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home : sports : regional November 24, 2015

Quick Hits


Pacers Rally Past Hawks 101-85 To Even Series

INDIANAPOLIS -- Paul George scored 27 points and George Hill had all 15 of his points in the second half, leading the Indiana Pacers to a 101-85 victory over the Atlanta Hawks on Tuesday night in Game 2 of their first-round playoff series.

The Pacers and Hawks are tied at a game apiece heading into Game 3 in Atlanta on Thursday.

George was especially effective even though he spent much of the night defending Hawks point guard Jeff Teague, who had 14 points. Paul Millsap finished with 19 for Atlanta.

The first 24 minutes looked like an exact duplicate of Game 1, but the Pacers pulled away with a 31-13 third quarter.

Top-seeded Indiana took its first lead since the first quarter on Lance Stephenson's three-point play and closed the quarter on an 11-0 run to make it 79-65.

RAPTORS 100, NETS 95: In Toronto, DeMar DeRozan scored 30 points, Jonas Valanciunas had 15 points and 14 rebounds for his second straight playoff double-double and Toronto evened its first-round playoff series at one game apiece.

Amir Johnson scored 16 points and Kyle Lowry had 14 as the Raptors rebounded from a 94-87 loss in Game 1.

Joe Johnson scored 18 points, Deron Williams had 15 and Mirza Teletovic 14 for the Nets, who will host Game 3 on Friday night.

Hampered by foul trouble throughout the game, Brooklyn's Paul Pierce went 2 for 11 from the field, including 0 for 6 from 3-point range. He finished with seven points.

COACH OF YEAR: San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich was named NBA coach of the year, making him just the third coach in league history to win the award three times in his career.

The NBA announced the honor on Tuesday. He has won it twice in the last three seasons and joins Don Nelson and Pat Riley as the only coaches to win the award three times.

Popovich led the Spurs to a league-best 62-20 record, which gives them home-court advantage throughout the playoffs. Popovich has led the Spurs to 15 straight 50-win seasons and has won 60 games four times in that span.

Popovich garnered 59 first-place votes. Phoenix's Jeff Hornacek finished second and Chicago's Tom Thibodeau finished third in the voting.


Albert Pujols Hits 500th Career HR

WASHINGTON -- Albert Pujols has hit the 500th home run of his career, becoming the 26th player in major league history to reach that milestone.

The Angels' slugger did it with a pair of shots against the Washington Nationals on Tuesday night. He hit a three-run homer beyond left field off starter Taylor Jordan in the first inning for No. 499, then added a two-run shot for No. 500 to left-center with no outs in the fifth, again off Jordan.

The 34-year-old Pujols is the first player to collect his 499th and 500th homers in the same game, according to STATS.

He has eight homers this season, all in the past 13 games.

BRAWL SUSPENSIONS: Four players involved in last Sunday's brawl between the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Milwaukee Brewers received suspensions.

Milwaukee catcher Martin Maldonado was suspended five games while outfielder Carlos Gomez was suspended three games. Pittsburgh outfielder Travis Snider must sit two games, with Russell Martin also missing one game.

There was no immediate word on whether the players plan to appeal. Snider and Martin were in Pittsburgh's initial posted lineup before Tuesday night's game against Cincinnati.

Benches cleared after Gomez and Pirates pitcher Gerrit Cole exchanged words after Gomez's triple in the third inning. Snider came onto the field and tackled Gomez, getting a minor assist from Martin in the process.

Snider was then punched in the face by Maldonado, receiving a small gash under his left eye.


McDaniels, Randle Leaving Early for NBA

COLUMBIA, S.C. -- Clemson's K.J. McDaniels and Kentucky's Julius Randle are opting for the NBA draft.

The high-flying junior announced his decision through the school Tuesday. He had until April 27 to enter the draft.

In several NBA mock drafts, McDaniels, a 6-foot-6 forward, is projected as a middle-to-late selection in the first round. He averaged 17.1 points and seven rebounds and helped the Tigers reach the NIT semifinals. He led the team in points, rebounds, blocks and steals and was the ACC defensive player of the year.

Randle is expected to be among the top five selections. The 6-foot-9 Dallas native announced the decision many expected even before he arrived as part of Kentucky's best recruiting class ever. Projected as a lottery pick from the outset, Randle solidified his draft stock by leading Kentucky (29-11) to the NCAA final behind a string of double-doubles despite being double- and triple-teamed.

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