|Portland Trail Blazers center Kurt Thomas, right, jokes with injured Trail Blazers' Greg Oden before an NBA basketball game against the Indiana Pacers in Indianapolis, Tuesday, March 13, 2012. Oden, who is out for the season and is an Indianapolis native, has not been traveling with the team after surgery on his knee. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)|
Amundson leads Pacers past Trail Blazers
INDIANAPOLIS—Lou Amundson scored a career-high 21 points to help Indiana beat the Portland Trail Blazers 92-75 on Tuesday night, snapping the Pacers' four-game losing streak.
Amundson shot 10 for 11 from the field and grabbed eight rebounds for the Pacers. His previous season high in scoring was 11, but he had 13 points in the fourth quarter alone.
Paul George, Danny Granger and George Hill each added 11 points for the Pacers. Hill returned after missing two games with a sprained left shoulder.
Indiana led by as many as 29 points.
LaMarcus Aldridge scored 17 points and Nolan Smith added 10 for the Trail Blazers, who shot a season-low 31.3 percent from the field and made a a season-low 20 field goals. Portland's five assists were the fewest by an NBA team this season.
Indiana shot 54 percent to lead 48-38 at halftime. Hill led the Pacers with 11 points and David West had 10 points and eight rebounds.
Aldridge led Portland with 13 points on 5-for-11 shooting in the first half while the rest of the team went 4 for 19. The Trail Blazers outscored Indiana 19-3 from the free-throw line in the first half to stay in the game.
Indiana began extending the lead early in the second half. Back-to-back 3-pointers by Granger put the Pacers up 58-41.
A three-point play by Tyler Hansbrough after the Pacers won a jump ball gave the Pacers a 66-47 lead, and an acrobatic layup by Darren Collison on a broken play pushed Indiana's lead to 20 points. A left-handed fastbreak layup by Collison bumped the lead to 72-50, and a 3 by George helped the Pacers take a 75-52 lead at the end of the third quarter.
Back-to-back layups by Amundson pushed the lead to 79-54 and forced Portland to call timeout.
An alley-oop from A.J. Price to Dahntay Jones increased Indiana's lead to 87-60. From there, the crowd chanted "Lou" every time Amundson touched the ball, hoping he would add to his surprising stat line.
NOTES: Indianapolis native Greg Oden was with Portland and was on crutches on the sideline. Oden, Indiana's Mr. Basketball in 2006, is out with a left knee injury. ... The Pacers observed a moment of silence for former assistant coach Dick Harter, who died Monday in South Carolina at age 81. Harter coached the defense under Larry Bird when the Pacers made the NBA Finals in 2000. .... Pacers C Jeff Foster was not with the team because of a lingering back issue. ... Portland made 2 of 15 shots in the first quarter. The total was the fewest Indiana has allowed in a first quarter since last March 17 against Portland. It was the fewest field goals Portland has made in a first quarter since STATS, Inc. began tracking the statistic in 2002-03.
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