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Thursday, Nov. 29, 2012

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King of the Hill: Indiana's George Hill (right) prepares to shoot in front of Los Angeles' Darius Morris on Tuesday. AP

Hill banks home winner as Pacers top Lakers

AP

LOS ANGELES — Kobe Bryant is often at his most dangerous when he's fighting the flu, and the ailing superstar carried the Los Angeles Lakers to the brink of yet another under-the-weather win.

One dramatic shot by George Hill left the Indiana Pacers feeling a whole lot healthier.

Hill's high-arching shot banked in over Dwight Howard with 0.1 seconds left, and the Pacers withstood Bryant's 40-point performance and the Lakers' last-minute rally for a 79-77 victory over Los Angeles on Tuesday night.

Hill scored 19 points for the Pacers, who benefited enormously from the Lakers' 23-for-43 performance at the free throw line. Indiana led for most of the night, but couldn't put it away until Hill took charge on a pick-and-roll play with David West, dribbling past Pau Gasol and delicately lofting the ball over the shot-blocking Howard.

"It's something you always dream about, to hit game-winners," Hill said. "So to do that and help this team win a game just makes it that much better."

Coughing and wheezing on the court and in the locker room, Bryant still hit a tying 3-pointer with 24.5 seconds left and produced the 114th 40-point game of his career.

"It was just a tough game for us, because we didn't make shots," Bryant said. "On top of that, we didn't make free throws. I've got to minimize my mistakes. Ten turnovers is way too many for me, so I have to work on perfecting that and bringing that down. I just felt like I played to the crowd too much."

The Lakers dropped to 2-3 under new coach Mike D'Antoni. They mostly played the way Bryant felt, flirting with the lowest-scoring game and worst shooting percentage in franchise history before finishing with 31.6 percent shooting and surpassing the club low of 70 points in a game with eight consecutive points in the waning minutes.

Sixers 100, Mavericks 98

In Philadelphia, Evan Turner scored 22 points and Thaddeus Young had 20 to lead the Sixers to a win over the Dallas.

Jrue Holiday had 18 points and seven assists for Philadelphia, which snapped a six-game losing streak to the Mavericks. The Sixers shot 6 of 14 on 3-pointers to win their second straight game.

Rockets 117, Raptors 101

In Houston, James Harden scored 24 points and matched a career high with 12 assists to lead the Rockets over Toronto.

Patrick Patterson added 22 points for the Rockets, who have won four in a row. Omer Asik had 13 points and 18 rebounds.

Timberwolves 97, Kings 89

In Sacramento, Kevin Love had 23 points and an NBA season-high 24 rebounds. Love, who missed the first nine games of the season with a broken right hand, was a force inside all night for Minnesota, which took the lead late in the first quarter and never trailed again.

Suns 91, Cavaliers 78

In Cleveland, Goran Dragic scored 19 points, Michael Beasley added 15 and Phoenix took control late in the third quarter to beat the Cavaliers.

The Suns scored the final 14 points of the third to take a 71-59 lead they did not relinquish, sending Cleveland to its 10th loss in 11 games.

Cavaliers center Anderson Varejao had 20 points and 18 rebounds for his sixth straight double-double. He came in leading the NBA in rebounding with a 14.7 average.



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