Indianapolis, IN (SportsNetwork.com) - Goran Dragic and the Phoenix Suns ended
a perfect road trip with a surprising 102-94 win over the Pacers on Thursday,
snapping Indiana's 10-game home winning streak in impressive fashion.
The Suns, playing their fourth game in five days, raced out to a 19-point lead
in the first half and withstood Indiana's furious comeback.
"For a team that's trying to prove themselves to come in and beat a great team
like this on their court is big for us," Phoenix head coach Jeff Hornacek
Dragic spearheaded the upset with 28 points and seven assists, while Marcus
Morris and Gerald Green each chipped in 16 points in the victory.
Markieff Morris added 15 points off the bench for Phoenix, which swept a four-
game road swing against Cleveland, Philadelphia, Milwaukee and Indiana.
Roy Hibbert led the Pacers with 26 points, while fellow All-Star Paul George
provided 12 points and 12 rebounds, but shot just 5-of-17 from the field.
George missed all six of his 3-point attempts, and Indiana was an abysmal
1-of-15 from long range. The Pacers were also outscored on the fastbreak 21-0.
Lance Stephenson, snubbed as an All-Star reserve, recorded his fourth triple-
double of the season with 14 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists in a losing
Indiana was humbled in Phoenix last Wednesday, 124-100, but bounced back to
finish 3-2 on an otherwise successful road trip.
After watching the Suns explode for a season-high 66 points in the first half,
the Pacers' top-ranked scoring defense showed up in the third quarter. Phoenix
scored just 11 points in the frame, and an 18-3 run, capped by three straight
buckets by Hibbert, pulled Indiana within 73-69 with 3:41 on the clock.
C.J. Watson's layup on the first possession of the fourth quarter cut the
deficit to 77-76, but the Suns never gave up the lead.
It was still a close game, 93-92, before Green hit a pull-up jumper and
Markieff Morris drained a 3-pointer on back-to-back trips with under three
minutes to play.
George had a chance to make it a one-point game again inside the final minute,
but his 3-pointer missed from the corner and led to a fastbreak the other way
that ended with a Dragic dunk, giving the Suns a 100-94 lead.
Hibbert missed two free throws at the other end, and Indiana's comeback came
up just short.
"We didn't have the pop in the first half. We climbed back...but the deficit
was too much to overcome," Pacers head coach Frank Vogel said. "We weren't
good enough tonight."
The Suns built their huge lead late in the first quarter, which they ended on
a 15-2 flurry, with Leandro Barbosa's 3-pointer providing a 36-19 cushion.
Ten fastbreak points for Phoenix in the second offset Indiana's offensive
resurgence, and the visitors held an eye-opening 66-49 lead at halftime.
Indiana had not dropped a game at Bankers Life Fieldhouse since losing to
Detroit on Dec. 16 and fell 21-2 at home this season... The Pacers came in
giving up 90.2 points per game ... The Suns improved to 7-2 in their last nine
trips to Indianapolis ... David West and George Hill scored 18 and 17 points,
respectively, for Indiana.
The Sports Network