First Posted: 2/10/2014
INDIANAPOLIS — David West scored 25 points and Roy Hibbert added 14 as the Indiana Pacers routed the short-handed Denver Nuggets 119-80 on Monday night.
Indiana snapped a five-game skid in the series, beating the Nuggets for the first time since a 31-point blowout in November 2010. The Pacers (40-11) still have the NBA’s best record, the league’s best home record (25-2) and now lead two-time defending champion Miami by four games in the Eastern Conference.
Wilson Chandler scored 17 points and J.J. Hickson added 12 to lead the Nuggets (24-26), who have lost three straight and played without several injured players, including Andre Miller, Danilo Gallinari, JaVale McGee, Nate Robinson and Ty Lawson.
After the first six minutes, this game was never close.
The Pacers took control with a 21-5 run that made it 37-20 early in the second quarter. Then, they closed the half on a 14-4 spurt to make it 61-40, and the Nuggets couldn’t get closer than 19 in the second half.
Indiana, which lost Sunday at Orlando, hasn’t lost back-to-back games since mid-December and hasn’t lost three straight all season. The Pacers finished this one with a season-high points total and a season-best shooting percentage (57.5).
Denver was nowhere near full strength, though, and it showed.
Again the Nuggets played without Miller, who has been held out since early January; Gallinari, who is out for the season with a torn ACL in his left knee; McGee, who has been out since late January with a stress fracture in his left leg; and on Monday, they were also missing their backup point guard in Robinson (left knee) and their top scorer and point guard Lawson (fractured left rib).
Coach Brian Shaw’s biggest concern heading into the game was finding a replacement for his only two point guards and defending Paul George, who Shaw dubbed the best two-way player in the NBA. George finished with 12 points, five rebounds and four assists.
But the bigger problem came inside.
West finished 11 of 13 from the field and had 21 points in the first half. Hibbert had 12 rebounds and the Pacers won both key battles in the paint — outrebounding Denver 56-37 and outscoring them 58-36.
Pistons 109, Spurs 100
AUBURN HILLS, Mich. — Brandon Jennings scored 21 points, and the Detroit Pistons beat the San Antonio Spurs on Monday night in John Loyer’s first game as interim coach.
Detroit abruptly fired Maurice Cheeks on Sunday after only 50 games as coach, but although they’ve been unimpressive for the most part this season, the Pistons have played better lately. The comfortable win over the Spurs was Detroit’s fifth in seven games.
Rodney Stuckey scored 20 points for the Pistons, and Greg Monroe added 15 points and 10 rebounds.
Marco Belinelli led the Spurs with 20 points.
Raptors 108, Pelicans 101
TORONTO — Kyle Lowry had 19 points and 12 assists, Patrick Patterson scored a season-high 22 and Toronto beat New Orleans for their third straight victory.
DeMar DeRozan also had 22 points, Terrence Ross added 14 and Tyler Hansbrough scored 12 for Toronto, which has won five consecutive meetings and seven of eight against New Orleans. The first-place Raptors moved three games ahead of Brooklyn in the Atlantic Division by winning for the ninth time in 11 home games.
Tyreke Evans had 23 points and 10 assists, and Anthony Davis scored 19 for the Pelicans, who lost their second straight and have dropped four consecutive games in Toronto. Brian Roberts had 18 points for New Orleans, and Eric Gordon 10.