INDIANAPOLIS(AP) Philadelphia 76ers coach Maurice Cheeks gave his team a simple yet effective message after the first quarter against Indiana.
His players responded Friday night, overcoming a 26-point deficit to beat the Pacers 94-92.
"I told them to keep fighting,'' Cheeks said following a dismal first quarter, which ended with the Pacers ahead 38-13. "We just hung in there, we didn't stop.''
The 76ers took their coach's words to heart, tying it at 90 on Andre Iguodala's free throw with 3:14 left in the fourth quarter. They gained their first lead, 92-90, on Andre Miller's layup.
"It's hard to hold a lead like that because a team is going to fight,'' said Miller, who finished with 19 points.
Thaddeus Young's two free throws capped a 9-0 run by the 76ers and gave them a 94-90 advantage with 1:31 left. Danny Granger's jumper made it 94-92 and, following a missed shot by Elton Brand, the Pacers had a chance to tie it or take the lead. However, Marquis Daniels missed a wide open 3-pointer with time winding down.
"It was a great comeback by Philadelphia,'' Indiana coach Jim O'Brien said. "Sometimes you get too big a lead early in the game - and the NBA is a game of momentum shifts.''
Young had 25 points and 10 rebounds, Brand added 14 points and 15 rebounds, and Iguodala finished with 10 points and 10 rebounds for the Philadelphia (4-5), which snapped a three-game losing streak against the Pacers.
The 76ers have been on both sides of losing a big lead. They gave up a 23-point advantage to Atlanta in a 95-88 defeat on Nov. 1.
"Atlanta did that to us early in the season, so it gave us confidence to know, 'Hey, we can do it to somebody else,''' Brand said.
Granger had 18 points, Daniels finished with 17 points and 10 rebounds, and T.J. Ford added 12 points and seven assists for Indiana (4-4). The Pacers tried to make sense of the loss.
"We let our guard down and quit executing what got us the lead,'' said Pacers center Jeff Foster, who finished with 10 points and 11 rebounds. "To their credit, they stayed aggressive and never gave up.''
The Pacers jumped out to a 9-0 lead before Philadelphia got on the scoreboard on Samuel Dalembert's dunk nearly 4 minutes into the game. The 76ers started 0-of-7 from the field and finished the first quarter 5-of-21.
Indiana, which shot 59 percent and hit four of eight 3-point attempts, took a 38-13 lead on Jarrett Jack's layup to end the first period. The Pacers tied a season high for points in a quarter, while the 76ers tied a season low.
After falling behind by 26 points to begin the second quarter, Philadelphia slowly chipped away at the deficit, eventually getting to 57-49 on Brand's free throw late in the first half. Young had 12 points in the period.
"We missed a lot of shots in the first quarter, but we knew the next three quarters we had to dig in and keep fighting,'' Young said. "We were just so happy to get out of here with a win.''
Notes: Pacers G Mike Dunleavy (sore right knee) missed Friday's game and has yet to play this season. ... Granger started after missing Wednesday night's victory over New Jersey with a thigh cramp. ... Pacers rookie G Brandon Rush and 76ers G Kareem Rush both entered the game with 4:31 left in the first quarter. It was the first time the brothers have faced each other in the NBA. During the second quarter, a Pacers fan yelled to Kareem Rush, "Hey Kareem, can you get me your brother's autograph?'' Kareem, sitting on the bench, looked back and smiled.