INDIANAPOLIS — He hadn’t played in a game for eight months since breaking his leg, but the layoff didn’t appear to take the edge off of Paul George’s game.
George returned to the Pacers lineup Sunday night and scored 13 points to help Indiana drub the Miami Heat, 112-89, before 18,165 fans at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
The 6-9 George — injured last August during a USA Basketball scrimmage — made the first shot of his return, a 13-foot jumper from the right side with 3:45 remaining in the first quarter. The basket gave the Pacers a 20-14 advantage.
George made 5-of-12 shots (3-of-6 3-pointers) and had 2 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals and 3 turnovers in a little more than 14 minutes of action.
Indiana led 77-66 after three quarters and pushed the lead to 92-73 with 7:46 to play after George drained consecutive 3-pointers and Luis Scola tallied 7 straight points.
The Pacers made 14-of-30 3-pointers while holding the Heat to 2-of-20 shooting from behind the arc. Indiana outrebounded Miami, 55-37 — 20-7 on the offensive glass, and got 54 points from it’s bench players while the Heat substitutes scored just 32.
Scola led the Pacers with a season-high 23 points and 12 rebounds. Solomon Hill had 19 points and 6 rebounds, C.J. Miles finished with 17 points.
Dwyane Wade topped Miami with 27 points, forward James Ennis had 17 points and 5 boards.
Indiana and Miami are 34-43 and tied for 9th place in the Eastern Conference, one game out of the final playoff spot.
The Pacers play the New York Knicks Wednesday at Madison Square Garden (7:30 p.m., Fox Sports Indiana).
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