Inside the Game: Pacers vs. Rockets 080201

Rookie forward from Purdue had the best game of his young career with 22 points on 9-of-11 shooting, including 13 in the fourth quarter, adding seven rebounds in 20 minutes off the bench.

Name Min. +/- Name Min. +/-
Marquis Daniels DNP --- David Harrison 13:03 -5
Travis Diener 26:47 0 Troy Murphy 26:52 -6
Ike Diogu DNP --- Jermaine O'Neal DNP ---
Mike Dunleavy 38:23 -3 Andre Owens DNP ---
Jeff Foster 34:57 +2 Kareem Rush 19:27 -2
Stephen Graham DNP --- Jamaal Tinsley 21:13 -3
Danny Granger 38:58 -1 Shawne Williams 20:20 +3

  • Points in the paint: Rockets 44, Pacers 32
  • Fast-break points: Pacers 8, Rockets 4
  • Second-chance points: Rockets 16, Pacers 14
  • Points off turnovers: Pacers 16, Rockets 13
  • Starters scoring: Pacers 69, Rockets 68
  • Bench scoring: Rockets 38, Pacers 34

  • The Pacers scored 100 points against the Rockets for the first time since Dec. 31, 2001 (a 108-106 overtime victory). Indiana had averaged 83.9 points in the previous 11 meetings.

    The season's longest homestand continues Saturday against the Orlando Magic in Conseco Fieldhouse (7 p.m, WFNI-AM 1070).

  • Plus-minus rankings
  • Box score
  • Houston 106, Indiana 103

    Pacers go cold down the stretch

    By Conrad Brunner | Feb. 1, 2008

    The difference between the quality of competition in the Eastern and Western Conferences may be no more apparent than in the plight of the Houston Rockets. Led by elite talents Yao Ming and Tracy McGrady, the Rockets improved to 26-20 with their 106-103 victory over the Pacers Friday in Conseco Fieldhouse.

    That record would put the Rockets squarely in the battle for homecourt advantage in the East. In the West, however, they aren't even in playoff position.

    "I'm sure they wish they were in Houston, Pennsylvania, or wherever, to be in the East," said Pacers Coach Jim O'Brien. "They're formidable."

    So much so, in fact, that on a night when Yao and McGrady were well-defended and combined to shoot just 10-of-31 from the field, the Rockets were able to turn to Purdue rookie forward Carl Landry, who scored a career-high 22 points, 13 in the fourth quarter, to serve as the difference-maker.

    It was the fifth loss in a row and 15th in 19 games for the Pacers (19-28), who let a five-point lead slip away down the stretch by missing 10 of their last 11 shots. The Rockets won their sixth straight road game and 11th in 14 overall.

    "We had some tough breaks down the stretch and the tough breaks came in the form of missing some shots, a couple of layups and some open jumpers that would've given us a great chance to win but that's the way it breaks sometimes," said O'Brien. "I thought our guys played hard, played with intensity, they just didn't come away with a win and I'm disappointed for them."

    Danny Granger shook off a 1-of-9 start to finish strong with 22, adding six rebounds and two steals and playing solid defense against McGrady. But he scored just two in the fourth quarter and missed a layup that would've tied the game with just over a minute remaining. Shawne Williams scored 17 in 20 minutes off the bench, hitting 7-of-9 shots. Jeff Foster had a 13-point, 17-rebound double-double. Mike Dunleavy scored 14 with five assists and five rebounds but was 6-of-16 from the field and missed a challenged 3-pointer as the clock expired that would've forced overtime.

    "Sometimes you lose and you play well," O'Brien said. "We lost the last two games and we played a solid, solid brand of basketball."

    After starting a small lineup nine straight games, O'Brien went with a big lineup for the second game in a row in an effort to deal with Yao's presence in the lane. Though Yao was contained, the defense sprung a leak that constantly left Landry open. He shot 9-of-11 overall, 5-of-6 in the fourth quarter.

    The Rockets opted to match the small lineup by taking Yao out of the game early in the fourth quarter and the Pacers responded by hitting eight straight shots in taking a 99-94 lead. Landry converted a 3-point play, then scored in the lane to tie it. Yao then scored to put the Rockets ahead and the Pacers would not reclaim the lead, missing eight in a row until Dunleavy converted a drive to cut it to 104-103 with 32 seconds left.

    After a Houston turnover with 15 seconds remaining, Travis Diener missed a potential game-winner, an open 3-pointer with 7.1 seconds left. Shane Battier converted two free throws to make it a three-point game, and Dunleavy's last shot was wide.

    "I thought we had great shots," O'Brien said. "I actually thought we had a very productive fourth quarter, offensively. In the past we have not gotten those looks but we were very crisp offensively down the stretch. We just did not knock down shots."


    Listen to Coach O'Brien's postgame press conference

    “We had some tough breaks down the stretch, in the form of good looks that didn’t fall for us. I thought they played with heart, intensity and didn’t come away with a win. I’m disappointed for them. We defended hard. Landry had a really good game. We got too enamored with Yao on the pick and roll and left Landry. I thought we had a very productive fourth quarter offensively. We were very crisp. We just did not knock down shots. We have a new day tomorrow. We’ll try to win a basketball game. You can’t worry about the past. Persistence is the key. We will be persistent."


    (on his stats) "I would trade them all in for a victory tonight. We played pretty tough but not tough enough to get the victory. We needed to take better care of the basketball and defend better."

    (On playing tomorrow night) "It is much better to come back and play a game after a loss and try and get ourselves going in the right direction. So the back to back could be positive for us. You don’t want to sit around and dwell on a loss any time. We had some major breakdowns out there tonight. Hopefully we can right them tomorrow.”


    (What can the Pacers do to get this ship righted?) "I have no answer for that. We just fell short. We had a good open look on the last shot and we just didn’t make it. We’ve just got to come out and play 48 minutes of basketball. We’ve got to short circuit our breakdowns on both sides of the ball.”


    “It was a tough game. They hung in there and we did what we had to do down the stretch. I have to give our guys credit. I thought Carl (Landry) really played well in the second quarter. I thought he played really active and really good."

    (On winning six straight road games) "We come out and we are ready to play. We’ve been pretty consistent."

    (On Carl Landry) "A lot of times rookies come to play for the home crowd and they’re out of it. He did well.”


    (on Carl Landry) "He showed everything out there tonight, dunks, 12-footers, floaters in the lane, rebounding and hustle and going from one end to another and blocking shots. He didn’t get a lot of time earlier in the season, but I knew he was a very athletic guy. I didn’t know he could shoot the ball as well as he can. He’s also a good finisher around the basket. He’s just a good basketball player. Me and Yao are kind of guiding him when we’re out there, telling him what to do and where to be on offense and defense.”


    “I tried to do what I do every night. And that is go out and give a lot of energy. I didn’t get tired until I got hit in the head with about 40 seconds left in the game. It felt good to have my college coaches and teammates as well as my family in the stands tonight. It’s like they say, there’s no place like home. And Indiana is like a second home to me. It’s easy when I’m playing with Yao and Tracy out there. Usually I’ve been subbing for Yao. But lately I’ve been playing with them and the rest of the starters and I’m just trying to take advantage of my opportunities.”