for this game

Granger tip helps Pacers nip Rockets

Nov 27, 2008 - 5:42 AM By Gene Duffey PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

HOUSTON (Ticker) -- Indiana's Danny Granger tipped in his missed shot with 13 seconds to play to lift the Pacers to a 91-90 victory over the Houston Rockets on Wednesday.

Granger caught the ball on the left wing and, with 6-9 Carl Landry guarding him, decided to drive to the basket.

"I couldn't throw a nickel in the ocean," Granger said of his outside shooting, finishing the game 6-for-20 from the field. including missing all seven of his 3-point attempts.

"I had a big (Landry) on me and I figured I could get to the rim. I did and the layup rimmed out and I got my hand on the rebound."

That concluded a 7-0 run by the Pacers to close out the game.

Houston got the ball to Yao Ming in the lane on the final possession, but he missed a layup in a crowd during a flurry in the final seconds for Houston.

Indiana coach Jim O'Brien credited 6-11 reserve Jeff Foster for his defense on the 7-6 Yao.

"We knew they were going to go to Yao or (Ron) Artest," O'Brien said. "We subbed and got Jeff on Yao, who I think does the best job. We put Danny on (Ron) Artest. They couldn't get a clean look at the basket. A lot of hands were up. It was a good defensive possession for us."

"Ron got the ball to me and I tried to make the layup and I missed it," said Yao, who ended up with 19 points and 10 rebounds despite leaving the game in the first quarter to get four stitches to close a cut about his right eye.

His final shot ricocheted off several hands before Foster knocked it out of danger.

"Jeff got a hand on it, slapped it down (court) and thank God time ran out," Indiana forward Troy Murphy said.

Indiana, down 74-64 after three quarters, trailed by 10 points through much of the fourth until Murphy scored 11 points - including a pair of 3-pointers - in a 4 1/2-minute span to get the Pacers back in the game with 1:09 to play.

"We ran a high screen and roll and I was able to get loose," Murphy said of his back-to-back treys. "The guys found me at the top of the key. We've squandered so many leads over the past couple of games, week, two weeks. We needed to get a game like this."

Murphy scored 21 points and grabbed 14 rebounds. He shot 7-for-11, making 4-for-6 from long range.

"Troy Murphy got six quick points and that's where it started," said Granger, who finished with 16 points. "When he hit those two that brought us within four, now we're in striking distance. We really picked it up (defensively after that). Held them to one shot."

The Pacers, who had lost three in a row, won only their second road game. They also won November 12 at New Jersey.

"(We won on the road) against a good team," Granger said. "They were 10-5. They're going to be contending in the West. ... That's a great win for us."

"We've played some good teams to standstills, and lost in the last couple of minutes because their defense has been like ours tonight," O'Brien said. "It was good to turn the tables."

Houston's Tracy McGrady, who is averaging 15.6 points and 4.0 assists, did not dress for the game because of soreness in his left knee. McGrady underwent surgery on the knee in the offseason and it has been tender through the first month.

After Artest made two free throws with 3:11 to play for a 90-84 lead, the Rockets never scored again.

"We just turned it up a notch," O'Brien said of his defense. "We fronted the low post and pressured the ball hard and really scraped. We did a good of challenging shots. That's what we've been looking for down the stretch."

The Rockets shot 35 percent for the game and scored only 16 points in the fourth quarter. The Pacers shot 42 percent.

"We just made too many mistakes," Houston coach Rick Adelman said. "Offensively, we didn't finish the game. It's a game we should have won, but Indiana kept coming at us and they made the plays and we didn't."

Houston didn't score another field goal after Carl Landry's offensive rebound put the Rockets ahead 84-74 with 6:28 to play.

"It's all on me," said Artest, who scored 19 points but made only 6 of 21 shots. "I didn't step up like I was supposed to. I missed a lot of shots. I missed some layups where I should have finished. I definitely take the blame for this one."

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    Pacers 89, Rockets 90  4th - 1:00Nov 26 10:52 PM
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    Pacers 86, Rockets 90  4th - 3:00Nov 26 10:47 PM

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    INDIANA 64

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