Game Rewind: Pacers 111, Philadelphia 103

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FROM THE LOCKER ROOM

PACERS COACH JIM O'BRIEN

Q: Can you talk about what you did to win tonight?
A: We had a good practice yesterday. Today we played with a great deal of intensity, distributed the basketball to [Darren] Collison nicely, 13 assists and one turnover. I thought Danny [Granger] passed the ball well. He had seven assists. We made big shots when we needed to make them. Our jump down the stretch was very important in every fashion, so we went on the road, and we did the things that were necessary. Im happy for the guys.

Q: Can you just talk about the closing finish as 12-4. What were some of the key things in that? Why do you think your team was ready to do that?
A: I think that we defended well. We had a good quickness on the court, challenged shots, shots that they were making were challenged. The three that they had to tie it up at 97 was a great 24 seconds of defense. We challenged a three and we made a lucky shot. We defended well down the stretch, and they were just not going to be denied this win.

PACERS FORWARD DANNY GRANGER

Q: Can you just talk about getting a road win, havent had one since November 30th, and the fact that you did it with a nice closing kick, 12-4, to finish the game?
A: Its a breath of fresh air, particularly for our offense. We shot the ball well tonight. We moved well and had a lot of people on the ball. Its very typical of how we like to play all the time. You know, we just kind of kick-start our offense a little bit and get us into the swing of things.

Q: It seemed like there were more of those quick motions, the pick-and-rolls. I mean, the stuff we talked about the other day, it seemed like its happening.
A: Weve really been working at it and studying film, and trying to figure out what was going on with offense. We made good plays tonight. We had the pick-and-roll situation, trying to be open on the roll, the things we havent done in the past. We found the open man. Mike [Dunleavy] got open early. We found him for a bunch of points. We just hadnt done that recently, getting it to him.

SIXERS COACH DOUG COLLINS

Needless to say, we were in an uphill struggle the whole night. We came out incredibly flat. This is a team that can really shoot the ball. They play a very unorthodox style offensively. They got off to a great start. You get down 16, battle back and get the lead. When you play uphill like that, it just takes so much out of you. Once again, at the end of the game, we could not stop them. I thought one of the key plays was when we got a stop, and we had just hit a three to go up two. They pick up the ball and [Danny] Granger hits a three. I do not think we ever recovered from that. We were just flat. We had zero energy tonight until we got so far behind. We tried to get back in it and just could not do it.

Q: Does your rotation changing, and I do not mean Andre [Iguodala], but just the rotation changing a little bit, does that maybe hurt them a little bit as far as energy goes?
A: Any time you change, it is going to take a while. You do not just make a change and not have it take a little while. We just have to play through that.

Q: Did you have any regrets about having Andre [Iguodala] back in tonight?
A: No. He is one of our best players. Eventually, he has got to start playing.

Q: I mean just from a health or preparation standpoint. Where he is physically
A: He said he was ready to go.

SIXERS FORWARD ELTON BRAND

Q: Doug was saying you guys just came out so flat, any reason for that, Elton?
A: No, just energy. We have to have a little more energy out there from the beginning of the game. Other than that it was just, they were hitting shots and theyre a good team, thats what they do when they score over 100 points. They had about eight threes, so we didnt get any stops.

Q: I think they scored on eight straight possessions down the stretch. Dribble penetration, what was hurting?
A: It was one-on-one stuff, it made the game. When we were trying to lock in, guys hit big shots for them and then penetration.

SIXERS GUARD JRUE HOLIDAY

Q: Doug said you guys came out flat tonight. Did you work through that? Did it just take you a while to get into the game?
A: I dont know. I thought they were hitting shots. Dunleavy got off to a great start. We kind of lost him, but I think he kind of gave them their rhythm. I thought we were playing well on Granger, Darren wasnt getting in the middle. I think Dunleavy kind of gave them that spark.

Q: Is that kind of what makes him dangerous, is that Darren penetrates and they got the two guys on the outside who can knock down shots?
A: Yeah, I think getting in the paint for any team, you get in the paint, you can do a lot. Everybody collapses, and especially with shooters like they had, which one through four, sometimes even five, theyre all along the perimeter knocking down shots.

Collison, Dunleavy spark streak-buster

END RESULT

A lineup together for just its third game showed signs of jelling quickly.

With Darren Collison producing 21 points and a season-high 13 assists for his first double-double with the Pacers, Mike Dunleavy scoring 18 of his 20 in the first half to set the early tone and Danny Granger producing a steady 27 points with seven assists, the Pacers controlled most of the game and pulled out a 111-103 victory Tuesday night in Philadelphia.

Indiana let a 16-point third-quarter lead slip away and found itself in a 99-all tie with 2:33 left but outscored the Sixers 12-4 down the stretch to put it away. The Pacers, who have struggled to close out games, scored on their final nine possessions.

