Unconscious in Conseco: Pacers use record quarter to rout NuggetsNov 10, 2010 - 4:31 AM Indianapolis, IN (Sports Network) - Mike Dunleavy scored 24 of Indiana's franchise-record 54 third-quarter points, as the Pacers routed the Denver Nuggets, 144-113, at Conseco Fieldhouse.
Dunleavy finished with 31 points and Darren Collison chipped in with 29 points and six assists for Indiana, which made its first 20 shots from the field to start the third and finished the quarter missing only one shot, a three-point attempt by Josh McRoberts in the closing seconds.
"I knew my shots would fall eventually," Dunleavy said. "I just had to keep shooting and tried to get in the rhythm. It was contagious. When I began to hit, everybody did. This is one that we have to build on and continue to improve. This was only one game."
Tyler Hansbrough netted 20 points to go with nine boards and Roy Hibbert ended with 17 points for the Pacers, who were coming off losses against Philadelphia and Milwaukee. Indiana outscored the Nuggets 54-27 in the third.
Brandon Rush returned to the lineup after serving a five-game suspension for violating the league's substance abuse policy and donated 16 points and seven boards off the bench in the victory.
Ty Lawson had a team-best 19 points, while Carmelo Anthony and Nene each added 13 for the Nuggets, who have dropped two straight and finished 1-2 on their three-game road trip. Anthony had scored at least 20 points in seven straight games coming in.
"They hit every shot," Nuggets head coach George Karl said about the third quarter. "It was fun to watch. I tip my hat off to them. Truth is, it was a lack of defense and spectacular shooting from the Pacers."
Indiana held a 59-49 halftime lead, then came out for the third and went to work on its franchise-best quarter.
Dunleavy, Collison and Danny Granger, who finished with 19 points, each hit three straight from beyond the arc to make it an 85-61 game with 6:40 remaining, and Dunleavy outscored Denver 14-4 over the next several minutes to blow things wide open.
After hitting another trey with just under two minutes remaining in the period, the Pacers were up by 32, 106-74, and they held an insurmountable 113-76 margin at the end of three.
The outcome was never in doubt throughout the fourth, as Indiana coasted the final 12 minutes.
Collison's 13 first quarter points helped the Pacers grab a 27-25 lead after the opening period.
Then behind some ball-hawking defense and an uptempo pace, Indiana went up by 15, 59-44, after a Hansbrough layup with 2:05 left in the second. Denver closed the half with a free throw by Anthony and layups from Chauncey Billups and Shelden Williams, but still trailed 59-49 heading into the locker room.
Denver swept the home-and-home series with Indiana a season ago and despite the loss has won 10 of the past 13 meetings. The Pacers, though, have now won 11 of the last 16 encounters as the host...Indiana shot 64.4 percent from the field and made 16-of-30 from three-point range...Denver made 43.3 percent of its shots...Arron Afflalo had 17 points for Denver...Indiana's previous high for a quarter was 47 points against Charlotte on February 2, 1994.
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