for this game

Landry's coming-out party helps Rockets top Pacers

Feb 2, 2008 - 4:10 AM INDIANAPOLIS (Ticker) -- The Indiana Pacers had no idea who Carl Landry was prior to Friday. But they do now.

Landry poured in a season-best 22 points to lead four others in double figures as the Houston Rockets posted a 106-103 victory over the slumping Pacers on Friday.

A 6-7 rookie out of Purdue, Landry connected on 9-of-11 shots and pulled down seven rebounds in helping the Rockets open a three-game road trip on a positive note.

"I just did what I do every night, I tried to bring energy," Landry said. "In front of (former) teammates, coaches, and family, I was pumped. There's no place like home, that's what they say, and Indiana is like a second home to me. I was excited to be here."

"I thought Carl was really active in the second quarter, and he made some big plays down the stretch," Rockets coach Rick Adelman said. "He's very 'live,' he's very athletic, and you saw, he can make that 15 (to) 17-foot jumper. He just needs a little more seasoning."

With the game tied at 99-99 in the fourth quarter, Houston's Yao Ming scored two of his 17 points with an easy layup at the 2:05 mark. But Troy Murphy sank a pair from the line to lock things up once again 25 seconds later.

Landry's 13-footer gave the Rockets the lead for good with 1:29 remaining, and he split two free throws to forge a 104-101 bulge at the 47-second mark.

"We just didn't want to lose this game," Yao said. "It's just that simple. We've played well the last five games, and I think a (playoff spot) is right there. We play against three East teams and, no disrespect to them, but this is our chance."

"(Landry) was scoring inside and out," Pacers swingman Danny Granger said. "We expected Yao, but when you have a rookie, isn't he a rookie? Come in and do that to you, you know you aren't going to win."

Mike Dunleavy brought Indiana within one with his slicing layup with 32 seconds left.

And Rafer Alston's turnover on the baseline gave the Pacers another opportunity to grab the lead, but Travis Diener misfired on a 3-pointer.

Shane Battier made it 106-103 with two free throws, giving Dunleavy one last chance to snap Indiana's four-game losing streak, but his 3-pointer fell short in the final seconds.

Granger scored 22 points and Shawne Williams chipped in 17 off the bench for the Pacers, who shot 43 percent (38-of-88) from the field.

"Once again, we didn't close the game out like we should have," Granger said. "We were pretty much in control of the game and let it get away late."

"We had some tough breaks down the stretch, in the form of good looks that didn't fall for us," Indiana coach Jim O'Brien said. "Landry had a really good game. I thought we played with heart and intensity and didn't come away with a win. I'm disappointed for them."

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