Philadelphia was led by point guard Jrue Holiday, who threatened a triple-double with 19 points, eight assists and seven rebounds.

IMPACT

The Pacers snapped a nine-game road losing streak their last win had come Nov. 30 in Sacramento and improved to 15-20 overall, 6-11 on the road. They also took a 2-1 season series lead and a 1 game lead in the Eastern Conference standings over the eighth-place Sixers. Philadelphia had won nine of its previous 11 at home but fell to 15-23 overall, 10-7 at Wells Fargo Center.

QUOTEWORTHY

  • A really terrific win. We played the way we practiced (Monday) with a great deal of intensity, distributed the basketball, Collison was great, Danny passed the ball well, made big shots when we needed to make them. That's the way you win on the road and I'm very happy for our guys." Pacers coach Jim O'Brien.
  • Our guys defended well down the stretch and they were just not going to be denied this win." O'Brien.
  • I think it's been November since we got a win on the road so it feels good to get one. Not only is a good win it's a team that we're fighting against to get into the playoffs." Dunleavy.
  • "We played really well down the stretch. It seems like everybody contributed. Roy (Hibbert) hit a big shot, Danny and Darren made plays, so it was a nice team victory." Dunleavy.

STAT OF THE GAME

By failing to reach 100 points in their previous nine games, the Pacers brought the NBA's longest active streak into Philadelphia but put that one to rest with their highest output since a 124-100 rout of Toronto on Dec. 6.

HIGHLIGHTS

Though the arena lacked energy because the threat of a major snowstorm led to a sparse, eerily quiet crowd, Dunleavy made sure the Pacers didn't start flat by scoring 15 in the first quarter, including three 3-pointers that produced a 27-23 lead after one.

Philadelphia stayed within arm's reach in the second but the Pacers committed just five turnovers and shot just under 50 percent (26-of-53) to take a 57-49 lead at the break.

Indiana threatened to blow it open with a 10-2 run to open the second half, pushing the lead to 67-51, but Marreese Speights, Elton Brand and Jodie Meeks sparked a 21-6 counterpunch that drained the lead to 73-72. Brandon Rush and Jeff Foster gave the Pacers a brief spark as they pushed it back out to 84-75 but the Sixers went on another run, this time 14-0 bridging the quarters, to take their first lead and push the advantage to 89-84 with 8:50 remaining.

Granger scored nine of the Pacers' next 15 to pull them into a 99-all tie heading down the stretch, when his teammates took care of business. Collison's pull-up jumper in the lane made it 101-103 and then Roy Hibbert's jump hook pushed it to 103-99 with 1:24 left.

Thaddeus Young cut it to two with a drive but the Pacers who attempted just one free through the first three quarter sealed the game with eight in a row in the final minute.

BY THE NUMBERS

Granger shot 10-of-17 from the field for his 27 points and contributed seven assists and five rebounds. Collison was 8-of-15 and had just one turnover with 13 assists and 21 points. Dunleavy was 4-of-8 from the 3-point line for his 20. Tyler Hansbrough just missed another double-double with 12 points and nine rebounds. Jeff Foster (10 points, eight rebounds) and Rush (nine points, six boards) had strong games off the bench.

The Pacers shot .511 overall and made half their 3-pointers (8-of-16), outrebounded Philly 40-36 and had 29 assists against just 13 turnovers.

Holiday shot 7-of-14, including 3-of-5 from the arc in his near-triple-double night. Elton Brand had 18 points but just five rebounds. The Sixers got 52 points from their bench, with Speights (14), Evan Turner (14), Louis Wiliams (12) and Young (12) all in double figures. Meeks finished with 13, making 3-of-5 from the arc.

Philadelphia shot .477 overall and was 7-of-18 (.389) from the arc and had a 24-11 advantage in fast-break points.

NOTEWORTHY

  • Andre Iguodala returned for Philadelphia after missing the previous seven games with an Achilles tendon injury but shot 0-of-7 from the field and scored just one point, though he did have seven assists.
  • Lance Stephenson was active for the second time in his rookie season. A.J. Price, Dahntay Jones and Solomon Jones were inactive.
  • The Pacers tied an NBA record with zero free throw attempts in the first half. Through three quarters, their only trip to the line was Collison's make after a technical foul against the Sixers' Spencer Hawes.
  • Dunleavy's only basket of the second half was a throwback running, sweeping hook shot straight out of George Mikan's textbook to put the Pacers up 92-91 with 5:52 left in the game.

UP NEXT

The Pacers return home to face the injury depleted Dallas Mavericks Wednesday at Conseco Fieldhouse (7 p.m., Fox Sports Indiana, WIBC 93 FM). Dallas has lost two in a row and five of seven in the absence of star Dirk Nowitzki (knee). Tickets: Buy Now | College Night

--Conrad Brunner, Pacers.com