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Rookie guides Pacers past Magic
By wire services
Published March 14, 2006
INDIANAPOLIS - The more Danny Granger plays, the better the Pacers rookie gets.
Granger came off the bench to score 21 and led five Indiana players in double figures as the Pacers held off Orlando 97-83 Monday night.
Granger also had 12 rebounds. Anthony Johnson scored 21, Peja Stojakovic and David Harrison 14 each and Jamaal Tinsley 12.
"I'm feeling more comfortable out there every night," said Granger, the 17th overall pick from New Mexico. "Before, I wasn't looking to shoot. Now, I'm much more aggressive. I'm looking for the rebound. I'm looking for the good shot."
Dwight Howard, who scored 22 and had 11 rebounds for Orlando, said Granger and Harrison made the difference.
"Harrison is really tough to keep out of the low post. He's a strong guy," he said. "Granger really hit some big shots at key times, and he really seemed confident in his shots."
Granger was 9-for-12 and scored nine straight near the end of the third quarter as the Pacers took a 66-60 lead. Harrison did the same thing in the fourth, scoring nine straight to lead the Pacers on an 11-4 run that produced a 77-70 lead with 6:45 to play.
Orlando drew within 80-77 with 4:57 left, but Granger and Stojakovic hit jumpers and Tinsley drove the lane for a basket.
"We had a tie game, and gave up two consecutive offensive rebounds to David Harrison for five points," Magic coach Brian Hill said. "And that set the tone for the end of the game."
NUGGETS 108, KNICKS 96: Carmelo Anthony scored 35, including 12 in the third quarter when the game turned into a rout, for visiting Denver. Andre Miller added 16 points and ex-Knick Marcus Camby had 10 points and 18 rebounds for the Nuggets, who outscored New York 25-15 in the third after leading by five at halftime.
NETS 90, ROCKETS 77: Vince Carter scored 18 of his 29 in the second half to lead visiting New Jersey. Jason Kidd had 11 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists, his sixth triple double this season and 73rd career. Yao Ming scored 36 on 9-of-17 shooting for Houston but the rest of the team shot 17-of-59 (28.8 percent).
BUCKS 88, HAWKS 87: Milwaukee snapped its longest home losing streak - five games - in six years as Bobby Simmons scored 18 and Michael Redd added 16. Milwaukee led 75-58 with 2:15 left in the third quarter, but Josh Smith, who scored a career-high 25, gave Atlanta an 85-84 lead late in the fourth with a jumper. Joe Smith's basket with 1:26 left gave the Bucks the lead back for good.
MAVERICKS: Avery Johnson will coach his 82nd game in charge of Dallas, the equivalent of a full season, tonight against Cleveland, and is assured of having the best record in league history at the start of a career. At 65-16, Johnson has three more wins than Paul Westphal did when he took over the Suns in 1992-93.
76ERS: Allen Iverson's injured right foot will keep him out for at least one game and possibly three. An MRI exam on the guard's ankle and foot revealed a bruise and a sprain. He'll miss tonight's game against Toronto.