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Pacers burn Suns on Granger's buzzer-beater

Jan 8, 2009 - 6:56 AM PHOENIX (Ticker) -- Danny Granger scored 37 points, including the final five of the game, to lead the Indiana Pacers to a 113-110 victory over the Phoenix Suns on Wednesday.

The Pacers led throughout but were down 110-108 after a 3-pointer by Leandro Barbosa gave the Suns their first lead with 45 seconds left.

Then Granger went to work. He tied the game with a tough 19-footer over Grant Hill and, after Jason Richardson missed a jumper and the Pacers called timeout, Granger buried a 3-pointer from the top of the key over Steve Nash as time expired.

"Coach drew up a great play," Granger said. "We ran some men around, they ran away, and I fought to the top and got a look, when I got it I got an open look and I just let it go."

"We got confused before the ball got in," Nash said. "I thought the guys started talking about switching and I think it confused everyone the way we going to do it, I think we started off wrong before they got the ball in, but he made an incredible shot."

Amare Stoudemire scored 23 points for the Suns, who were without Shaquille O'Neal, who was out with a back injury.

Granger matched his career high, and it was his third straight game with at least 35 points.

"If Danny Granger is not an All-Star, I don't know what an all-star looks like, he was spectacular tonight," Indiana coach Jim O'Brien said. "It was a great team win for us, I thought our defense in the second half was outstanding, not only did he(Granger) have the stat line he did, he had nine deflections which means he got his hand on a number of basketballs at key times, a great win for us, it's great to win at the buzzer."

While Granger did the heavy lifting down the stretch, it was balance that helped Indiana build a double-digit lead.

Mike Dunleavy scored 14 points for the Pacers in his first game this season. Stephen Graham had 13 points, Troy Murphy 12, Jarrett Jack 11 and Rasho Nesterovic 10.

Dunleavy had been out with an sore left knee. He was 6-of-12 from the field and added four assists in 21 minutes off the bench.

"I felt good," Dunleavy said. "On a bit of a minute count, so I can't play as much as I would like but it beats not playing at all, it feels great to be back out there."

Stoudemire added 11 rebounds while Hill and Barbosa had 18 points each. Nash and Jason Richardson added 16 points and Louis Amundson had a career-high 14 rebounds and nine points.

The Pacers snapped a seven-game losing streak to the Suns with the win and avoided being swept in the season series for the fourth consecutive year.