|Date of game: 4/5/2015
Recap: Indiana vs. Miami
Indianapolis, IN (SportsNetwork.com) - The Pacers are desperately battling for a playoff spot and welcomed back their general for the stretch run.
Paul George scored 13 points in under 15 minutes in a successful return as Indiana pulled away for a 112-89 victory over the Miami Heat on Sunday.
"Welcoming me back into the game was probably the greatest moment that I've had. It was so hard to not get caught up in the moment," George said.
George was not expected back this season after breaking his right leg during a Team USA scrimmage in August. The All-Star forward sped up his recovery in time to rejoin a Pacers team that, along with the Heat, is sitting one game behind Boston for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
"Right now he's working himself in, trying to get his confidence. His vision is to be as good as he can be next year, but he looked pretty good tonight," Heat guard Dwyane Wade said.
Luis Scola scored 23 points with 12 rebounds off the bench, Solomon Hill chipped in with 19 points and C.J. Miles added 17 by making five of Indiana's 14 3-pointers.
Wade's 27 points were not enough for the spiraling Heat to snap a three-game skid.
Miami actually led by one midway through the third quarter, but a 13-2 run, highlighted by 3-pointers from Hill and Miles, gave Indiana a 70-60 cushion.
George hit two 3s early in the fourth quarter to spark a 10-0 run that extended the margin to 89-71, and the hosts cruised from there.
Even though George was not in the starting lineup, the Pacers rode the energy from the home crowd and scored the game's first nine points.
The Heat countered with an 8-0 run to silence the home fans, but that only lasted until George made his way to the scorer's table midway through the opening frame. The All-Star forward received a standing ovation when he entered at the 5:34 mark, and the cheers grew louder when he made his first shot -- a leaner from 14 feet between a pair of defenders.
The second quarter began with a George 3-pointer that gave the Pacers a 25-19 advantage. The lead changed hands four times over the final 2:08 of the half, and Indiana scored the final five points to go on top 51-47 at the break.Game Notes
The Pacers have won seven straight regular season home games against the Heat
... Heat center Hassan Whiteside did not play due to a hand injury ... Indiana
owned a 55-37 rebounding advantage ... James Ennis scored 17 points off