League-Leading Pacers Hand Lakers Conference-Worst 30th Loss
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LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com/AP) — David West scored 19 points, Lance Stephenson had 15 points and 14 rebounds, and the Indiana Pacers wrapped up a five-game road trip with a 104-92 victory over the spiraling Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday night.
George Hill had 13 points and seven rebounds for the Pacers, who stayed atop the overall NBA standings despite losing twice on their West Coast trip. Los Angeles kept it close into the second half before the Pacers finished an easy win over the injury-riddled Lakers, who have lost five straight.
All-Star selection Paul George had his second straight rough game for Indiana, scoring 14 points on 4-for-21 shooting.
Pau Gasol had 21 points and 13 rebounds for the Lakers, who returned from a two-week road trip for their 17th loss in 20 games.
Jodie Meeks also scored 21 points, and Nick Young had 12 points on 5-of-16 shooting in the Lakers’ fourth consecutive home loss to Indiana since 2010. Kendall Marshall had 11 points and 13 assists.
While dropping into 14th place in the Western Conference, the Lakers (16-30) also got yet another round of dismaying injury news during the game. Kobe Bryant has continued pain and swelling after breaking a bone in his left knee, and he won’t be re-evaluated for three more weeks.
The fourth-leading scorer in NBA history has played in just six games this season, and the latest injury is expected to force him to miss the All-Star game next month. He has been out since Dec. 17.
Los Angeles, who became the first Western Conference team to reach 30 losses this season, also played without Steve Nash, Steve Blake, Jordan Farmar and Xavier Henry, while Gasol and Meeks played through nagging injuries. Nash is hoping to return Friday, but the Lakers aren’t certain after the two-time MVP missed his 38th consecutive game.
Despite struggling for long stretches on offense and making just 15 of their 27 free throws, the Pacers bounced back from Saturday’s loss at Denver, their second in three games.
Indiana led by five points late in the third quarter before making a 19-8 run, going up 93-77 on Stephenson’s layup with 7:26 left.
Indiana’s opponents had averaged 109.5 points per game on this trip until the Pacers met the Lakers, who failed to crack 100 points for the first time in nine games.
The injury-riddled Lakers gave 18 minutes of playing time to Manny Harris, who was in the D-League the last time Los Angeles played a home game. Harris went scoreless on 0-for-6 shooting.
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