Granger leads Pacers in 98-91 OT win over Cavs

By Cliff Brunt

Associated Press

Published: Friday, Dec. 30 2011 8:31 p.m. MST

INDIANAPOLIS — Danny Granger scored nine of his 22 points in overtime to help the Indiana Pacers beat the Cleveland Cavaliers 98-91 on Friday night.

Granger shot just 5 of 17 in regulation, but was 3 of 5 in the extra period.

Roy Hibbert had 17 points and 13 rebounds, David West had 14 points and 10 rebounds, and Tyler Hansbrough added 11 points and 12 boards for Indiana. George Hill scored 15 points for the Pacers, who improved to 3-0.

Rookie guard Kyrie Irving led Cleveland with 20 points in his best game so far, but missed a layup that would have won the game at the end of regulation.

Anderson Varejao added 14 points and 13 rebounds, and Anthony Parker and Antawn Jamison each scored 12 points for the Cavaliers.

The score was tied late in regulation until West made a pair of free throws with 2:12 left to give the Pacers an 82-80 lead.

Irving made one of two free throws to cut it to 82-81 heading into the final minute.

Parker's 3-pointer as the shot clock expired gave Cleveland an 84-82 lead with 17.5 seconds left. Indiana, with no timeouts, immediately went into its offense. West nearly lost the ball, regained control, drove and dropped in a floater with 4.4 seconds left to tie the score.

Irving got by his defender and drove the lane for an open game winner, but the ball rimmed out, and the game went to overtime.

Granger took over in the extra period. He hit a layup while closely defended by Alonzo Gee. Jamison's 3-pointer was blocked by West, then Granger hit a 3-pointer from the left corner to put the Pacers up 93-87, and Indiana maintained its lead from there.

The Pacers led 70-61 at the end of the third quarter. Cleveland made just 4 of 18 shots and committed seven turnovers in the period.

Hill carried the Pacers early in the fourth quarter. He hit a baseline jumper, then converted a three-point play to push Indiana's lead to 75-64. Cleveland rallied, and a reverse layup by Irving trimmed the Pacers' lead to 76-72 and forced Indiana to call timeout with 6:40 remaining. The game remained close the rest of the way.

Indiana has shot below 40 percent from the field in each game this season. Indy went 0-19 last season when shooting under 40 percent.

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Notes: Indiana F/C Jeff Foster sat out with a sore lower back. Coach Frank Vogel said he planned to use Foster sparingly early in the season anyway. ... Cleveland coach Byron Scott played for the Pacers for two years. ... Indiana F Jeff Pendergraph missed the game with a sore right knee. ... The Pacers failed to make a 3-pointer in the first half and Cleveland made just one. .. Cleveland G Daniel Gibson left the game in the second quarter with a sprained right ring finger. He returned in the third quarter. ... Cleveland's Samardo Samuels fouled out with 9:25 remaining.

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