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Murphy leads Pacers to win over 76ers

Feb 18, 2009 - 5:30 AM INDIANAPOLIS (Ticker) -- Just when it appeared the Philadelphia 76ers were back in the game, Troy Murphy supplied the answer for the Indiana Pacers.

Murphy scored eight of his 17 points in the final five minutes of the fourth quarter to help the Pacers hold off the 76ers and capture a 100-91 victory on Tuesday.

"It's very important for us to get this win," Murphy said. "This would have been a devastating loss for us with the large lead we had. We're happy and excited with the win."

All-Star Danny Granger collected a double-double with 20 points and 10 rebounds and T.J Ford contributed 14 and seven assists to pace Indiana, which got off to a great start in its first game back after the All-Star break.

"You got to get the lethargy out of you," Granger said. "You actually kind of feel it in that first quarter running up and down, but we shook the rust off and it turned out OK."

The Pacers never trailed in the contest and led by as many as 20, but a late charge from the 76ers made the home crowd sweat it out. Indiana took a 17-point lead into the fourth before the 76ers reeled off a 10-0 run behind six points from Willie Green midway through the session to cut the deficit to six, 86-80.

Murphy, who was 7-of-10 from the field and also grabbed seven rebounds, responded with a 3-pointer to halt the run and sank another from long range to push the lead to 98-86 with 1:40 to go to put the game away.

"I'm confident in my ability and I'm confident in what I can do," Murphy said. "I'm looking for the chance and I try to deliver when I can."

Andre Iguodala had 20 points, nine rebounds and five assists to lead Philadelphia, which had won 14 of 18 prior to the All-Star break.

"The All-Star break may have had some effect on us, but that's not an excuse," Iguodala said. "Despite our slow start, I felt like we still had a good shot to win this game."

The Pacers started off hot thanks to Roy Hibbert and Jarrett Jack. The duo combined to score 18 points in the first quarter as Indiana raced out to a 17-4 lead early and a 28-18 advantage after the opening stanza.

Hibbert finished with 14 points and five rebounds and Jack added 12 and six for the Pacers, who split the season series with the 76ers, 2-2.

"It's a good win against an athletic team," Pacers coach Jim O'Brien said. "We did what we had to do to get a 'W.'"

The lead ballooned to 20, 49-29, late in the second quarter as Murphy scored six straight points during an 11-3 run.

A layup by Thaddeus Young pulled the 76ers to within 66-60 at the halfway point of the third quarter, but the Pacers responded with an 18-3 spurt to close out the quarter.

"We tried to make a comeback at the end, but we really lost it in the first quarter," 76ers coach Tony DiLeo said. "Playing here is tough. Indiana has won against some good opponents - the top four teams in the league."

Young had 16 points and nine rebounds and Louis Williams added 17 points for Philadelphia.

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    76ers 91, Pacers 100  FinalFeb 18 6:29 AM

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    76ers 83, Pacers 89  4th - 4:00Feb 17 9:17 PM

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