Pacers beat 76ers to end 4-game losing streak
INDIANAPOLIS (AP)—The Indiana Pacers made it look easy without their top scorer in the lineup.
With Danny Granger(notes) suspended one game by the NBA for his part in an altercation in Phoenix on Saturday, the Pacers used Dahntay Jones’(notes) 25 points and Brandon Rush’s(notes) 24 to beat the Philadelphia 76ers 107-96 on Tuesday night.
Troy Murphy(notes) had 19 points, Roy Hibbert(notes) scored 12 and T.J. Ford(notes) added 11 for the Pacers (21-43), who snapped a four-game losing streak and won for just the second time in nine games.
“We have guys that are capable of scoring and making the right plays,” Jones said. “When we found out Danny was not playing, we just took advantage of the opportunity.”
The Pacers had 32 assists on their 42 made field goals. They turned the ball over just 10 times, compared to Philadelphia’s 21 turnovers.
“We took advantage of moving the ball,” Jones said. “Our guards did a good job of distributing the ball and taking the right shots. It was a good team effort.”
Jrue Holiday(notes) scored 21 points and Samuel Dalembert(notes) added 16 points, 11 rebounds and four blocks for the 76ers (23-40). Philadelphia has dropped six of eight since Allen Iverson(notes) left the team for personal reasons.
“We did not do enough to win,” 76ers coach Eddie Jordan said. “We did enough to hang around a bit, but not win.”
The 76ers, who trailed by 12 in the third quarter, cut the deficit to 94-88 on Dalembert’s jumper with 4 minutes left in the game. Indiana answered with Ford’s layup and Rush’s 3-pointer to regain a double-digit lead. Rush hit 3-of-5 shots and both his free throw attempts in the final period for nine points.
“The guys were looking for me tonight and they were setting good screens,” Rush said. “We had great ball movement, so that opened up everything.”
The first half included eight lead changes and seven ties, and neither team led by more than eight points. The 76ers took their biggest advantage, 40-32, on Rodney Carney’s(notes) 3-pointer early in the second quarter. Indiana fought back to take a 54-52 lead into the break.
Despite shooting 31 percent from the field in the third quarter, the Pacers extended their lead to 74-62 on Jones’ layup. Philadelphia shot 35 percent in the period and missed all five of its 3-point attempts.
“Give them credit,” said 76ers guard Willie Green(notes), who finished with 13 points. “I think we played a well-rounded game. Both teams are hungry and want to get some wins and gain some momentum. Tonight, I thought they forced their will a little more than we did.”
Murphy said it took a complete team effort playing without Granger.
“We knew there were going to be some extra shots to go around, and guys stepped up and took the shots and knocked them down,” Murphy said. “Every time it felt like they were making a little run, Brandon would hit a shot or T.J. would knock one down and kind of put them out of their misery.”
NOTES: Granger, who averages 23.1 points, was penalized for fighting with Phoenix’s Channing Frye(notes). Pacers G Earl Watson(notes) and Hibbert were fined by the league for their roles in the incident.