INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -Josh McRoberts had no idea history was at stake when he launched a deep 3-pointer at the end of the third quarter.
If he did, he said he would have taken a different approach.
The Indiana Pacers made their first 20 shots of the third quarter, missing out on a perfect period when McRoberts was off on a 26-footer with 1.9 seconds left, and rolled to a 144-113 victory over the Denver Nuggets on Tuesday night.
On a night when little went wrong, McRoberts got some good-natured ribbing from his teammates after the game.
``I didn't know,' McRoberts said. ``I would have tried to pump-fake it a few more times, and maybe pass it to Mike (Dunleavy). It's a good record to screw up, I guess.'
Dunleavy would have been an ideal option. He scored 24 of his 31 points in the Pacers' 54-point third period. He also was unaware of the near-perfect quarter.
``I didn't realize it until after the fact, or else I probably would have gone over there and stole the ball from him (McRoberts),' Dunleavy joked. ``But he had a nice game, so that made up for it.'
The Pacers still set plenty of records. It was the highest-scoring quarter in team history, the fourth-highest total for a quarter in NBA history and tied for the second-most ever scored in a third quarter.
``That's a quarter of basketball that will be remembered for a long time,' Pacers coach Jim O'Brien said.
Dunleavy made all five of his 3-point attempts in the third quarter. Late in the quarter, the crowd began buzzing whenever he touched the ball.
``I don't know how many 3s he hit in a row, but it was like the old NBA Jam,' Denver's Ty Lawson said.
Indiana, which shot 64 percent overall, led 113-76 at the end of the period.
``The dike broke, and the dam broke, and the flood hit us,' Denver coach George Karl said. ``We know that happens three or four times a year. Hopefully we can get better and respond against the Lakers on Thursday.'
O'Brien had criticized Dunleavy for missing open shots, but the guard responded by making 9-of-13 field goals and 6-of-10 3-pointers.
``You just string a few in a row together, you get going, and it just goes from there,' Dunleavy said. ``My teammates did a good job of finding me, and I knocked down shots.'
Darren Collison scored 29 points, Tyler Hansbrough had 20 points and nine rebounds, and Danny Granger added 19 points for the Pacers (3-3). Indiana set league season highs for points, field goals made and field-goal percentage.
``That's as much fun as you can have on a basketball court,' O'Brien said. ``I think that third quarter was terrific after a very good first half. I'm just very proud of the effort.'
Lawson led Denver with 19 points and Arron Afflalo added 17. Carmelo Anthony scored 13 points on 5-for-15 shooting for the Nuggets (4-4).
Indiana shot 52 percent from the field in the first half to take a 59-49 lead at the break, but that was just the beginning. The Pacers had 17 assists in the record-setting third quarter.
``I think that was a key to us getting so hot,' O'Brien said. ``We just never took a bad shot in the third quarter. We always saw the open guy.'
Granger had shot 8 for 31 from the field the past two games, but bounced back to go 8 for 10. The Pacers made 31-of-39 shots in the second half, and their largest lead was 39 points.
``We just have to sweep this one under the rug and know that we will see them again,' Lawson said.
The Pacers turned Denver's coach into a fan.
``They made every shot,' Karl said. ``They were spectacular. They were fun to watch.'
Notes: Granger and Indiana Fever forward Tamika Catchings were honored before the game for winning gold medals at the World Championships. ... Denver F Al Harrington, who played his first six seasons with the Pacers, scored nine points. ... Pacers F-C Jeff Foster sat out with a sprained right ankle. ... Pacers G Brandon Rush scored 16 points in his first game since being suspended for the first five games of the season for violating the league's drug agreement.
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