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 Granger leads Pacers past Magic

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PostSubject: Granger leads Pacers past Magic   Sat Feb 07, 2009 6:43 pm

NDIANAPOLIS(AP) Danny Granger had been struggling - at least by his lofty standards - so he changed his approach.The
Indiana Pacers' All-Star forward lost his outside shooting touch while
dealing with a sore right knee, and hadn't scored 30 or more points in
nine games. Instead of settling for jumpers, he attacked the basket and
carried his team to a 107-102 win over the Orlando Magic on Friday
night.He scored 33 points and went 12-for-12 from the free-throw line."I
just switched my game up, tried to rely a little bit on driving because
my shot was a little bit off, especially with the knee,'' he said.
"Driving to the basket and getting to the line is easy points.''Granger
shot just 9-for-21 from the field, but got hot late. He went 4-for-8
from the field and 4-for-4 from the free-throw line in the fourth
quarter for 14 points. He said the knee wasn't a factor down the
stretch."It was still sore, but thankfully, once my adrenaline
got going, we kept icing it and I kept putting it out of my mind,
especially for that fourth quarter,'' Granger said. "We got through and
we got the win.''T.J. Ford scored 21 points and Troy Murphy added 20 for the Pacers, who avoided getting swept in the four-game season series.Orlando's
Dwight Howard had 21 points and 20 rebounds, but made just five of 12
free throws. Hedo Turkoglu had 20 points and 11 assists and J.J. Redick
tied a season high with 17 points for the Magic.While Granger
dominated the fourth quarter, Howard struggled. He went 2-for-5 from
the field and 4-for-8 from the free-throw line in the final period."We
made some big stops defensively, especially on Dwight Howard,'' Granger
said. "I think our bigs did a good job of stopping him and fouling him
when they could.''Turkoglu said he thought the Magic took the Pacers lightly."They
played last night, so we thought it was going to be a little easy,
they're going to be tired,'' he said. "It's the NBA. You can't really
go easy on anybody. They're athletes, too. They compete, they play
hard, too. It's important that we learn from this.''Indiana made 28 of 31 free throws, while Orlando shot just 21-of-33. The Magic also made just 11 of 32 3-pointers.It
was Orlando's second game without All-Star point guard Jameer Nelson,
who's out for the season with a dislocated right shoulder.Indiana shot 52 percent in the first half to lead 61-51 at the break."We
brought no defensive mentality, played no defense in the first half,''
coach Stan Van Gundy said. "It's a broken record. ... An awful effort
tonight. I applaud them, they played well, but an awful effort on our
part.''Turkoglu tied it at 87 on two free throws with 8:20 to go.Indiana
led 102-99 in the final minute, and Orlando had a chance to tie before
Redick elbowed Indiana's Mike Dunleavy and was called for an offensive
foul with 38.7 seconds left.Ford dribbled at the top of the key
to run the shot clock down, then drove and drew a foul from Orlando's
Courtney Lee with 19 seconds left. Ford missed the first free throw,
then made the second to make it 103-99.Turkoglu missed a 3-pointer, and Dunleavy made two free throws at the other end with 12.4 seconds to play.Rashard
Lewis made a 3-pointer with 7.7 seconds left, then the Magic fouled
Granger with 7.1 seconds left. Granger made both free throws to end
Orlando's threat.The Pacers now have wins over league powers
Orlando, Boston, Phoenix, Detroit and the Los Angeles Lakers, but
losses to struggling teams such as Minnesota, New York, Memphis, Golden
State and the Los Angeles Clippers."I have yet to figure it
out,'' Granger said. "I guess we might be a Dr. Jekyll and Mr.
Hyde-type team. We just show two different teams on any given night,
but if we can get consistent, we'll be OK.''Notes: Early in the
first quarter, Howard missed a two-handed power dunk. Orlando got the
long rebound and passed the ball back to Howard, who hammered down a
one-handed jam. ... Orlando forward Tony Battie made his first
3-pointer of the season with 1.4 seconds left in the first quarter to
cut Indiana's lead to 32-29. It was his fifth attempt. ... Howard was
issued a technical foul with 1:06 left in the first half for arguing
with officials. ... PG Tyronn Lue, just acquired by the Magic in a
trade, won't join the team until Sunday.

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