Granger helps Pacers top BobcatsJan 26, 2009 - 5:01 AM INDIANAPOLIS (Ticker) -- Danny Granger scored 27 points, including eight in the final quarter, and the Indiana Pacers managed to hold off the feisty Charlotte Bobcats for a 98-93 victory on Sunday night.
Troy Murphy collected 11 points and 14 rebounds, and Jeff Foster grabbed 13 boards for the Pacers, who have won five straight games at Conseco Fieldhouse and four of their last six overall.
Mike Dunleavy and reserve T.J. Ford finished with 13 points apiece, and Marquis Daniels chipped in 11 off the bench for Indiana, which led by 14 points in the third quarter before seeing its lead chipped down to three late in the game.
"Hard fought game, both teams really wanted it," Pacers coach Jim O'Brien said. "We're lucky to get a 'W' against a team that's playing very well."
The Bobcats clawed their way back into the contest as Raymond Felton's 3-pointer capped a 9-2 run to cut the deficit to 87-84 with 5:54 to play. But after Granger knocked down a pair of free throws, Dunleavy sank a shot from beyond the arc to extend Indiana's lead to 92-84.
Bell's jump shot with 1:25 left made it 96-93, but Charlotte failed to score from that point, despite two good opportunities. Boris Diaw missed a pair of free throws with 35 seconds left, and Gerald Wallace missed a wide-open 3-pointer on the Bobcats' next possession.
"We dug ourselves in a big hole early in the game," Bell said. "We have to learn that you can't turn it on and off in this league. When you do, you find yourself with too big a hill to climb."
Bell and Diaw each had 18 points and Emeka Okafor added 14 for the Bobcats, who had won five of their previous six contests.
Wallace poured in 10 points and Felton dished out 12 assists for Charlotte, which was outrebounded by a 52-37 margin.
"We didn't match their energy early, and we got killed on the boards in the first half," Bobcats coach Larry Brown said. "When you rally, you have to play perfect down the stretch."
The Pacers went on a 10-0 run in the second quarter to take a 43-34 lead and never trailed from that point. Granger scored seven points during that stretch, igniting the burst with a
20-foot jumper with 8:07 left.
"We have to protect our home court," Granger said. "We haven't been doing that well on the road, and if we really want to make a push for the playoffs, we have to take care of the home court."
INDIANA 98 FINAL
Jan 25 9:30 PM
INDIANA 77 END, 3RD QTR
Jan 25 8:51 PM
INDIANA 54 HALFTIME
Jan 25 8:07 PM
INDIANA 26 END, 1ST QTR
Jan 25 7:35 PM
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