Paul George shoots over New York's Tyson Chandler in Indiana's win Thursday. "We want ... to compete for the No. 1 spot," said George of the 22-14 Pacers.


INDIANAPOLIS - First the Heat, now the Knicks.

The Indiana Pacers are proving they can beat up on everyone in the Eastern Conference these days.

Paul George scored seven of his 25 points during a decisive 13-0 fourth-quarter run, leading the Pacers past New York 81-76 on a night the Knicks were without their top scorer, Carmelo Anthony. Indiana has won 12 of 15 and swept the two other Eastern Conference division leaders this week.

"We want to compete for the one and two (seeds) and for sure want to compete for the No. 1 spot," George said. "We probably could be pushing one or two if we would have started off playing the way we're playing right now."

Clearly, the Knicks (23-12) weren't the same without their All-Star forward, who was suspended for the game after Monday's postgame confrontation with Boston's Kevin Garnett. They finished with a season-low point total, shot just 34.8 percent from the field and 20 percent from three-point range.

And the Pacers (22-14) took Anthony's absence by pulling off a rare double - beating defending champion Miami and Atlantic Division-leading New York - in back-to-back games.

• Mavericks 117, Kings 112, OT: In Sacramento, Calif., O.J. Mayo had 24 points and 10 rebounds, Vince Carter scored 23 points off the bench and Dallas rallied from 17 points down to win.

Shawn Marion added 19 points and 10 rebounds to help the Mavericks snap a four-game losing streak. Dallas had lost 10 of 11.

• Trail Blazers 92, Heat 90: In Portland, Ore., Wesley Matthews hit a go-ahead three-pointer with 26 seconds left to lift the Trail Blazers.

Mario Chalmers missed a three at the buzzer that would have given Miami the win.

Nicolas Batum led Portland with 28 points, while Chris Bosh had a game-high 29 for the Heat.

Rim shots

CLEVELAND - Cavaliers center Anderson Varejao had surgery to repair a split leg muscle, an injury that could sideline him two more months.

Varejao had the operation Thursday at The Cleveland Clinic. Varejao, the NBA's leading rebounder, has been sidelined since getting hurt against Toronto on Dec. 18. Varejao was averaging 14.1 points and 14.4 rebounds when he got hurt.