The Indiana Pacers nearly turned a huge game from Roy Hibbert into a meaningless afterthought Wednesday night. They did their best to fall further behind in the race for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, blowing a 10-point lead in the last six minutes. They had the ball stripped from them. They threw errant passes. They even turned the ball over trying to get it inbounds for the second straight game. All in the closing minutes. When it was all said and done, though, the Charlotte Bobcats were the ones crying foul when the final horn sounded. The Pacers (22-28) escaped with a 104-103 victory over the Bobcats (22-30) on Wednesday at Conseco Fieldhouse. "Man, we'll just take this one and run with it," said Pacers forward Danny Granger, who had 25 points. "We definitely showed characteristics of a young team. We have to learn how to finish. We have to execute better down the stretch." Pacers point guard Darren Collison missed a runner in the lane that would have put the Pacers up by three points with 7.9 seconds left. Rather than use one of their remaining timeouts, the Bobcats raced the ball upcourt, where former Pacer Stephen Jackson tried to draw contact with Collison on his 32-foot heave as time expired. The officials didn't call a foul, which caused many of the Bobcats, including coach Paul Silas, to stay on the court and question the no-call. "The referee had the right to make a call," Silas said. "It's a judgment call. He said it wasn't a foul, so you have to go with it." And Collison? "I don't feel like I fouled him," he said. "Whatever happened, happened." The Pacers are taking the win and not looking back because it could have playoff implications. The win, their fifth in six tries under interim coach Frank Vogel, gave them the tiebreaker over the Bobcats and moved them a full game ahead of Charlotte for the final playoff spot in the East. The Pacers, who host the Minnesota Timberwolves on Friday, are only a game behind Philadelphia for the seventh seed. Other than a Tuesday home game against Miami, five of their next six games are against teams with losing records.
Hibbert scores 29 as Pacers get another win
Indianapolis Star | Feb 10