The Indiana Pacers beat the Dallas Mavericks, 104-99, on March 29 to keep their playoff hopes alive.
The Indiana Pacers beat the Dallas Mavericks, 104-99, on March 29.
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C.J. Miles got off to a hot start for Indiana, scoring 14 of the team's first 22 points and eventually finishing with 28 for the game, per Pacers.com's Mark Montieth. Miles hit 9 of 12 shots overall and hit a three-pointer with a minute left to play to give the Pacers a five-point lead.
He then took a charge from Dallas forward Chandler Parsons in the ensuing possession. Indiana forward Solomon Hill blanketed Parsons on his three-point attempt with 3.9 seconds left to seal the Pacers' win.
Miles has been on a tear in Indiana's last several games. He scored 26 points in a road loss to the Milwaukee Bucks on Thursday, and now, he turned in another memorable performance, per Montieth.
"I wanted to keep them off balance," Miles told Pacers.com. "I was able to get some cuts to the basket, and hit one from the free-throw line. Coming out hot like that sets you up for the rest of the game."
Pacers point guard George Hill, who scored 29 points against the Washington Wizards and 24 points against the Bucks last week, came through again against the Mavericks. He scored eight straight points in the fourth quarter, per Montieth.
Hill made consecutive triples to give Indiana a six-point lead --its largest lead since the second quarter. He then scored on a post play on Mavericks point guard Rajon Rondo for his eighth straight point, per Pacers.com.
According to ESPN Stats, Parsons led the Mavericks with 27 points. Dirk Nowitzki added 19 while Rondo tallied 17 points and 10 assists for Dallas.
With the win, the Pacers upped their record to 5-0 whenever they wear their vintage "Flo-Jo" jerseys, a look they sported in the mid-1990s with Reggie Miller as the team's franchise player, per Montieth.
The Pacers improved to 32-41 (.438) on the season to move into a tie with the Boston Celtics for the ninth spot in the Eastern Conference. Both teams are just a game behind the Brooklyn Nets for the East's final eighth and final playoff spot.
On the other hand, the Mavericks fell to 45-29 (.608) to remain in solid possession of the Western Conference's seventh playoff seed.
Dallas, the fourth-highest scoring team in the NBA (104.1 PPG) played without leading scorer Monta Ellis, who has a right-calf injury after San Antonio Spurs veteran guard Manu Ginobili inadvertently kneed him during the Mavericks' 84-76 loss on March 27, per ESPN Dallas' Tim McMahon.
A disappointed Mavericks owner Mark Cuban told McMahon he grew agitated during the game against the Spurs after a no-call on San Antonio forward Tim Duncan, who hit Ellis in the face:
"He got hit in the face, Duncan got his body lower, hand was down like this, in the replay, and then [referee] Monty McCutchen says he was straight up and down. Say you missed it, cool. Say you weren't sure, cool.
"But when the second defender doesn't jump, it cant' be up and down. When a drive starts at the top of the key and you go straight down, it's not lower box, it can't be up and down unless you jump."
On March 28, Cuban tweeted his frustration on the lack of respect Ellis gets from the referees:
It's criminal how Monta doesn't get calls Pushed.Hit in face.Hit on arm.Im tired of turning in calls.Fans need to post video to wake NBA up.— Mark Cuban (@mcuban) March 28, 2015
For his part, Dallas head coach Rick Carlisle gave McMahon an update on Ellis' status:
"He's off crutches, but he's still very sore. It's not considered serious, but it is something that's a great concern for us.
"We're not going to do anything foolish in terms of rushing him back until he's absolutely ready. I trust [athletic trainer] Casey Smith and I trust Monta, too, to be reasonable about this. He knows how important he is to us. We can't take a foolish risk at this point."
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