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Denver at Indiana

Late 10-0 spurt puts Nuggets past Pacers

CBSSports.com wire reports
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INDIANAPOLIS -- Denver's old man, Andre Miller, can still deliver a decisive knockout punch when needed.

Indiana found out the hard way Friday night.

The 36-year-old guard played like a revitalized All-Star, scoring eight of his 15 points during a decisive 10-0 run to send the Nuggets past the Pacers 92-89. Miller had a hand in all of the points during the late flurry - making three baskets and two free throws and dishing out an assist on the only basket he didn't score.

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"He knows how to get shots down the stretch better than some of our other guys, some of our younger guys," coach George Karl said. "He was running the pick-and-roll actions better than anyone all game long, and he just has that old-man knack, that old-school knack."

For one night, at least, Miller rekindled images from the days he was one of the league's most feared guards.

This time, the oldest player on the league's third-youngest team, showed his teammates that a combination of poise, leadership and clutch play will trump big names and flashy plays every time.

No, Miller didn't produce the biggest numbers for Denver (10-10).

JaVale McGee had a season-high 20 points, 16 in the first half, and eight rebounds. Corey Brewer matched his season-high with 20 points, too, on a night only two Denver starters reached double figures -- Kosta Koufos with 12 points and Andre Iguodala with 10.

But Miller delivered the scoring punch when Denver needed it most.

"We just want to keep providing some stability, some energy, so hopefully, it can carry over into the games," Miller said as he walked out of the locker room.

Indiana (10-10) was looking for its first three-game winning streak this season and had a chance to force overtime when George Hill blocked Ty Lawson's shot from the left corner with 8.8 seconds to go. Hill grabbed the loose ball and sprinted up the court, but rather than call timeout to set up a play, Hill circled around and threw up an off-balance 3-pointer that bounced off the side of the rim as the buzzer sounded.

Hill finished with 15 points on a night all five Pacers starters scored in double figures. Paul George finished with 22, including four 3s. David West had 18 points and 11 rebounds, Roy Hibbert had 10 points and nine rebounds and Lance Stephenson had 12 points.

Afterward, Hill said perhaps he should have called the timeout. Coach Frank Vogel disagreed.

"In a scramble situation, that's where you get your most open looks," Vogel said.

Either way, it wasn't good enough against the feisty Nuggets and suddenly revitalized Miller.

The Nuggets overcame Indiana's fast start, which put them in a 10-point hole less than four minutes into the game, took the lead early in the second quarter and stayed in control for most of the game.

But after leading for most of the next 2-plus quarters, Miller re-emerged when Indiana charged back.

"He's drinking from the fountain of youth," point guard Ty Lawson said. "He was coming down and getting buckets, getting assists, he's playing well for us. He's winning games for us."

Exhibit A came Friday night in a city where Denver has won seven of its last nine and in a series in which the Nuggets have won 13 of the last 16.

Midway through the fourth quarter, it looked like the Nuggets would hold on again as they scored seven straight points to rebuild an 80-74 lead.

Indiana answered with Stephenson's layup, a three-point play from Hill and a free throw from Hibbert to tie the score at 82 with 3:52 to go. Twenty seconds later, George hit a 3-ponter, giving Indiana the lead and sending the crowd into a frenzy.

But after a timeout, Miller took control.

He started the run with two free throws, then scored on a layup and hit a 15-footer. After feeding McGee for a dunk, he closed the run with a 14-foot pullup shot to make it 92-85 with 1:01 to play.

"They came out and really brought it up a level and it kind of took us some time to adjust to that," George said. "By that time, they kind of found something, letting Andre Miller attack and find guys."

George answered with his fourth 3 and Stephenson cut the deficit to three by making 1 of 2 free throws with 29.9 seconds left.

Miller and the Nuggets didn't let Indiana get any closer.

"I've played with him for two years," Iguodala said of Miller. "And I've seen that calm about him before when it's needed, especially for a team like ours with some youth."

Notes

  • Hibbert had three blocks and now has blocked at least two shots in 14 consecutive games.
  • Koufos was 5 of 8 from the field and 2 of 2 from the free-throw line with five rebounds despite still being slowed by the flu, which kept him out of Wednesday night's game.
  • Iguodala hurt his left hip late in the first half but continued to play. The Nuggets already have two players out with hip injuries -- Wilson Chandler and Julyan Stone.
  • Indiana and Denver now have an even split of the 168 games they've played since entering the ABA.
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
 
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JaVale McGee comes off the bench to score 20 points and grab eight rebounds in the Nuggets' victory. (Getty Images)
JaVale McGee comes off the bench to score 20 points and grab eight rebounds in the Nuggets' victory. (Getty Images)
Scoreboard
Denver (10-10) «2229182392
Indiana (10-10)2822182189
DEN:C. Brewer 20 Pts
DEN:J. McGee 8 Reb
DEN:A. Miller 8 Ast
IND:P. George 22 Pts
IND:D. West 11 Reb
IND:G. Hill 10 Ast
Players of the Game
DenverIndiana

JaVale McGee

David West
PtsRebsAstPtsRebsAst
208018113

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Denver
A. Iguodala, SG374-122-202110
D. Gallinari, SF352-104-57819
T. Lawson, PG351-100-01422
K. Faried, SF212-70-07024
K. Koufos, C215-82-250412
J. McGee, C309-92-480520
C. Brewer, SF289-160-241120
A. Miller, PG256-113-448115
J. Hamilton, SF80-30-11100
W. Chandler, SFDid Not Play
A. Randolph, PFDid Not Play
T. Mozgov, CDid Not Play
J. Stone, PGDid Not Play
E. Fournier, SGDid Not Play
Q. Miller, SFDid Not Play
Totals 38-8613-2037241792
 44.2%65.0% 
Indiana
G. Hill, PG385-152-3410215
P. George, SF359-150-166422
D. West, PF348-122-2113118
L. Stephenson, SG325-81-242312
R. Hibbert, C303-104-693210
I. Mahinmi, C181-50-07032
S. Young, SF163-71-20129
T. Hansbrough, PF140-10-01030
G. Green, SF130-20-00010
D. Augustin, PG100-11-20211
D. Granger, SFDid Not Play
B. Hansbrough, PGDid Not Play
J. Pendergraph, PFDid Not Play
O. Johnson, SGDid Not Play
M. Plumlee, PFDid Not Play
Totals 34-7611-1842272289
 44.7%61.1% 
Other Games
Bos 94 Final
Phi 95
Wash 95 Final
Atl 104
Chi 108 Final
Det 104
GS 109 Final
Brook 102
Mem 96 Final
NO 89
Cle 73 Final
Min 91
Char 93 Final
Mil 108
Hou 92 Final
SA 114
Tor 99 Final
Utah 131
LAL 108 Final
OKC 114
Orl 82 Final
Sac 91