NBA Game Summary - Cleveland at Indiana
(Tuesday, February 10th)
Final Score: Indiana 96, Cleveland 95
Indianapolis, IN (Sports Network) - LeBron James scored 47 points, but his questionable foul on Danny Granger led to the winning free throw with 0.1 seconds remaining, giving Indiana a wild 96-95 victory over the angry Cleveland Cavaliers.
Troy Murphy scored 18 points and grabbed 15 rebounds for the Pacers, who bounced back from a 119-117 setback at Washington on Sunday. Granger added 16 points, while T.J. Ford scored 15 and Travis Diener 13. Roy Hibbert finished with 12 points and six boards as the Pacers snapped a nine-game series losing streak.
James, who also pulled down seven boards, tied the game at 95 after making two free throws with 0.4 seconds left, but the Cavs were dealt their second consecutive loss for the first time this season.
"You work hard every day to try to put yourself in position to win ball games," said James. "You always want players to have the outcome of the game. I just felt tonight the players didn't have the outcome of the game."
Mo Williams had 15 points for the Cavaliers, who were coming off their first home loss of the season (23-1), a 101-91 setback to the Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday. Zydrunas Ilgauskas chipped in with 10 points and 11 rebounds.
After Cleveland's Wally Szczerbiak made a layup to tie the game at 93, the Pacers brought the ball down the court with 20 seconds remaining. Ford dribbled to the right and drilled a step-back jumper over Williams with 0.8 ticks left.
Following a Cavs timeout, Williams tried to hit James with an alley-oop pass. Granger, who had position in front of James, apparently made contact with James as he blocked the pass. James connected on both attempts from the line to knot the contest at 95.
Ironically, after a Pacers timeout, Granger came off a screen and received the inbound pass on a similar play that netted James his two foul shots. Granger, who was closer to the basket, was fouled when James tried to get back, then hit his first shot from the charity stripe and missed the second on purpose to secure the win.
"I went back and I watched the last two plays. That last call on LeBron was the worst call that I've ever been a part of," commented Cavs coach Mike Brown. "It was an awful call and for him to take away a basketball game from a team with .04 seconds on the clock is irresponsible. We got the game taken away from us, absolutely horrible. I feel badly for the guys in the locker room.
"We played well enough to give ourselves an opportunity. That game should have gone into overtime. He determined the outcome. If they want to fine me for telling the truth, then fine me."
James also said the last call was one that shouldn't have been made.
"I thought the one call on Granger against me was questionable," James said. "There was definitely some contact, enough for a whistle to be blown. But it could have gone both ways. The last call against me was not questionable at all. No contact was made. The pass was short. You couldn't go to the rim. There was no way he could catch it and go up with four-tenths of a second. I was able to get a hand on it. Being the competitor I am, to have a game taken away like that, it hurts. It definitely hurts."
The Pacers were without Mike Dunleavy (knee), Jeff Foster (back), and Marquis Daniels (back).
"Luckily, we ran a good play and got the same call. I lost it for a quick second. You just have got to go and make do with it," said Granger. "I knew they weren't going to let me get my jump shot off."
Surprisingly, the struggling Pacers started the game with eight unanswered points. Indiana was able to hold onto a slight margin for the majority of the first quarter. But James, who scored 17 points in the frame, hit a trey with around 1 1/2 minutes left to knot the score at 21. After three straight Indiana points, James drilled a three, as time expired, to tie the score at 24 after one period of play.
The beginning of the second stanza was a back-and-forth battle. Trailing 30-29 with just under eight minutes remaining until half, Indiana went on a 9-2 spurt, which was capped off with a Ford driving layup.
The Cavs finished the first half on an 11-4 run to take a 43-42 advantage into the locker room. James, who scored 28 points in the half, topped off the spurt with a three-point play.
The third period was a back-and-forth battle, to say the least. The frame had a total of eight lead changes and three ties. A James trey late in the stanza gave Cleveland a 68-67 edge heading into the fourth quarter.
Indiana scored seven consecutive points to begin the final 12 minutes of action. Jarrett Jack, who scored five points during the run, ended the spurt with two shots from the charity stripe.
After Daniel Gibson cut the gap to 83-81 with just over four minutes to play, Indiana outscored the Cavs 8-3 during the next two minutes to gain a small cushion. Cleveland roared back with a 9-2 run to tie the game and set up for the exciting finish.
Indiana shot 11-of-23 from three-point range, while the Cavs shot 6-of-21 from beyond the arc...Cleveland's Williams will replace Toronto's Chris Bosh on the East's roster for the All-Star game, the league announced Tuesday...Cleveland is 2-1 against Indiana this season and has won 12 of the last 14 meetings.
02/11 01:46:47 ET