DANNY GRANGER
Played a solid overall game with 25 points 9-of-19 shooting, including 4-of-8 from the 3-point line, adding eight rebounds and three assists.
JIM O'BRIEN
"I don't even care who the other team has. I don't care if they have all of their players, none of their players; we've got to win. You find out 20 minutes before the game somebody's not playing, you have no time to make an adjustment. You just play."
  • Points in the paint: Pacers 36, Wizards 36
  • Fast-break points: Pacers 18, Wizards 4
  • Second-chance points: Wizards 11, Pacers 8
  • Points off turnovers: Pacers 24, Wizards 4
  • Starters scoring: Wizards 75, Pacers 67
  • Bench scoring: Pacers 26, Wizards 10
  • Washington was not whistled for a personal foul in the first quarter. The first foul against the visitors was called with 10:32 in the second quarter.
    After taking the Christmas holiday, the Pacers return to action on the road Wednesday in Atlanta against Joe Johnson, Josh Smith and the surging Hawks (7 p.m., WIBC 1070-AM).
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  • INDIANA 93, WASHINGTON 85
    Granger, Rush help Pacers hang on

    By Conrad Brunner | Dec. 22, 2007


    Even before it began, there was a strong sense this was going to be one of those muckety games. Both teams were playing the second game of back-to-back sets and the visitors from Washington were fielding a desperately shorthanded lineup that was left with no choice but to play, well, desperately.

    The result was a game with the flow of traffic in front of a mall on the weekend before Christmas, and very nearly as frustrating. But thanks to timely shooting from Danny Granger and Kareem Rush, the Pacers did just enough to produce a 93-85 victory Saturday before 11,583 in Conseco Fieldhouse.

    Pacers Coach Jim O'Brien described it as "a grind-it-out win, a hard-fought ballgame by both teams."

    It was also the fourth win in five games for the Pacers (15-13), who got 25 points from Granger and 15 in 22 minutes off the bench from Rush.

    With forward Caron Butler (sprained ankle) added to a list of injured that already included Gilbert Arenas, Antonio Daniels and Etan Thomas, the Wizards (13-13) were without four of their top six players and lost their third in a row.

    "I don't even care who the other team has. I don't care if they have all of their players, none of their players; we've got to win," said O'Brien. "You find out 20 minutes before the game somebody's not playing, you have no time to make an adjustment. You just play."

    Rush scored the Pacers' final 11 points of the first half as the home team went into the locker room with a 45-34 lead after an uneven first half.

    "Kareem has really played well," said O'Brien. "You look at his last five or 10 games, he's shooting a very, very high percentage inside the two, outside the three and he gave us a really solid effort again tonight and we need that coming off the bench."

    With Roger Mason (20 points) the second journeyman point guard in as many games to produce a career-high scoring night (Minnesota's Sebastian Telfair had 27 in the Pacers' 131-118 road loss Friday), the Wizards wouldn't wilt, getting as close as one in the third quarter and tying the game at 70-all on a 3-pointer by DeShawn Stevenson with 8:13 remaining.

    That's where Granger stepped forward, scoring 11 points in the final 7:04, including a pair of 3-pointers and a three-point play, as the Pacers pulled away.

    “This was a very important game for us tonight, to get back on track after our loss last night," said Granger. "We had to get some defensive stops and play good defense the whole game. This was huge and it helped us get the bad taste out of our mouth from last night. Now we must move on, continue to improve and work hard.”

    Jermaine O'Neal scored 18 with eight rebounds and six blocked shots, Troy Murphy added 13 with eight rebounds and Mike Dunleavy battled 3-of-13 shooting but scored 11 points with seven assists and two blocks.

    Antawn Jamison led the Wizards with 29 points and 12 rebounds, while Mason added five rebounds and four assits to his 20-point night.


    NOTEWORTHY
  • Ongoing back spasms will cause David Harrison to miss 7-to-10 days, O'Brien said before the game. With Ike Diogu healthy, there's no pressing need to bring back Courtney Sims for another go-round.
  • O'Neal was a game-time decision due to swelling in his troublesome left knee started and played his usual rotations.
  • The game was interrupted midway through the third quarter when a fan ran onto the court, danced around a few players as they emerged from their respective timeout huddles and nearly evaded security guards before being tackled and escorted out of the building.