Granger, Pacers top Bobcats, stay in playoff huntApr 7, 2007 - 5:07 AM CHARLOTTE, North Carolina (Ticker) -- Danny Granger kept the undermanned Indiana Pacers' playoff hopes alive.
Granger scored a career-high 32 points and Jermaine O'Neal added 14 and nine rebounds as the Pacers snapped an 11-game road losing streak with a 112-102 victory over the Charlotte Bobcats.
Mike Dunleavy had 11 points and 14 rebounds for Indiana (33-42), which is one game behind Orlando (34-41) for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
"We really needed this one," Granger said. "We have no room for error right now, so I'm glad I came out there and helped the team win."
The Pacers hold a two-game lead over 10th-place New York (31-44), which is fading out the race.
Indiana has been hit by injuries to key players, including forward Jeff Foster (back), guard Jamaal Tinsley (elbow) and guard Marquis Daniels (knee). But the Pacers persevered and picked up a much-needed win thanks to Granger, who scored on a mix of jumpers and drives.
"We took the challenge and found a way to do it," Indiana coach Rick Carlisle said. "We knew it was going to be a lot tougher without Tinsley out there. We had seven guys in double figures. We knew we had to have a real team effort and we got it. Now we have to build on it."
The 6-9 forward shot 11-of-14 from the field, including 3-of-3 from the arc for Indiana, which finished 55 percent (40-of-73).
"Granger has played so well," Carlisle said. "The shot-making was there. The activity was there offensively. He made key stops down the stretch. He was a real factor."
Gerald Wallace collected 29 points and nine rebounds for the Bobcats, who failed to notch their first three-game winning streak since a four-game run from February 14-23.
"When it came down to it, they couldn't miss," Wallace said. "It seemed like we were playing great defense, but somehow, they were able to get up. We started slow, and it took us the whole half to catch up."
CHARLOTTE 102 FINAL
Apr 6 9:33 PM
CHARLOTTE 77 END, 3RD QTR
Apr 6 8:54 PM
CHARLOTTE 55 HALFTIME
Apr 6 8:14 PM
CHARLOTTE 23 END, 1ST QTR
Apr 6 7:41 PM
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