GAME REWIND: PACERS 94, HORNETS 93
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FROM THE LOCKER ROOM
PACERS COACH JIM O'BRIEN
(On the last play of the game) "Danny’s shot was down but Mike got the fingertip on it and we pulled out a tough one. I thought Jeff Foster was terrific all night. That’s a gutty win, up 13, they come back and we pulled it out. We went with a small lineup. T.J. (Ford) knows all the plays in two (guard) spots. Sometimes you have to adjust. Roy had a tough night but he’ll be fine.”
PACERS FORWARD JEFF FOSTER
(On the last play of the game) "Merry Christmas! This was the best Christmas gift I could have gotten. Mike saved the day. We got that tip and we got the win. We’ve got a bunch of guys wanting to work and play defense and defense really made the difference. We knew that West, Paul and Okafor were going to come at us again and we had to be at our best to stop them. We must continue to improve and build.”
PACERS GUARD MIKE DUNLEAVY
(On his tip in) "I’ve seen other people do it, even some here but that was my first one. We were trying to get Danny a shot and my man went to help. I just took off for the basket hoping for a tip if he missed.”
PACERS GUARD DARREN COLLISON
"We just went out and got a much needed win. We must give them credit because they stayed with us the whole game. Our energy level was at the highest level. We must play at this level; but we must also play better. "
(On facing his former team New Orleans) "There was a little revenge there. I wanted to play well against my former team. I wanted to beat my former team.”
HORNETS COACH MONTY WILLIAMS
“We talked about a foul to give and when Danny Granger gets the ball in the shooting positions, that’s not something you want to do. Emeka Okafor plays great defense, we just didn’t execute down the stretch. We gave up 20 fast-break points, so it offsets anything else you do. We’ve always felt this roster was built for times like this. I’m saying tough stuff; Chris is saying the tough stuff. We need other guys to step up.”
HORNETS GUARD JARRETT JACK
“There are still positives we can take out of it. We shot ourselves in the foot early on in the game and we were still able to fight back and grab the lead late. You have to take your hats off to (the Pacers). They kept fighting. But if we don’t put ourselves in that hole in the first half and the beginning of the game, when we are supposed to jump on teams like we normally do, then we don’t get put in that position."
(On a recent stretch when they’ve lost five of seven games) "Nothing in this league is easy. Nothing is automatic in this league. You just have to keep fighting through it.”
HORNETS FORWARD DAVID WEST
(On the last play of the game – not taking the foul they had to give) "We talked about it, having an opportunity to foul them but we weren’t solid on that last play. We made a couple of mental errors. Really on the last two defensive possessions we made some mental mistakes."
(On having to bounce back from two consecutive close losses) "It hurts but last night’s hurts a little more. Tonight we got what we wanted at one end of the court. Coach talks about discipline. We just made a lot of mental errors. We can’t afford to do that, especially against a team like the Pacers. If we had stayed solid on that last possession and made Granger shoot over the top of us instead of giving him a clean look, I believe it would have been a different outcome.”
Dunleavy's tip-in at buzzer wins thriller
With all eyes focused on the rim as Danny Granger's long jumper spun around, then in, then back out, Mike Dunleavy sneaked in along the baseline, reached up with his left hand and tipped in the game-winner just before the buzzer, delivering the Pacers a thrilling 94-93 victory over the New Orleans Hornets before 12,271 in Conseco Fieldhouse on Monday.
The Hornets had wiped out a 13-point deficit and took a 93-92 lead on David West's jumper from the key with 3.9 seconds remaining, but the Pacers weren't finished. Dunleavy threw the inbounds pass to Granger, then broke free for the game-winning play.
The Pacers improved to 13-14 overall, 8-6 at home and snapped a five-game losing streak to the Hornets. New Orleans lost its sixth consecutive road game and fell to 16-12 overall, 5-9 on the road and 8-12 since starting the season 8-0.
- “I’ve seen other people do it, even some here but that was my first (game-winning tip-in). We were trying to get Danny a shot and my man went to help. I just took off for the basket hoping for a tip if he missed.” – Pacers guard Mike Dunleavy.
- "Merry Christmas! This was the best Christmas gift I could have gotten. Mike saved the day.'' – Pacers center Jeff Foster.
- "This is a gutsy win, up 13, they come back and take the lead and our guys pull it out. That really shows a great deal of resiliency." – Pacers Coach Jim O'Brien.
- "We talked about it, having an opportunity to foul them but we weren’t solid on that last play. We made a couple of mental errors. Really on the last two defensive possessions we made some mental mistakes." – Hornets forward David West.
STAT OF THE GAME
James Posey and Jeff Foster, the two oldest players on the Pacers roster, combined for 41 minutes, 22 points (on 8-of-11 shooting) and 15 rebounds.
Really, there was more than the one.
The Pacers appeared to take control with a 12-2 run late in the second quarter that pushed their lead to 48-35 and Posey's 3-pointer, one of his five on the night, sent them into the locker room with a 52-43 advantage as the Hornets shot just .364 in the first half.
The Hornets challenged repeatedly in the third quarter, with Posey hitting two more clutch threes to keep the Pacers in front, until the visitors scored the final six of the period to take their first lead the opening basket, 69-68, heading into the fourth.
With Darren Collison providing a major spark against his former team, the Pacers pulled out to an 85-79 lead on Roy Hibbert's only bucket of the night, a putback dunk with 6:12 remaining. But the Hornets quickly countered with seven in a row to regain the lead, setting up the tight finish.
West rebounded a Chris Paul miss, was fouled and converted the three-point play to put New Orleans up 91-89 with 30.2 seconds left, but Granger made the extra pass to feed a wide-open Posey for a corner 3-pointer that put the Pacers back in front, 92-91, with 16.1 seconds showing.
Chris Paul and West then hooked up on their patented pick-and-pop with West springing free in the key to drain what the Hornets had every right to think would be the game winner with just under four ticks left.
But Dunleavy intervened and ruined the visitors' night.
BY THE NUMBERS
Granger scored a game-high 27 for the Pacers but was 8-of-22 from the field, though he did hit 4-of-8 from the arc, adding six rebounds. Collison had 18 points on 8-of-11 shooting, adding five rebounds, five assists and two steals. Posey was 5-of-7 from the arc for 15 points, and Foster pulled a season-high 11 rebounds while tying his career high with four blocked shots. Hibbert struggled through a nightmarish game, going 1-of-10 with just three rebounds in 25 minutes.
The Pacers shot .425 overall but were 11-of-23 (.478) from the arc.
Emeka Okafor led the Hornets with 19 points on 7-of-8 shooting, 15 rebounds and three blocked shots. West had 18 point, Paul 15 with just four assists and Marco Belinelli 14.
The Hornets shot just .398 overall and were 4-of-15 from the arc, though they dominated the glass 53-39, including 18 offensive rebounds that led to 25 second-chance points.
- Collison limped off the court with an apparent left ankle sprain late in the game but said afterward it was minor and he expected to be at practice Tuesday.
- Josh McRoberts (groin) was in uniform but did not play for the second game in a row, replaced again in the lineup by Foster.
- The Pacers improved to 8-1 when they make at least 10 from the 3-point line.
- Indiana is now 3-2 in games decided by three points or less.
After a six-day holiday break, the Pacers return to action Sunday, Dec. 26, against Memphis in Conseco Fieldhouse (7 p.m., Fox Sports Indiana, WIBC 93 FM).
--Conrad Brunner, Pacers.com