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Indiana at Cleveland

Granger, Pacers edge short-handed Cavaliers

CBSSports.com wire reports
  •  

CLEVELAND -- Mike Brown watched the blood drip off Chris Bosh's face earlier this week and decided that wasn't going to happen to his guys.

With nothing left to play for, Brown doesn't want to risk injury to LeBron James or another one of his starters. Cleveland's coach benched most of them Friday, allowing Indiana to escape with a 116-113 victory for the Pacers' ninth win in 11 games.

Danny Granger scored 36 points, including nine of Indiana's final 11, and the Pacers beat a Cleveland team that was without starters James, Antawn Jamison, Mo Williams, Shaquille O'Neal and backup Daniel Gibson.

James and Williams were both healthy scratches, while Jamison bruised his foot in a loss at Chicago on Thursday.

"I'm human just like everybody else," Brown said. "When you see Bosh get hit and Antawn's ankle and stuff like that, you do get a little worried."

Bosh needed surgery this week to repair a nasal fracture after getting hurt in Cleveland and will miss the first round of the playoffs, should Toronto earn the eighth seed.

With home-court advantage clinched through the NBA Finals, Brown hasn't ruled out benching James for the rest of the regular season. Cleveland hosts Orlando on Sunday in what could be a prelude to an Eastern Conference finals rematch, then closes the regular season at Atlanta on Wednesday.

"There's a chance," Brown said. "I talked about that with my staff and I talked about it a little bit with (James), too. We'll take that one game at a time and see how it goes."

The Pacers were happy to take advantage of the Cavaliers' cautious ways, ending a 10-game losing streak in Cleveland.

Granger's 3-pointer with 1:22 left gave the Pacers a 108-106 lead. They never trailed again, but didn't secure the victory until Anthony Parker's turnaround 3-pointer at the buzzer fell well short of the rim.

Brandon Rush and Earl Watson each had 16 points, Troy Murphy had 14 points and 11 rebounds and Roy Hibbert added 12 as the Pacers put all five starters in double figures. Watson also had 10 assists.

"It's a great confidence win," Granger said. "I don't care who isn't playing for them. They're still a very good team."

Parker's 3-pointer with 3.9 seconds left rattled around before falling, pulling Cleveland within one in the final seconds. Granger was fouled and made both free throws, leaving the Cavaliers one final shot.

Zydrunas Ilgauskas took the inbounds pass and flipped it to Parker, who struggled to get off an awkward shot from well beyond the 3-point line as the buzzer sounded.

J.J. Hickson tied his career high with 21 points and added 10 rebounds, while Sebastian Telfair set a season high with 21 in just his second game with the Cavaliers.

Telfair joined the Cavaliers as part of the three-team trade that also brought Jamison at the trade deadline. Telfair couldn't break into Cleveland's rotation until Brown sat his regulars Thursday, but he hasn't shown any rust.

Telfair has scored 29 points and made 12-of-21 shots in two games.

"It's a good team and they've had a lot of success before I got here," Telfair said. "It takes getting on the court to really feel part of the team."

With so many regulars missing, the Cavaliers relied heavily on reserves. Jamario Moon started for the first time this season and finished with a season-high 15 points, while Ilgauskas had 14 off the bench. Parker remained a starter and scored 17 points.

Cleveland was whistled for three technicals. Delonte West received a pair, both within two minutes from official Marc Davis, and was ejected with 6:48 left in the third quarter. West set a career high with 12 assists before getting tossed. Ilgauskas also got a technical in the first half for arguing a foul call with official Kane Fitzgerald.

Notes

  • Granger was 14 of 14 from the free-throw line.
  • Granger entered averaging 24.2 points, but has now scored at least 30 in seven of his last 10 games.
  • Indiana made 14 of 32 3-pointers.
  • Cleveland fell to 1-3 this season without James.
  • The loss ended Cleveland's third 11-game home winning streak of the season.
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
 
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Danny Granger fights through the Cavs defense for two of his 36 points on the night.  (US Presswire)
Danny Granger fights through the Cavs defense for two of his 36 points on the night. (US Presswire)
Scoreboard
Indiana (31-48) «26292833116
Cleveland (61-19) 25322729113
IND:D. Granger 36 Pts
IND:T. Murphy 11 Reb
IND:E. Watson 10 Ast
CLE:J. Hickson 21 Pts
CLE:J. Hickson 10 Reb
CLE:D. West 12 Ast
Players of the Game
ClevelandIndiana

J. Hickson

D. Granger
PtsRebsAstPtsRebsAst
211033630

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Indiana
B. Rush, SG407-150-143316
D. Granger, SF389-1714-1430336
T. Murphy, PF336-150-0114414
E. Watson, PG337-100-2210416
R. Hibbert, C325-102-233312
M. Dunleavy, SF303-61-172110
J. McRoberts, PF203-51-45517
A. Price, PG152-50-00235
D. Jones, SGDid Not Play
J. Foster, CDid Not Play
T. Hansbrough, PFDid Not Play
S. Jones, PFDid Not Play
L. Head, PGDid Not Play
T. Ford, PGDid Not Play
Totals 42-8318-24352922116
 50.6%75.0% 
Cleveland
J. Moon, SF356-111-164215
A. Parker, SG295-105-531317
J. Hickson, PF288-115-5103221
D. West, SG213-110-041206
L. Powe, PF183-92-34018
S. Telfair, PG308-143-434221
Z. Ilgauskas, C265-104-442314
A. Varejao, C242-43-48237
J. Williams, SF201-51-24144
D. Green, SF90-40-01010
L. James, SFDid Not Play
M. Williams, PGDid Not Play
D. Gibson, PGDid Not Play
S. O'Neal, CDid Not Play
A. Jamison, PFDid Not Play
Totals 41-8924-28472921113
 46.1%85.7% 
Other Games
NY 103 Final
Orl 118
Mil 95 Final
Phi 90
Tor 101 Final
Atl 107
Wash 106 Final
Bos 96
Det 106 Final
Mia 99
Utah 114 Final
NO 103
LAL 97 Final
Min 88
Chi 116 Final
NJ 127
Pho 91 Final
OKC 96
Char 90 Final
Hou 97
Mem 107 Final
SA 99
Dal 83 Final
Port 77