7, Teletovic 4-7, Johnson 3-7, Thornton 1-5, Pierce 0-3). Fouled OutNicholson. ReboundsOrlando 36 (Harris, Nicholson 7), Brooklyn 52 (Plumlee 11). AssistsOrlando 22 (Price 6), Brooklyn 23 (Williams 5). Total FoulsOrlando 23, Brooklyn 16. TechnicalsOladipo. A17,732 (17,732).

Knicks 100, Bulls 89

CHICAGO (89): Boozer 4-9 0-0 8, Dunleavy 4-9 4-4 13, Noah 2-5 9-11 13, Hinrich 4-13 2-2 11, Butler 6-11 3-6 17, Augustin 3-13 4-6 12, Gibson 5-13 3-3 13, Mohammed 1-1 0-0 2, Snell 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 29-74 25-32 89.

NEW YORK (100): Anthony 7-13 2-3 17, Stoudemire 5-8 2-3 12, Chandler 0-2 1-2 1, Felton 5-14 3-4 14, Smith 6-13 0-0 17, Shumpert 5-11 0-0 10, Hardaway Jr. 5-12 8-8 20, Prigioni 1-3 1-1 3, Aldrich 3-5 0-0 6, Murry 0-0 0-0 0, Tyler 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 37-81 17-21 100.

Chicago 22 17 25 25— 89

New York 19 26 32 23— 100

3-Point GoalsChicago 6-22 (Butler 2-4, Augustin 2-8, Dunleavy 1-4, Hinrich 1-6), New York 9-25 (Smith 5-9, Hardaway Jr. 2-7, Felton 1-3, Anthony 1-4, Prigioni 0-1, Shumpert 0-1). Fouled OutNone. ReboundsChicago 56 (Noah 17), New York 44 (Chandler 12). AssistsChicago 23 (Noah 9), New York 16 (Felton 7). Total FoulsChicago 19, New York 25. TechnicalsGibson, Noah, Anthony. Flagrant Fouls—Chandler. A19,812 (19,763).

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