Star forward Paul George led the way offensively as the Indiana Pacers snapped a two-game losing streak by clobbering the Houston Rockets 114-81.
George scored 24 points on 7-of-16 shooting from the field, grabbed nine rebounds and dished out four assists to lead six Pacers players in double figures Friday night at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.
Shooting guard Lance Stephenson notched 16 points, while power forward David West and point guard George Hill added 12 points each and Argentine power forward Luis Scola came off the bench to tally 13 points on 5-of-7 shooting and six rebounds in just 16 minutes of action.
The Pacers also played typically stellar defense, holding the Rockets to just 38 percent shooting from the field, to record their biggest margin of victory of the season and remain undefeated against Western Conference opponents.
Houston, meanwhile, again showed the offensive inconsistency that has plagued them this season, with star shooting guard James Harden scoring only 12 points on 3-of-14 shooting from the field and committing five turnovers.
Center Dwight Howard was the Rockets' best performer with 19 points, 12 rebounds and five blocked shots, but he received little help from his teammates.
Forward Chandler Parsons added 14 points and power forward Terrence Jones contributed 10 points and five rebounds, but it was not nearly enough to avert the Rockets' fifth loss in their last 10 games.
Dominican Francisco Garcia scored five points on 2-of-6 shooting - including 1-of-4 from 3-point range - and hauled down three rebounds in 24 minutes of action for Houston.
The Pacers improved to 21-5 and are still clinging to a one-game lead in the Eastern Conference standings over the two-time defending champion Miami Heat, who defeated the Sacramento Kings 122-103 Friday night.
The Pacers bounced back after narrowly losing to the Heat 97-94 Wednesday night in Miami.
The Rockets are currently in fifth place in the Western Conference with a record of 17-10.
In other action around the NBA Friday night, the Cleveland Cavaliers edged the Milwaukee Bucks 114-111, the Phoenix Suns scored a 103-99 win over the Denver Nuggets, the Philadelphia 76ers eked out a 121-120 victory over the Brooklyn Nets, and the Atlanta Hawks trounced the Utah Jazz 118-85.
The Charlotte Bobcats defeated the Detroit Pistons 116-106, the Toronto Raptors edged the Dallas Mavericks 109-108, and the Kobe Bryant-less Los Angeles Lakers cruised to a 104-91 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves. EFE