INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Myles Turner celebrated his 21st birthday this weekend, then delivered a performance that made it easy to forget how young he is.
Turner had 17 points and tied a career high with 16 rebounds, Paul George scored 21 points, and the Indiana Pacers beat the Philadelphia 76ers 107-94 on Sunday night.
Indiana (37-36) moved into a tie for fifth place in the Eastern Conference with Atlanta and Milwaukee. The Pacers will play both the Bucks and the Hawks during their final nine games of the regular season.
The Pacers are 8-4 when Turner records a double-double.
“That’s the Myles we need,” George said. “He’s got to rebound the ball. He had that mindset and he had that motive to go get every ball tonight.”
Jeff Teague added 16 points for the Pacers, who used a 30-point third quarter to turn a six-point halftime lead into a 12-point advantage and snapped a two-game skid.
Al Jefferson finished with 14 points before leaving in the fourth quarter with a sprained ankle. Monta Ellis, Aaron Brooks and CJ Miles all had 10 for Indiana.
Sergio Rodriguez scored 16 for the Sixers, while Richaun Holmes finished with 11 points and 11 rebounds. Philadelphia took 41 3-pointers, making 14.
“They show why they’re tied for fifth in the East and about to go play on and play in a serious time in the season. I think defensively they were really good. I think that’s where we felt them the most,” Sixers coach Brett Brown said.
Turner came in third in the league with 2.1 blocked shots per game and had two Sunday. The second-year forward had 20 points and four blocks Friday on his birthday, but grabbed just four rebounds in a 125-117 loss to Denver and was disappointed with his play. That might have motivated him Sunday, Pacers coach Nate McMillan said.
“I think Myles was a little upset with how we played in last game. He made an effort to go after (rebounds) tonight,” McMillan said. “The attack was what we wanted.”
The Pacers led by as many as 11 in the first half before the Sixers made a push late to close the deficit to six points by halftime.
George then scored nine points in the third quarter and Teague had eight as the Pacers led by as much as 19 in the period. They extended the advantage to 25 in the fourth.
76ers: Jahlil Okafor was held out with soreness in his right knee and Jerryd Bayless did not play due to a left wrist injury. … Philadelphia (27-46) is ahead of only Brooklyn in the Eastern Conference standings.
Pacers: Jefferson was wheeled off the court with 9:43 remaining. He was holding his left leg near the shin area before he landed from attempting a rebound underneath the Indiana basket.
Turner has grabbed 10 or more rebounds in 12 games this season and scored 10 or more points in 54 of Indiana’s 73 contests. On Oct. 26, Turner scored 30 points, blocked four shots and grabbed his career-high 16 rebounds in a win over Dallas. Turner joined Shaquille O’Neal and Anthony Davis as just the third player in NBA history to record at least 30 points, 16 rebounds and four blocks before the age of 21.
The Pacers have lost two-or-more consecutive games this season eight times, with their longest losing streak being six games. Indiana has only won two or more in a row seven times, with a season-best, six-game win streak.
76ers: Visit Brooklyn on Tuesday.
Pacers: Host Minnesota on Tuesday.