INDIANAPOLIS -- The All-Star duo of forward Paul George and center Roy Hibbert scored 20 points apiece to lead the Indiana Pacers to a 97-96 victory over the Brooklyn Nets on Saturday night in front of a sellout crowd at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
The Pacers earned a sense of redemption, sweeping the four-game series after the Nets did the same to them last season.
The back-and-forth battle Saturday had nine lead changes and seven ties. The Pacers' largest lead (11 points) came early in the second half, while the Nets' largest (seven) came early in the contest.
Forward David West scored 17 points and guard Lance Stephenson contributed 14.
George drove into the lane and scored on a reverse layup with six seconds to go in the first half to give the Pacers a one-point lead.
That quickly expanded to 11 when the Pacers went on a 12-2 run during the opening 3 1/2 minutes of the third.
Then they had to hold off an 11-5 run by the Nets late in the third quarter. The Nets pulled within two at 72-70 and then tied it at 76 when guard Shaun Livingston converted both free throws after point guard George Hill committed a shooting foul with 10:15 remaining in the fourth quarter.
Livingston led the Nets with 24 points on 10-of-18 shooting. He is the first Net to reach 20 points against the Pacers this season.
Eastern Conference All-Star reserve guard Joe Johnson added 16 points, and veteran forward Paul Pierce scored 15.
Point guard Deron Williams made his first start since returning from a sprained left ankle that kept him sidelined for five games. He has averaged 11.6 points off the bench in the six games since his return. He scored 13 Saturday.
NOTES: The Pacers announced the signing of C Andrew Bynum. ... The Pacers won the first three meetings this season against the Nets by an average of 12 points. ... G Lance Stephenson entered Saturday's game having recorded double-doubles in six of the last seven games. ... The Nets finished January with the NBA's second-best record at 10-3 (Memphis Grizzlies 11-3). ... The Nets were without F/C Andray Blatche (bruised left hip) and F Andrei Kirilenko (strained right calf). C Brook Lopez also was inactive due to an injury (fractured right foot). ... Indiana shot 50 percent (9 of 18) in the first quarter, and Brooklyn made 52.6 percent (10 of 19). ... The Pacers play host to the Orlando Magic on Monday. The Nets return home for a two-game series opening on Monday against the Philadelphia 76ers.