Game Rewind: Pacers 104, Bobcats 103
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Pacers survive wild finish, beat Bobcats
By Conrad Brunner
As the crowd quieted to a stunned hush and the clock wound down, Charlotte's Stephen Jackson hurried upcourt with the ball -- and the game -- in his hands. He stopped well beyond the 3-point line, pump-faked and drew contact from the Pacers' Darren Collison.
The only sound, however, came from the final horn. There was no whistle.
Even the calls are going the Pacers' way in these heady days under Frank Vogel.
Josh McRoberts tipped in Roy Hibbert's miss with 1:21 remaining for the bucket that ultimately made the difference but the Pacers had to survive the wild finish to escape with a thrilling 104-103 victory over the Bobcats before 10,268 Wednesday at Conseco Fieldhouse.
Up by one after Gerald Wallace missed one of two free throws with 29 seconds left, Collison's driving shot spun in and out with seven seconds left. Eschewing a timeout, Jackson drove upcourt and tried harder to draw a foul than to get up a shot; he wound up with neither.
Hibbert tied his career-high with 29 points for the Pacers and Danny Granger scored 25. Jackson led the Bobcats with 27 and Gerald Wallace added 22.
This was a potentially huge victory for the Pacers (22-28), who improved to 5-1 under Vogel. Not only did it move them a full game ahead of the Bobcats (22-30) in the battle for eighth place, it gave them a 3-0 record against Charlotte, clinching the season-series tie-breaker. It was also the Pacers' fourth straight win at home, where they're 14-10, and their fifth in a row over the Bobcats, who fell to 9-17 on the road.
- "A great effort by our basketball team after getting in late and playing an emotional game in Miami." – Pacers coach Frank Vogel
- "We have higher aspirations than the eighth spot. We’re hoping to make a run down the stretch and do something special.” – Vogel
- “What a crazy finish but we’ll take the win.' – Collison
- "It feels real good come back and win a game tonight after the loss in Miami." – Hibbert
- "The referee had the right to make a call. It’s a judgment call. He said it wasn’t a foul so you have to go with it." – Bobcats coach Paul Silas on the final no-call
- "I was going up on my shot, to try to get a shot up before the end of the game. I’ll let you all look at it. I was just trying to be aggressive and make a play.” – Jackson on the final no-call
- "He's the only NBA player I played on a team with. He got my assist totals up. I got his offensive rebound totals up." – Vogel on Nazr Mohammed, his teammate on the Kentucky JV team in the mid-1990s.
STAT OF THE GAME
So much for the old trouble with slow starts. The Pacers shot 13-of-24 (.542) in the first quarter, the eighth consecutive game they've shot better than 50 percent in the opening period.
Though the Pacers appeared to have control most of the way, they couldn't pull away from the Bobcats. Indiana led 58-48 after a first half in which they had 16 assists and just two turnovers, and pushed the advantage to 81-66 late in the third quarter.
Charlotte would not go away. The Pacers led 93-83 on Hibbert's layup with 6:28 left but the Bobcats scored eight in a row in less than a minute to close to 93-91.
Hibbert's three-point play sparked a 9-4 run that gave the Pacers a 102-95 lead with 3:13 remaining but Jackson scored five in a seven-point run, including a jumper that tied it at 102-all with 1:37 to go.
That set up the frantic finish.
BY THE NUMBERS
Hibbert shot 12-of-19 and added 10 rebounds to his 29 points for his 16th double-double of the season. Granger was 9-of-17, including 3-of-3 from the arc, adding four assists and two steals to his 25. Collison had 15 points, five assists and two blocks and McRoberts flirted with a triple-double, posting 12 points, nine rebounds and a career-high seven assists. The Pacers shot .476 overall and won the board for the sixth straight game, 42-40.
Jackson shot 9-of-20 for the Bobcats, including 4-of-8 from the arc, for his 27. Wallace was 9-of-15, adding nine rebounds and six assists to his 22. D.J. Augustin was the only other Charlotte player to score in double figures with 14 but he shot 4-of-13. The Bobcats shot .463.
- Already without Tyrus Thomas (knee) and DeSagana Diop (Achilles tendon), the Bobcats lost starting center Kwame Brown (family emergency). Nazr Mohammed moved into the lineup at center.
- Brandon Rush (sprained right ankle) was back on the inactive list, missing his seventh consecutive game. Lance Stephenson and Solomon Jones also were inactive.
- Hibbert has scored 20+ points in four of the last eight games, and in six games this season.
- Hibbert's 12 field goals and 19 attempts from the floor both tied his career-highs, as well.
- With tonight's one-point win, the Pacers are 4-4 this season in games decided by three points or less.