With Paul George out with the flu, the first 11 field goals bouncing awry and the pesky Charlotte Bobcats jumping to a big lead Saturday, the Indiana Pacers did what they've done for more than a month.

They settled and recovered.

After an early-season loss to these Bobcats and a 2-6 start, coach Frank Vogel's Central Division-leading team is 23-14. This 96-88 victory at Bankers Life Fieldhouse was its third win of the week.

"Every road (doesn't) have a smooth pavement," guard George Hill said. "You're going to have bumps in the road and craters, so we took the dents early, blew a couple of flat tires, but they filled the potholes.

"We're playing good basketball right now."

The win might not have been easy, but it counted in the standings all the same. The Pacers extended their recent run of success to 13 wins in 16 games.