for this game

Murphy tips in game-winner as Pacers stun Lakers

Dec 3, 2008 - 5:41 AM INDIANAPOLIS (Ticker) -- Troy Murphy had been frustrating the Los Angeles Lakers on the offensive glass all night. It only made sense, then, that the same would be true on the last play of the game.

Murphy's tip-in of Marquis Daniels' miss beat the buzzer Tuesday night, lifting the Indiana Pacers to a 118-117 victory over the stunned Lakers.

"To beat those guys on a tip-in at the buzzer ?what a great night. That's special," Pacers head coach Jim O'Brien said. "It's a great, great feeling for everyone who is a Pacer."

Murphy registered 16 points and 17 boards - including six on the offensive end - to deal Los Angeles its first loss since November 14.

"Things were going their way," Lakers coach Phil Jackson said. "There were shots that went awry and they were able to capture the ball down in the corner a couple of times. They just out-hustled us."

The Lakers, who saw their seven-game winning streak come to an end, had already blown a 16-point lead but had regained control before the Pacers stormed back. Indiana erased a six-point deficit in the final three minutes, as T.J. Ford sparked a 9-2 run with a pair of free throws.

"Basketball is a game of runs and we were able to withstand their runs and mount a couple of our own," Ford said. "In a lot of games in the past, we have let it get away from us. We must keep our composure and stay in our game plan as we did tonight."

Rasho Nesterovic added a 14-footer and budding star Danny Granger knocked down a 3-pointer to pull to within one. Daniels finally pushed the Pacers in front with a pair of foul shots. Kobe Bryant answered on the other end, pulling up for a go-ahead 22-footer to put the Lakers back on top by a point.

However, the reigning league MVP missed out on a chance to make it a three-point game, misfiring on a 19-foot attempt to give the Pacers life.

After Nesterovic nearly turned the ball over, Daniels took control and drove the right baseline, going up and under for what could have been a game-winning layup. When the shot bounced off, Murphy was right there for the follow as the Pacers snapped a two-game skid.

"It seemed like an eternity. It was bouncing, bouncing, bouncing," O'Brien said of the game-winner.

Tuesday's back-and-forth affair seemed to be locked up by the end of the third quarter. The Pacers took an 86-84 edge with 2:36 left, but the Lakers responded with a 17-0 run to close the frame. Andrew Bynum scored six points in the surge and Sasha Vujacic added a 3-pointer as the reigning Western Conference champs took control.

But the Pacers wouldn't go away. They staged a 12-2 run to open up the fourth, with Murphy's 3-pointer sandwiched in between a pair of layups from T.J. Ford to cut the deficit to 104-98.

"They did a great job on the offensive boards and our turnovers created momentum for them," Bryant said. "Their 3-point shooting kept them in the game."

The Lakers couldn't get a handle on Granger, who overcame some erratic shooting to finish with 32 points - including 10 in the fourth quarter. Ford added 21 and eight assists.

"We were down a bunch of points and were able to come back, stay in our game plan, execute making open shots and getting some stops," Nesterovic said.

Los Angeles had been the aggressor for most of the night, getting to the free-throw line 45 times. But ironically enough, it was the Pacers' foul shooting that kept them in contention. They didn't get to the line nearly as frequently, but they made their chances count, connecting on 20-of-21 attempts overall.

"I was a little bit aggressive with the team tonight because I didn't think they functioned right," Jackson said. "They didn't react well defensively. As a result, Indiana hung around and found a way to win it."

Bryant led six Lakers in double figures with 28 points on 10-of-21 shooting and Pau Gasol added 20.