(Sports Network) - Consistency has been an issue for Paul George, but the
Indiana Pacers' second-leading scorer has been in rhythm in his last two
George looks to keep the Pacers above .500 on Friday night as they play host
to the Denver Nuggets.
The 10th overall pick of the 2010 draft out of Fresno State, George averaged
7.8 points per game during his rookie season and upped that to 12.1 a night in
66 games a season ago. The 22-year-old has had some big games so far this
campaign, but has also struggled at times en route to an average of 15.0 ppg.
George netted a mere four points in a win at Sacramento on Nov. 30 and
followed up that poor effort by going 0-for-7 from the floor in a scoreless
effort during a loss to hosting Golden State on Dec. 1.
George bounced back in a big way on Tuesday, netting 34 points in a win at
Chicago, and followed up that effort with another 22 points in Wednesday's
99-92 win over Portland. It marked the first time this season that George has
scored 20-plus in two straight games.
"You see some of the shots he's making and say 'Boy, if he could ever
stabilize and do this on a consistent basis, with the way he defends, you got
a special player there.'" said Pacers head coach Frank Vogel.
George Hill added 18 points and David West had 16 along with 10 rebounds for
the Pacers, who outscored the Trail Blazers by a 31-14 margin in the pivotal
third quarter en route to their fourth victory in their last five games.
Indiana is keeping pace in the Central Division despite Danny Granger, last
season's leading scorer, having yet to play due to a left knee injury.
"A lot of things are starting to come together," said George. "We're starting
to knock down shots, we're starting to see the open man. We're starting to
play the style that we played last year."
The Pacers look to improve on their 10-9 record tonight against a Denver squad
that plays the second of a five-game road trip and has lost four in a row as
the guest overall. The Nuggets are 4-9 on the road this season compared to 5-1
Denver held a two-point advantage with two minutes left to play on Wednesday
night against Atlanta, but the Hawks scored seven straight and the Nuggets
committed three turnovers during the game's final 1:39 on the way to a 108-104
Ty Lawson had a game-high 32 points on 12-of-16 shooting for the Nuggets,
making all five of his attempts from 3-point range. Corey Brewer added 19
points and Danilo Gallinari had 16 in the loss, Denver's fourth in five games
"It's tough to lose close games, especially the ones of the road where we've
been ahead by a lot of points," said Lawson. "We just have to get better in
Nuggets center Kosta Koufos missed Wednesday's game due to flu-like symptoms
and is questionable for tonight. Timofey Mozgov had six points and a season-
high 13 rebounds in his place versus the Hawks.
Denver has won 12 of its last 15 over the Pacers, winning six of its last
eight trips to Indiana.
The Sports Network