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Murphy's tip-in sends Pacers past Lakers

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

By MICHAEL MAROT

AP Sports Writer

INDIANAPOLIS -- Danny Granger scored 32 points and led Indiana back from a 15-point fourth-quarter deficit, and Troy Murphy tipped in a missed shot at the buzzer to complete an improbable 118-117 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday night.

The Lakers came into the game with seven straight wins, the league's best record and reigning MVP Kobe Bryant. But even another terrific night from Bryant, who scored 28 points and had seven rebounds, wasn't enough to fend off the pesky Pacers.

For much of the game, Los Angeles (14-2) seemed to be waiting to take control. And thanks to a 17-0 run to close the third quarter, it seemed Los Angeles could cruise to victory.

Instead, the Pacers, who had won only once since Nov. 21, fought back from the 101-86 deficit with an incredible defensive performance.

Indiana (7-10) methodically chipped away, using a 10-0 run to get to 105-98 early in the fourth, and closing to 115-114 when Granger hit a 3-pointer from the left corner with 1:42 to go. They finally regained the lead, 116-115, with 1:16 left when Marquis Daniels made two free throws.

But Bryant had a chance to seal it.

After his 21-footer gave Los Angeles a 117-116 lead with 58.4 seconds left, Bryant's errant 18-footer on the Lakers final possession gave Indiana one last chance.

Coach Jim O'Brien called time out, and Daniels broke free on the baseline, tossed up a short shot that bounced off the side of the rim. The rebound got batted around and Murphy finally tipped it toward the basket, as the ball bounced on both sides of the rim before dropping through the net as the buzzer sounded.

The play stood up to a replay review by the officials.

Murphy finished with 16 points and 17 rebounds, and T.J. Ford added 17 points as all five Indiana starters scored at least 16 points.

Bryant was 10-of-21 from the field and grabbed seven rebounds, while Pau Gasol had 20 points and nine rebounds for the Lakers, who fell two wins short of matching the best start in the storied franchise's history.

Notes:

The Lakers were 33-of-45 from the free throw line but had more than twice as many chances as the Pacers, who shot just 21 times from the free-throw line. ... Indiana played without forward Jeff Foster who was out with a sore back. ... Los Angeles is now 5-1 on the road this season. ... The Pacers play six of their next seven on the road. ... Murphy now has nine straight games with double-digit rebounds.

L.A. LAKERS (117)

Radmanovic 4-8 0-0 10, Gasol 7-12 6-10 20, Bynum 6-9 5-8 17, Fisher 2-5 5-6 10, Bryant 10-21 8-10 28, Ariza 4-8 5-5 13, Odom 1-3 4-6 6, Farmar 2-6 0-0 4, Vujacic 3-4 0-0 9. Totals 39-76 33-45 117.

INDIANA (118)

Granger 10-27 8-8 32, Murphy 7-12 0-0 16, Nesterovic 8-13 0-0 16, Ford 9-16 2-2 21, Daniels 4-15 8-9 16, Rush 3-5 0-0 7, Graham 1-4 0-0 2, Hibbert 1-2 0-0 2, Jack 1-3 2-2 4, McRoberts 1-2 0-0 2. Totals 45-99 20-21 118.

L.A. Lakers30363516--117

Indiana28332532--118

3-Point Goals--L.A. Lakers 6-19 (Vujacic 3-4, Radmanovic 2-5, Fisher 1-2, Odom 0-1, Farmar 0-1, Ariza 0-1, Bryant 0-5), Indiana 8-22 (Granger 4-10, Murphy 2-4, Ford 1-2, Rush 1-3, Jack 0-1, Daniels 0-2). Fouled Out--None. Rebounds--L.A. Lakers 53 (Gasol, Bynum 9), Indiana 51 (Murphy 17). Assists--L.A. Lakers 18 (Odom 5), Indiana 27 (Ford 8). Total Fouls--L.A. Lakers 23, Indiana 26. Technicals--Indiana defensive three second. Flagrant Fouls--Granger. A--16,412 (18,165).



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