Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

West, Pacers Cool Heat for 2nd Time

Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

West, Pacers Cool Heat for 2nd Time

Article excerpt

The Indiana Pacers proved one thing Friday night: Beating Miami last month was no fluke. David West scored 30 points, Paul George added 15, and the Pacers never trailed after the first quarter as they pulled away from the defending NBA champs 102-89 in a game that was even more lopsided than the score.

"We want to be dominant at home, and we're getting there," Pacers coach Frank Vogel said. "David West was spectacular. He has a way of giving us contagious confidence. He has that look that carries over to everyone else where we're not going to lose tonight."

The rest of the Pacers (28-19) had that look, too.

They joined the New York Knicks as the only teams to beat Miami twice this season and have won three straight regular-season games over the Heat. Miami won the last three games in last spring's Eastern Conference semifinals on their way to winning the NBA crown.

And Indiana beat a team that promised to be more focused, more motivated and more physical than the first time around. None of it mattered.

Since ending a threegame losing streak Wednesday night, Indiana has won two straight by double digits and its 13-game home winning streak is the team's longest since it won 14 in a row in 2002-03.

Not enough? The Pacers still haven't played with former All- Star Danny Granger this season, though Vogel hopes to have him back on the court before the All-Star break and certainly before the next showdown between Indiana and Miami in March.

Perhaps most impressive is that Indiana has now beaten Miami in two different ways.

In January, they used a suffocating defense and a precision offense to limit Miami to a season-low point total in the 87-77 victory.

On Friday, they held Miami to less than 90 points again, something that hadn't happened since Jan. 8, but the Pacers won this one with an efficient offense.

Indiana shot a seasonhigh 55.7 percent from the field, a number that included 11 straight baskets from West after he missed his first shot of the game. …

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