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Myles Turner helps Pacers hold off Clippers

Dec 31, 2022; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; LA Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard (2) dribbles the ball while Indiana Pacers guard Andrew Nembhard (2) defends in the first quarter at Gainbridge Fieldhouse. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Myles Turner scored 34 points, Tyrese Haliburton added 24 points and distributed 10 assists, and the Indiana Pacers weathered a season-best 45-point performance from Paul George to down the visiting Los Angeles Clippers 131-130 on Saturday in Indianapolis.

Kawhi Leonard complemented George’s season-high in scoring, adding 24 points with seven assists.

Indiana took a critical 126-125 lead inside the final minute when Haliburton converted a successful and-one. The Pacers led the remaining 57.4 seconds to preserve the win, their third straight and fifth in the last six games, thanks to 6-of-7 combined free-throwing shooting from Turner and Haliburton.

Turner finished the game 10-of-10 at the charity stripe, and the Pacers needed every one of the attempts.

The duo’s foul shooting down the stretch countered former Indiana star George’s five-point outburst in the final 20.8 seconds, which included a 3-pointer with less than a second remaining, but the Clippers would not get another possession.

Marcus Morris added 15 points and Reggie Jackson had 13 for Los Angeles.

Indiana had Buddy Hield adding 18 points and Aaron Nesmith going for 16 points to support Turner and Haliburton. Bennedict Mathurin contributed 15 points off the bench, leading Indiana to a slight advantage in bench points of 33-27.

TJ McConnell added nine points and dished three assists among the Indiana reserves. Jalen Smith chipped in another nine points and grabbed four rebounds.

The Pacers successfully attacked the lane, outscoring the Clippers 58-40 in the paint.

Indiana went into the lane particularly aggressively in the fourth quarter. The team shot 9 of 11 from the interior in the final period.

Defensively, the Pacers offset a torrid shooting performance from the Clippers in all three phases — 53.8 percent from the floor, 16 of 34 beyond the 3-point arc and 28 of 29 at the free-throw line — by forcing 15 Los Angeles turnovers.

Four were the result of Haliburton steals. Indiana shot 52.3 percent from the field and made 14 of 38 treys.

–Field Level Media