Pacers 104, Rockets 102, OT

After a tough loss to San Antonio on Saturday night, the Indiana

Pacers were determined to end their short trip to the Lone Star

state with a win.

They barely did it, escaping Houston with a 104-102 victory over

the Rockets in overtime on Sunday night.

”We needed this win, and now we get to go home,” said Pacers

forward Danny Granger, who scored 32 points.

The win keeps Indiana in fifth place in the Eastern Conference

and drops Houston to eighth in the West.

The Pacers led by one when Paul George turned the ball over.

Courtney Lee grabbed it and looked to have tied the ball up for

Houston, but he stumbled trying to wrestle it away from the Pacers

and was called for traveling.

”We were tangled up for about 10 seconds and then I was able to

rip it away,” Lee said. ”I was trying to call a timeout, but my

feet didn’t stop moving, I guess, and that’s all they saw.”

Granger made two free throws with 15.7 seconds left in overtime

before Chandler Parsons made a layup on the other end to again cut

the lead to 1. Darren Collison made the first of two free throws

with 10.5 seconds left and Granger blocked a shot by Parsons at the

buzzer to give Indiana the victory.

The Pacers only outrebounded Houston by one in regulation, but

dominated the boards in overtime, getting nine while Houston had

none. They finished with 54 – the most any team has had against the

Rockets this season.

”They did a good job of getting rebounds and second chance

points in the first half,” said Indiana’s Roy Hibbert, who grabbed

four in overtime. ”In overtime we made a concerted emphasis to get

rebounds and we were fortunate that we got them.”

Goran Dragic led the Rockets with 22 points and Lee added

20.

The Pacers overcame a 10-point fourth-quarter deficit to force

overtime and controlled the early part of the extra period.

A three-point play by George followed by a 3-pointer from

Granger gave Indiana a 101-95 lead with 2 minutes left in overtime.

But Houston scored five points in 7 seconds to cut the lead to

101-100 with 39 seconds remaining. Dragic hit a 3-pointer before

Parsons got a steal and a layup.

The Pacers could have won it in regulation, but Collison missed

two of four free throws in the last 20 seconds to give Houston a

chance.

Granger gave the Pacers a 91-89 lead with 38 seconds left and

Collison made one of two free throws a few seconds later to extend

the lead.

Dragic got Houston within 92-91 with a jump shot with 16 seconds

left before Collison again made one of two free throws. Dragic made

a pair of free throws with 10 seconds left to tie it again.

Indiana’s David West, who had 12 points, missed a shot at the

buzzer to send it to overtime.

Pacers coach Frank Vogel took advantage of Granger being guarded

by Parsons, who is a rookie.

”It was a good matchup,” Vogel said. ”He’s obviously a tough

guard for Chandler Parsons, who is a good defender, but obviously

he’s a little bit green and Danny was able to get going, especially

in the overtime period.”

Hibbert, who has been dealing with a sore lower back, started

but spent several minutes early in the second quarter on a

stationary bike with a wrap on his back. He finished with 15

points, nine rebounds and a season-high five blocks in about 35

minutes.

Houston’s Marcus Camby continues to be effective despite playing

with an injured left wrist. He had 10 points, nine rebounds, four

steals and four blocked shots with the wrist heavily taped in his

second straight start.

He was disappointed in Houston’s effort early in overtime.

”I think they outhustled us, especially in the start of that

overtime,” he said. ”They got like three or four possessions

before they finally got the bucket. We had opportunities to win, we

just didn’t do a good job of closing out this game.”

The Pacers went on a 10-0 run to erase a nine-point deficit and

take an 81-80 lead with 5 1/2 minutes remaining in the fourth

quarter. Granger hit consecutive 3-pointers to cap that run and

Luis Scola missed three straight shots, including a layup, to help

keep Houston scoreless in that span.

Parsons finished with 14 points and Scola had 13 for

Houston.

Houston used a 7-0 run, with five points from Parsons, to extend

a one-point lead to 65-57 with just under 4 minutes remaining in

the third quarter. Camby blocked a layup by Hibbert and Collison

had a turnover to keep the Pacers scoreless in that stretch.

Indiana cut the lead to 67-63 after outscoring Houston 6-2, with

four points from Lou Amundson, in the next 2 1/2 minutes. But the

Rockets ended the quarter with another run, this one 6-0, to take a

73-63 lead into the fourth quarter.

The Rockets trailed by nine early in the second quarter before

using a 19-12 run to close the gap to 44-42 at halftime. Earl

Boykins started that run with a 3-pointer and Samuel Dalembert had

a pair of dunks in that span.

Indiana was up 18-9 early after a 3-pointer by Granger. Houston

got going after that and outscored the Pacers 14-9 the rest of the

quarter to cut the lead to 27-23 after one.

NOTES: Houston’s Kyle Lowry has missed 13 games in a row because

of a bacterial infection and teammate Kevin Martin has been out 11

straight with a sprained right shoulder. … The Pacers are 11-5

against Western Conference teams this season. … Lee has scored in

double figures in a season high-tying five straight games. …

Three of Houston’s last four home games have gone to overtime.