Granger Leads Pacers Past Clippers
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INDIANAPOLIS (AP) – Danny Granger scored 22 points and the short-handed Indiana Pacers beat the banged-up Los Angeles Clippers 107-80 on Thursday night.
Roy Hibbert had 18 points and eight rebounds, and Brandon Rush and A.J. Price each added 14 points for the Pacers (5-5).
Indiana shot 51 percent from the field, despite missing starters Darren Collison and Mike Dunleavy. Collison sat out his second straight game with a sprained ankle, while Dunleavy missed the game because his wife was in labor.
Indianapolis native Eric Gordon scored 19 points for the Clippers, but he shot 5 for 17 from the field. Blake Griffin and Al-Farouq Aminu had 12 points apiece for Los Angeles (1-12), which shot a season-low 33 percent from the field.
The Clippers, once again missing center Chris Kaman (sprained left ankle) and guard Baron Davis (sore left knee), picked up their eighth consecutive loss and fell to 0-7 on the road.
Los Angeles’ oldest starter was 22-year old DeAndre Jordan. The Clippers started three rookies – guard Eric Bledsoe and forwards Griffin and Aminu.
Late the first quarter, Gordon slashed into the lane and threw down a thunderous right-handed jam over the 7-foot-2 Hibbert to give Los Angeles a 22-16 lead. Gordon finished with 11 points in the period while being guarded primarily by Rush.
It was all Pacers from there.
Granger took the responsibility of defending Gordon and the Pacers also focused more on attacking the basket on offense. Hibbert, who missed several jump shots in the first quarter, scored 14 on 7-for-7 shooting in the second, including three dunks.
The Pacers closed the second quarter with a 9-3 run. A layup by T.J. Ford with 0.2 seconds left in the half gave Indiana a 53-43 lead at the break.
The Pacers got off to a fast start in the second half. On a fast break, Ford lobbed the ball from near the 3-point line to Josh McRoberts, who caught it and threw it down one-handed to give the Pacers a 61-44 lead. James Posey hit a 3-pointer in the final second of the third to make it 80-59. Indiana shot 63 percent in the period and went 4 for 5 from long distance.
Indiana made 14 of 26 3-pointers for the game. Granger, Rush and Posey each made four 3s.
NOTES: Indiana C Jeff Foster played for the first time this season after sitting out with a sprained right ankle. He entered late in the first quarter. … Kaman and Davis have missed five straight games. … Clippers G Randy Foye returned after missing 10 games with a strained left hamstring. … Pacers F Tyler Hansbrough played after missing the last game with a sprained left ankle. … Rush tied a career high with five blocks.