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Granger's 30 points keep Pacers playoff hopes alive

Apr 12, 2008 - 3:48 AM PHILADELPHIA (Ticker) -- Danny Granger and the Indiana Pacers are not ready to throw in the towel.

Granger poured in 30 points to keep the Pacers' postseason dreams alive with an 85-76 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers on Friday night.

Despite the win, Indiana (35-44) remained two games behind the Atlanta Hawks (37-42) for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference standings.

The Pacers might have an advantage with the remainder of their schedule with games against Charlotte and Washington before wrapping up with New York. Atlanta hosts Boston and Orlando - both playoff-bound - and finishes at lowly Miami.

Granger connected on 13-of-25 shots, including 3-of-9 from the arc, and pulled down 12 rebounds.

"I kept getting it, Coach kept calling the play for me and I just kept shooting it and it kept going in," Granger said. "It was a great time (for a big game) because we really needed the points."

Granger, along with several teammates, have been battling a stomach virus that has swept through Indiana's locker, forcing coach Jim O'Brien to cancel Friday's morning shootaround.

"You've got to play through it," Granger said. "We have five, six, seven guys on our team that are throwing up with the stomach virus and I was one of them but we're trying to get into the playoffs. You've got to push through it. Drink a lot of fluids and play the game."

With the fourth and fifth seeds (Cleveland and Washington) both stumbling on Friday night, the loss dashed Philadelphia's hopes of moving up in the East standings.

"It's tough for us as far as getting the best possible seed," 76ers guard Willie Green said. "Games like this are games we could have won, should have won, but you have to give credit to the Pacers. They hit big shot after big shot. Give a lot of credit to them. We have to go back to the drawing board and correct some things."

Andre Miller scored 23 points and rookie Thaddeus Young added 21 for the Sixers, who were held to under 20 points in three of the quarters in this one - including a 15-point effort in the fourth.

"It's a disappointment," Miller said. "We have to correct it and move on to the next game."

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