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Pacers 102, Bobcats 95: Return Of The Prodigal Shawne

Shawne Williams unleashes some pent up emotions
(AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

The Indiana Pacers faced some adversity Wednesday night but for once pushed through it and hung on for a 102-95 win over the Charlotte Bobcats. By the end of the night, there were plenty of smiles in the Fieldhouse. Along with the Pacers win, the New Jersey Nets beat the Atlanta Hawks to move the Pacers within two games of the final Eastern Conference playoff spot.

So, what caused all the drama?
Well, for starters, Danny Granger was a late scratch due to a nagging wrist injury. Mike Dunleavy struggled from the field most of the night, so the key 1-2 punch for the Pacers left a gaping hole on offense.

Then there were the turnovers. Second quarter play was horrible on Monday and not much better tonight. Eight turnovers in the second quarter played a big part in the Pacers seven point deficit at the half.

The Pacers survived and thrived to go up by 13 with 5:24 to go, but four turnovers down the stretch helped bring the Bobcats within one point. A familiar collapse seemed to be developing, but on this night enough players stepped up to secure the W and leave happy.

So who stepped up for the Pacers?
Flip Murray played a critical role in the win. His 14 third quarter points helped the Pacers come from behind to take the lead as they outscored the Bobcats 29-15. Flip was giving Raymond Felton fits all night as he continued to create scoring opportunities for himself. Flip's handle includes a subtle wiggle that keeps defenders off balance just enough to open up shots. He turned Felton around more than once tonight.

While Flip took care of the third quarter, Shawne Williams emerged from the dog house and took over for a key stretch of the fourth quarter when the Pacers jumped out to a double-digit lead. After Shawne made a 3-ball, his game seemed to start spilling out all over the place. These were his first meaningful minutes in ten games and they probably won't be his last after this performance.

After draining the 3-ball, Shawne ran the floor on the next possession and took a pass running down the middle of the lane, then elevated and threw down a huge, one-handed dunk over Jared Dudley. Shawne appeared to release a few weeks worth of pent up emotions on that one play. There was so much in him, he couldn't stop after the dunk and was T'd up for taunting.

After the dunk, Shawne was a different player, much more assertive and just out there playing instead of thinking. He then hit a contested three and had a nice floater in the lane goal tended to complete a run of 10 straight points from Shawne that put the Pacers up 12.

When things tightened up to 96-95, Shawne stepped up again. Dunleavy missed a corner 3-ball but with 1:17 left, Shawne went up in traffic and snared the rebound. The saved possession turned into two free throws from Marquis Daniels. Quisy's free throws were the first two of six free throws the Pacers made down the stretch to seal the game.

Whew! Nice win with unpredictable heroes stepping up. Enjoy the W!