The forward scored 23 points, and the Pacers overcame a 23-point deficit to beat the Toronto Raptors 105-101 on Monday night.
It was Indiana’s first win in three games since Granger returned from a heel injury that kept him out for a month.
“We battled back, battled back, battled back,” Granger said with his feet in ice. “Those are the type of wins that can really start win streaks.”
Granger showed his All-Star form in the middle two quarters, when he scored 19 points to help chip away at Toronto’s lead.
“He allows them the ability to stretch the floor, drive to the basket, just gives them another dimension in scoring,” Raptors coach Jay Triano said. “He can make 3s, but he’s not stuck in that 3-point line.”
“We were fatigued, maybe,” Triano said. “Didn’t have our legs. I’ve never seen us miss that many free throws. But our guys played as hard as they could in a back-to-back, the way that they battled, and we didn’t have it.”
Former Pacers guard Jarrett Jack(notes) started for Toronto and finished with five points and five assists. It was his first game in Indiana since the Pacers chose not to match Toronto’s offer last summer.
Toronto led 65-52 at halftime, but Indiana opened the second half with some hot shooting. A 9-3 run cut Toronto’s lead to 72-68 midway through the third quarter, but the Raptors still led by six at the end of the period.
Price hit a 3-pointer, then an acrobatic layup to cut Toronto’s lead to 86-85 with 10 minutes to play, and the Pacers tied the score on a bank shot by Dunleavy with 7:40 left. Indiana finally took its first lead on a 3-pointer by Earl Watson(notes) that made it 95-92 with just over 5 minutes remaining. Another 3-pointer by Price made it 100-96 with 1:13 to play.
Toronto cut Indiana’s lead to 102-100 on a layup by Bargnani with 16.8 seconds left.
The Pacers nearly lost the ball on the inbounds play, but Granger threw the ball off Sonny Weems’(notes) leg with 12.8 seconds left. Murphy was fouled with 11.3 seconds left, and he made the first, but missed the second free throw to give Toronto a chance.
Granger fouled Bosh with 5.3 seconds left. Bosh made the first free throw, but missed the second. Dunleavy rebounded and made both free throws at the other end with 4.1 seconds left to seal the win.
Toronto shot 3 of 18 and committed five turnovers in the fourth quarter.
“We stopped them a bunch of times, was boxing out, limiting them to one shot,” Granger said. “That won the game for us.”
Indiana trailed 59-36 in the second quarter, but the Pacers went on a 16-5 run late in the half. A jumper by Luther Head(notes) with 1.7 seconds left cut Toronto’s lead to 62-52, but Antoine Wright(notes) hit a 65-footer at the buzzer to push the Raptors’ lead to 13.
“I think we went away from what we were doing best,” Bosh said. “We were moving the ball a lot more. They were looking for me in the post. If they didn’t have me in the post, they got it to the weak side very fast. It’s hard to play defense when the ball is moving so fast.”
Indiana hopes to build momentum against Phoenix on Wednesday.
“That’s the problem we’ve been having this year, just being consistent,” Granger said. “We’ll have a good showing and then a bad showing. We just need to get our confidence to the point where we really know we can win any game.”
NOTES:@ Indiana F Tyler Hansbrough(notes) returned after missing seven games with an inner ear infection. He finished with four points and seven rebounds. … Double technicals were issued to Granger and Weems with 8:09 left in the second quarter after an altercation. Double technicals were issued to Hansbrough and Toronto G Jose Calderon(notes) in the closing seconds of the third quarter. … Pacers F Dahntay Jones(notes) did not play for the first time this season. It was a coach’s decision.