George’s 3rd-quarter flurry sends Pacers past Pistons

Detroit Red Wings, Reggie Jackson
Detroit Pistons guard Reggie Jackson (1) drives the ball around the defense of Indiana Pacers guard Jeff Teague (44) en route to the basket during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Indianapolis, Wednesday, March 8, 2017.

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Paul George scored 13 of his 21 points in the third quarter to lead the Indiana Pacers to a 115-98 blowout win over the Detroit Pistons on Wednesday night.

The Pacers swept the four-game season series and moved two games in front of Detroit in the playoff chase.

Tobias Harris had 22 points and Stanley Johnson had a season-high 17 for the Pistons.

Indiana kept Detroit at arm’s length most of the night after scoring the first eight points and still led 58-50 at halftime.

But after the Pistons took their only lead, 63-62, on Marcus Morris’ step-back jumper with 7:37 left in the third quarter, Indiana answered with C.J. Miles’ 3-pointer. George then scored eight points during a 25-8 quarter-closing run to give Indiana a 90-73 lead.

Detroit never challenged in the fourth.

Indiana won by its largest margin since a 21-point rout Feb. 4 also against the Pistons.

Thaddeus Young had 18 points, C.J. Miles added 15 and Jeff Teague wound up with 10 points and six assists for the Pacers.

Andre Drummond had 14 points and 15 rebounds while Jon Leuer finished with 15 points for the Pistons.

TIP-INS

Pistons: Have lost six straight in Indianapolis and 16 of the last 18 road games in the series. … Harris stayed in the game after appearing to take a nasty spill while finishing a dunk late in the second quarter. He only scored four points after the play. … Drummond had his 43rd double-double of the season. … Morris got his 100th career block in his 400th career game.

Pacers: Had two turnovers in the first half and finished with a season-low five. … The Pacers were 11 of 23 on 3s and have now made 11 or more in five of seven games since the All-Star break. … Before the game, NBA Slam Dunk contest winner Glenn Robinson III was presented with his trophy. Former Pacers star Darnell “Dr. Dunk” Hillman, who got a check but no trophy when he won the NBA’s unofficial dunk contest in 1976-77, also received a trophy.

UP NEXT

Pistons: Host the defending champion Cavaliers on Thursday. Cleveland has won five of the last seven in the series.

Pacers: Will try to snap a two-game losing streak against the Bucks when it heads to Milwaukee on Saturday.