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George, Pacers topple Mavericks

DALLAS — Paul George had 24 points and eight rebounds and the Indiana Pacers broke open a close game in the third quarter to beat the Dallas Mavericks 103-78 on Thursday night.

George scored 13 points in the third, including eight in a 20-5 run that broke a tie game at halftime.

The first-place Pacers won their fourth straight and have a half-game lead for the second-best record in the Eastern Conference.

Dirk Nowitzki scored 21 points for Dallas, which remained 1½ games behind the Los Angeles Lakers in the race for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference.

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