The Indiana Pacers finished the preseason on a winning note after denying the San Antonio Spurs a shot at the win on their final possession to preserve a 114-112 win at Indiana University's Assembly Hall.
Several Pacers were pressed to play big minutes in Bloomington which in the end played in the team's favor. After a slow shooting start, Danny Granger put up some huge numbers in his 40-plus minutes of playing time. Brandon Rushplayed nearly 37, while Dahntay Jones (34) and Earl Watson (33) also ran for 30-plus.
In the end, those four players put up the numbers needed to push the Pacers to victory which was well worth the extra minutes considering the how bad things went two days ago in Orlando.
Why the big minutes for four players, you ask? Well, Troy Murphy was slowed by a sore foot but did play 20 minutes. Jeff Fosterplayed 11 minutes but still has the back to nurse along. Then to go along with the dinged bigs, Roy Hibbert and Solomon Jonesboth fouled out. Too bad, since both bigs pitched in nicely while on the court.
After the jump, a little closer look at the numbers.Danny Granger finished with 29 points, 14 rebounds and 6 assists. He also knocked down 5 three-pointers although 13 attempts is too many regardless of what my inner-gunner is telling me. The good part about those balky 3-ball numbers is that he started out 1-8, so taking the extra attempts to finish the game 4-5 was just fine for a preseason game.
Dahntay Jones seems to find a way to score whenever he's on the court. His ability to run the floor and take the ball to the hoop in the open court helps open up the scoring opportunities. Jones finished with 13 points, 6 rebounds and 6 assists as he was able to get some easy buckets and trips to the line. Jones did have a bad turnover late in the game which put the final possession in the hands of the Spurs.
Earl Watson rebounded nicely after a tough night in Orlando to finish with 6 points, 9 assists, 6 rebounds and most importantly, 1 turnover.
Like Granger, Brandon Rush also started out struggling from the floor but found a rhythm in the second half and finished with 17 points.
A.J. Price played 16 turnover-free minutes and chipped in 10 points.
Roy Hibbert fouled out in 18 minutes but did chip in 16 points and 3 blocked shots. He also had a few nice finishes including a baseline reverse dunk on Tim Duncanthat drew quite a reaction from Mark Boyle and Austin Crosher on the radio call. Timmy repaid the favor quickly by quietly draining a shot at the other end to even things up.
T.J. Ford stayed in street clothes with a hammy as did Luther Head with an ankle issue which I guess is better than the back acting up again.
For the Spurs, former Broad Ripple Rocket and IUPUI Jag, George Hillhad a real nice outing. No doubt he relished the opportunity to light it up on IU's floor. Hill finished with 21 points and 5 rebounds, doing it like he often did in high school by getting in the lane and drawing free throws.
DeJuan Blair didn't play until late in the third quarter as it appeared the Spurs ran through a full dress rehearsal for the first half through the early third quarter.
Speaking of the third quarter, the Pacers skipped the common let down and instead took control of the game after the break outscoring the Spurs 34-21 in the third.
Don't forget Fan Jam is on Sunday from 3:00PM-6:0PM at the Fieldhouse.