HOUSTON (AP) – After a tough loss to San Antonio on Saturday night, the Indiana Pacers were determined to end their short trip to the Lone Star state with a win.
They barely did it, escaping Houston with a 104-102 victory over the Rockets in overtime on Sunday night.
“We needed this win, and now we get to go home,” said Pacers forward Danny Granger, who scored 32 points.
The win keeps Indiana in fifth place in the Eastern Conference and drops Houston to eighth in the West.
The Pacers led by one when Paul George turned the ball over. Courtney Lee grabbed it and looked to have tied the ball up for Houston, but he stumbled trying to wrestle it away from the Pacers and was called for traveling.
“We were tangled up for about 10 seconds and then I was able to rip it away,” Lee said. “I was trying to call a timeout, but my feet didn’t stop moving, I guess, and that’s all they saw.”
Granger made two free throws with 15.7 seconds left in overtime before Chandler Parsons made a layup on the other end to again cut the lead to 1. Darren Collison made the first of two free throws with 10.5 seconds left and Granger blocked a shot by Parsons at the buzzer to give Indiana the victory.
The Pacers only outrebounded Houston by one in regulation, but dominated the boards in overtime, getting nine while Houston had none. They finished with 54 – the most any team has had against the Rockets this season.
“They did a good job of getting rebounds and second chance points in the first half,” said Indiana’s Roy Hibbert, who grabbed four in overtime. “In overtime we made a concerted emphasis to get rebounds and we were fortunate that we got them.”
Goran Dragic led the Rockets with 22 points and Lee added 20.