After struggling from the field through three quarters, Murphy scored 10 of his 18 points in the fourth to help the Pacers beat the Los Angeles Clippers 86-73 on Wednesday night and snap their four-game losing streak.
Murphy’s effort was especially important for the short-handed Pacers (6-7). Indiana played without All-Star swingman Danny Granger(notes), who missed the game with a sprained ligament in his left knee.
“I’m not a real big rah-rah type guy,” said Murphy, who also grabbed 11 rebounds. “I just let my play do the talking. That’s the way I’ve always been.”
Without Granger, the NBA’s eighth-leading scorer at 25.2 points per game, the Pacers needed a combined effort on the offensive end. Dahntay Jones(notes) had 18 points, Luther Head(notes) scored 14 and Brandon Rush(notes) added 13.
“It’s harder for an opposing team to scout where the shots are going to come from,” Murphy said. “Now, they have to prepare and focus on different guys.”
Baron Davis(notes) had 25 points and Marcus Camby(notes) added 15 points and 21 rebounds for the Clippers (6-10), who dropped their third straight road game despite leading by as much as 11 and taking a four-point lead into the fourth quarter.
“It was an awful loss,” said Los Angeles coach Mike Dunleavy. “We can’t get this one back, so we have to move on.”
The Pacers quickly turned a 59-55 deficit into a tie score after consecutive baskets by Murphy to start the fourth. T.J. Ford’s(notes) jumper and Murphy’s 3-pointer pushed Indiana’s lead to 74-68 with 5 minutes left.
Murphy added the exclamation point, draining another 3 to give the Pacers a nine-point advantage with 1:46 remaining.
“He stretches defenses out, he rebounds and helps on the defensive end,” Jones said. “It’s always good to have a pick-and-pop 4 that can knock down shots.”
Murphy was more focused on the victory than his individual performance. The Pacers had lopsided losses at Charlotte and Toronto before returning home.
“That last trip was a complete debacle and it feels good to get a win,” he said.
Despite shooting 33 percent from the field in the first half, the Clippers took a 43-34 lead on Chris Kaman’s(notes) free throw late in the second quarter. Indiana shot 30 percent in the opening half and made 3 of 11 3-point attempts.
The Pacers chipped away at the deficit, taking their first lead at 55-54 on Head’s jumper with 2 minutes left in the third quarter. Camby’s 3-pointer to end the period gave Los Angeles a four-point advantage.
“Overall, we did a pretty good job defensively, but offensively we kind of let ourselves down,” Kaman said. “They got the win and you can’t take anything away from them.”
Murphy was looking forward to enjoying a day off on Thanksgiving, although he wasn’t planning a traditional turkey dinner.
“I eat pasta on Thanksgiving,” he said.
^NOTES: Granger, who was hurt in Tuesday’s loss at Toronto, is questionable for Friday’s game against Dallas. … Clippers guard and Indianapolis native Eric Gordon(notes) returned to the lineup after missing eight games with a sore left groin. He scored six points in 27 minutes. … Davis and Ford got tangled up in the fourth quarter and had to be separated. Davis scored the Clippers’ next seven points after the incident. … The Pacers began a stretch of seven straight games against Western Conference teams.