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Granger, Tinsley help Pacers hold off Mavericks

Nov 24, 2007 - 5:02 AM INDIANAPOLIS (Ticker) -- For once, the Dallas Mavericks could not dig themselves out of a hole.

Danny Granger scored a season high-tying 25 points as the Indiana Pacers held on for a 111-107 victory over the Mavericks on Friday.

Jamaal Tinsley scored a season-high 24 points and handed out six assists and Troy Murphy scored 18 for the Pacers, who led by as many as 16 points before fending off a late rally by the Mavericks.

"Definitely a confidence boost," Granger said. "Playing against an elite club like the Mavericks, we went toe-to-toe with them, held them off, and got the win."

"Really a terrific win against one of the better teams in the NBA," Pacers coach Jim O'Brien said. "It was a great effort to bend but not break against a team that has come back a lot to win lately."

Dallas, which had its five-game winning streak snapped, had won its previous two contests - despite being down by huge margins.

In a 100-94 win vs. Houston on Wednesday, the Mavericks trailed by 17 late in the third before coming from behind to win. A day before, Dallas rallied from a 24-point hole en route to a 105-99 triumph over Toronto.

However, after digging out of a 16-point hole against the Pacers, the Mavericks came up short at the end.

"It's hard to battle back every night, especially on the road," Mavericks guard Devin Harris said. "It's a little easier when you have the home crowd behind you, but it's especially hard when it's the fourth game in five nights. We have to get that problem (falling behind by large margins) fixed and it has to be quick."

Indiana had a 41-25 lead in the second quarter, but Dallas came back to trail just 88-87 at the end of three quarters.

In the fourth quarter, after watching coach Avery Johnson get ejected with 8:34 left, the Mavericks tied the game at 98-98 on a follow shot by Brandon Bass with 5:48 remaining. That would be as close as Dallas would get to the lead.

"There's nothing really to talk about, just had a difference of opinion," Johnson said of the call that led to his ejection. "In that case, you're never right. He thought I was wrong and that was that."

After Harris split a pair of free throws with 2:03 remaining to cut the Dallas' deficit to 104-102, Tinsley made an eight-foot runner to push the Pacers' lead to four with 64 seconds left.

Following a free throw by Granger, Jose Juan Barea made a driving layup to reduce the Mavericks' deficit to 107-104 with 18 ticks on the clock. However, three free throws by Marquis Daniels and one by Shawne Williams sealed the win for the Pacers.

Indiana shot 45 percent (39-of-87) while holding the high-scoring Mavericks to 42 percent (35-of-84) shooting from the field.

"We fought for 48 minutes," Tinsley said. "It shows that when we go out there and play hard as a team and do the little things, we can win ballgames like this."

Harris scored 24 points and Dirk Nowitzki netted 20 for Dallas, which had beaten Indiana four straight times.

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