CLEVELAND (AP) — Paul George scored 16 points, Roy Hibbert made a putback and two free throws in the final 1:09 and the Indiana Pacers held off Cleveland’s late rally for an 82-78 win over the short-handed Cavaliers on Sunday night.
The Pacers led by 16 in the fourth before Dion Waiters brought Cleveland back by scoring 12 points in a 16-1 run that got the Cavs within 75-74 with 3:35 left. Hibbert’s free throw with 7.9 seconds left put the Pacers up 81-78, and Indiana got the ball back when Cleveland’s Earl Clark stepped out on an inbounds pass 1 second later.
David West made one free throw with 5.4 seconds left, and the Pacers escaped with their seventh win in eight games. At 27-6, Indiana has the NBA’s best record.
C.J. Miles scored 21 and Waiters had 14 for the Cavaliers, who played without All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving, who sat out for the third straight game with a bruised knee.