George Hill scored a season-high 26 points, and Paul George had 11 of his 26 points during the decisive run Monday, leading the Pacers to a 98-84 victory over Minnesota at Indianapolis.
Indiana has won four straight since losing at Chicago, is 13-1 for the first time in franchise history and remained perfect in eight home games this season.
And the NBA’s hottest team won this game with the same script they’ve been using all season — a strong defense.
The Timberwolves (8-8) shot just 32.6 percent from the field and were held to a season-low point total. Their previous worst was 92 points at Cleveland on Nov. 4. Kevin Love finished with 20 points and 17 rebounds.
Minnesota still managed to hang around most of the night — until George led the Pacers on a 14-2 run that turned a 66-65 deficit into a 79-70 lead.
It was a rough conclusion to a 10-game, 15-day stretch for Minnesota — a night it reached a deal to send former No. 2 overall pick Derrick Williams to Sacramento for Luc Mbah a Moute. Williams did not play in the game.
Heat 107, Suns 92: At Miami, LeBron James scored 35 points on only 14 shots from the field, Dwyane Wade added 21 points and 12 assists and Miami won its seventh straight game.
Celtics 96, Bobcats 86: At Charlotte, N.C., Jordan Crawford had 21 points, reserve Gerald Wallace added a season-high 17 points and Boston recorded its second straight victory.
Pistons 113, Bucks 94: At Auburn Hills, Mich., Brandon Jennings made four consecutive 3-pointers in the first quarter against his former team, and Detroit overwhelmed Milwaukee with a dazzling first half.
Rockets 93, Grizzlies 86: At Memphis, Tenn., Chandler Parsons scored 17 points, Omri Casspi added 16 and Houston overcame a double-digit deficit.
Spurs 112, Pelicans 93: At San Antonio, Manu Ginobili had 16 points to lead seven players in double figures and San Antonio rolled to its 11th straight victory.
Nuggets 110, Mavericks 96: At Dallas, Ty Lawson had 19 points after a quiet start, Nate Robinson scored 11 straight for Denver in the fourth quarter for the Nuggets’ second win over Dallas in three days.
Bulls: Chicago star Derrick Rose is out for the remainder of the season.
The team said that Rose had successful surgery in Chicago to repair a torn medial meniscus in his right knee. He was hurt Friday at Portland.
The 2011 NBA MVP missed all of last season after tearing the ACL in his left knee in the 2012 playoff opener against Philadelphia. He has played in just 50 NBA games — 49 in the regular season and that lone playoff game — since the Bulls’ run to the Eastern Conference finals during his MVP season.
Lakers: The Lakers signed Kobe Bryant to a two-year contract extension, securing the fourth-leading scorer in NBA history into his 20th season with the franchise.
Bryant hasn’t played this season while recovering from surgery on his torn Achilles’ tendon in April, but the Lakers didn’t wait to renew their commitment to the five-time NBA champion before he got anywhere close to the free-agent market next summer.
Bryant inked the deal with owner Jim Buss and general manager Mitch Kupchak at his side in agent Rob Pelinka’s office moments before the Lakers left for an East Coast road trip. Bryant, Buss and Kupchak all had repeatedly stated Bryant wouldn’t leave his only NBA home.
The 35-year-old guard quickly tweeted a picture of his signature with the hashtag: #Laker4Life.