Final - OT
  for this game

Murphy, Ford lift Pacers to OT win over reeling Pistons

Jan 15, 2009 - 5:29 AM By Chris Nelsen PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

INDIANAPOLIS (Ticker) -- It was home sweet home for the Indiana Pacers.

Coming off a tough five-game West Coast road trip, the Pacers returned to Conseco Fieldhouse and beat the Detroit Pistons, 110-106, in overtime Wednesday night to snap an eight-game losing streak in the head-to-head series.

The Pacers (14-25) went 1-4 on their road trip and lost a pair of heart-breaking games to the Los Angeles Lakers and Golden State Warriors.

"I'm happy to be home, lay in my own bed and be around my own surroundings," said Pacers guard Jarrett Jack, who finished with 12 points and six assists. "I'm glad we were able to pull out one of these close games in front of our home fans. It just shows we're growing up."

In this one, Troy Murphy hit a pair of 3-pointers in overtime and T.J. Ford got a fortuitous bounce on a clutch jumper in the final minute as the Pacers survived, snapping a three-game skid and handing Detroit its fourth loss in five games.

"It was a good win against a good ballclub," Indiana coach Jim O'Brien said. "A lot of guys stepped up."

In a back-and-forth affair, it came as no surprise that the two Central Division rivals needed overtime to decide the outcome. Murphy kicked off the extra session with a 3-pointer to give Indiana a 96-93 advantage - a lead that it wouldn't relinquish the rest of the evening.

"T.J. did a good job getting in the lane and he found me trailing," Murphy said. "They kind of forgot about me defensively, and I was able to knock it down."

Later in the overtime, the Pistons pulled within 98-96 on Antonio McDyess' layup, but Indiana answered with a 10-4 run to take a comfortable 108-100 lead with 14 seconds left.

Of course, the big play during that stretch came courtesy of Ford. The Pacers were nursing a three-point lead with 38 seconds remaining before the veteran point guard fired a shot that bounced several times off the rim before dropping back through the hoop.

Danny Granger finished with 24 points and 10 rebounds, Ford scored 23 and Murphy added 18 and 13 rebounds for the Pacers, who had lost their four previous overtime games this season - all at home.

"It's about time," Murphy said. "We've had enough overtime games this year where we didn't get the job done."

Rodney Stuckey had 30 points, nine rebounds and six assists, Allen Iverson scored 23 points and Rasheed Wallace collected 17 and 15 rebounds for the Pistons (22-15).

"If you take away overtime, I thought we played pretty good," Detroit coach Michael Curry said. "When you get down five or six, it's tough to come back against good teams."

With Detroit nursing a 92-87 lead with three minutes left in the fourth quarter, the Pacers got consecutive jumpers from Jack to pull within one. Iverson hit a free throw with one minute left to extend the Pistons' lead to 93-91.

On Indiana's ensuing possession, Jack missed a runner and was whistled for a technical foul for arguing a no-call on the play, but Tayshaun Prince missed the free throw. After missed jumpers by Iverson and Prince, Granger pulled up at the top of the key for a 19-footer over Prince to tie the score at 93-93 with 3.9 seconds remaining.

"Danny was able to create some space on Prince and get an open look," O'Brien said. "Danny hit a great shot to tie it up."

The Pistons had two chances to win the game in regulation, but Richard Hamilton missed a 16-footer from the baseline. Following a timeout, Wallace's prayer fell short at the buzzer.

"It was a good look," Hamilton said of his shot. "It's tough because I usually knock that down."

Despite shooting 57 percent in the first quarter and getting 13 points from Stuckey, the Pistons trailed 31-29 after Ford's two free throws late in the period. There were eight lead changes and six ties in the quarter and neither team led by more than four.

The Pacers, led by Granger's 10 points, got a little separation in the second. They took their biggest lead of the half, 50-42, on Murphy's 3-pointer. Detroit got within 53-48 on Iverson's jumper before the intermission.

The Pistons began the second half by scoring six of the first seven points to tie things up. Detroit took its biggest lead, 73-66, on Wallace's jumper with two minutes left in the third, but the Pacers knotted the score at 74-74 on Ford's three to end the period.

"We struggled on the road, but we needed to get this one," Murphy said. "Hopefully, this propels us into some momentum."

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