Danny Granger lighted it up last night against the Houston Rockets; putting up 36 points, seven rebounds, four assists, and three steals in a 125-115 victory to spoil Kevin Martin’s debut. The Pacers looked horrid in the first half, but with a big comeback in the second half, putting up 71 points total, Indiana went towards a fourth quarter comeback!
Kevin Martin did not look good at all in this one. He started off slow in the first half and wasn’t that good. Though he had 14 points, he was 3-of-16 from the field, including 0-of-3 from behind-the-arc. It just wasn’t his night. However, rookie point guard Chase Budinger, who added eleven points, looked good. He made a three-pointer during the second quarter to give Houston a 37-27 lead. That’s when it started to slip away for Indy.
At the end of the half, the Pacers looked to go towards their losing ways. They were down 65-54. Every time I see a deficit like that for Indy, it mostly ends up as a loss. But it didn’t. The fourth quarter is where it all changed. Granger made a late push, stealing the ball from Kevin Martin to give the Pacers a 103-102 lead. But Luis Scola responded with a big shot to give the Rockets a 108-105 lead late in the fourth.
That’s when it all changed. Finally back in action, T.J. Ford showed the Pacers why he came here. He and Granger went on a streak that wouldn’t stop. They were hot from every angle that they shot at the court. Normally, I really don’t see Ford making three’s. This time, he did. He added a three to start a run for the Pacers late in the game. With that three, it was 108-all. Ford then made a bunch of drives to the basket. Once it was 112-108, Pacers, it was all over from there.
Ford was big off the bench, putting up 23 points. Troy Murphy finally was back in action as well, having 18 points and twelve rebounds. Earl Watson and Brandon Rush had ten points and Roy Hibbert had seven with nine boards. Luis Scola was the leader for Houston, with 25 points and eleven rebounds. Aaron Brooks had 26 points and seven assists.
This was probably one of my favorite games of the season for the Pacers. Indiana is now 19-36 and are making the most of everything. I see them finishing at 32-50 now. Heck, it could be better.
“It was a big, big, big win for our team and I hope this leads to more victories,” Ford said. “We have to give everybody credit for this win. We paid more attention to detail and that’s what made the difference in the second half.”
Ford was recently benched 18 games, and after being back for playing time a few weeks ago, he hasn’t disappointed. This performance makes up for the 18 games. He led the Pacers late in the second half.
“The guys I had out on the court did a terrific job,” Pacers coach Jim O’Brien said. “We were calling T.J.’s number and Houston was having a difficult job guarding our spread offense. When we can space the court and defense the ball at a high level, then we are obviously a tough team to beat.”
Indiana faces Dallas tomorrow night at 8:30. They’ll be seeing the Mavs’ new additions with Caron Butler, Brendan Haywood, and DeShawn Stevenson. Indiana knows what’s coming to them. Time to get ready. Here comes a showdown in big ol’ Texas.