Pacers nearly blow tires in Game 4
By SPORTS NETWORK
|Orlando's Hedo Turkoglu shoots a layup against Indiana's George Hill in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals. (Fernando Medina/Getty Images/AFP)
ORLANDO - The Indiana Pacers blew a big fourth quarter lead for the second time in their Eastern Conference quarterfinal series, but this time they came back to win in overtime.
David West posted a game-high 26 points with 12 rebounds, and George Hill's 12 points included the game-winning free throws with 2.2 seconds to play in OT as the Pacers held on for a 101-99 decision over the Orlando Magic in Game 4, despite seeing a 19-point fourth-quarter lead erased.
Danny Granger added 21 points and Roy Hibbert contributed 14 points with 11 boards for Indiana, which took a 3-1 lead in the best-of-seven series. The club has won three straight since surrendering 11 unanswered points in the final minutes of Game 1 to suffer an 81-77 defeat.
"They did a great job of coming back and forcing overtime. My hat's off to them," Granger said, adding, "That was a tough win."
Indiana can move into the second round when the series shifts back to Bankers Life Fieldhouse for Tuesday's Game 5.
Jason Richardson led the Magic with 25 points and Glen Davis added 24 points with 11 rebounds in defeat.
West opened overtime with a layup, hit a turnaround shot a bit later and Granger pushed the edge to six with a jumper.
But Richardson followed with his fourth three-pointer of the game and Jameer Nelson drove for a layup and was fouled on Orlando's next possession. He converted the three-point play to tie it at 95-95.
Then Hill took over.
He hit a pair from the line, and swished a jumper at the baseline on a feed from West after Davis tied the game once more.
A few seconds later, Davis threw the ball up in significant traffic underneath the basket. It glanced off the backboard and fell through, leaving Indiana with the final posession.
Hill drove the lane with the clock winding down, and was hit on the arm. He calmly sunk both tries.
Davis accepted the ensuing inbounds pass, dribbled and fired a contested fadeaway jumper that bounced off the front of the rim as the horn sounded.
"I got a great shot off, for sure. Had the line, it was right there. Just short," said Davis.
Trailing by 19 at the 8:04 mark of the fourth quarter, Orlando used a 10-0 run to get back into the game, and then tallied eight unanswered points before the buzzer.
The final three came on a step back trey by J.J. Redick with 38.7 on the clock to tie the game at 89 apiece. It was the first moment since the 1:58 mark of the second period that the Pacers did not lead.
The Pacers closed the third on 11-1 run to take a 73-61 advantage into the fourth after holding a 46-44 edge at halftime.
Only once has Indiana lost the first game of a series and come back to win that series -- in the first round of the 2005 playoffs, vs. the Celtics...The Magic's Ryan Anderson, who was named the NBA's Most Improved Player on Friday, finished with 11 points...Nelson had a game-high 11 assists...The Pacers haven't moved past the first round of the playoffs since 2005...Should Indiana win the series, it will be the first time in his NBA career that a team coached by Stan Van Gundy had won the first game and not gone on to win the series.