NBA Game Summary - Houston at Indiana
(Tuesday, December 26th)
Final Score: Indiana 81, Houston 76
Indianapolis, IN (Sports Network) - Luther Head's three-pointer drew iron with three seconds left as the Indiana Pacers held on to defeat the Houston Rockets 81-76.
Jamaal Tinsley scored 17 points for Indiana, which has won three of four. Stephen Jackson and Danny Granger scored 13 points apiece and Jeff Foster grabbed 16 rebounds for the Pacers.
"It was a really tough game, a low-scoring grinding game," said Pacers head coach Rick Carlisle.
Al Harrington scored 23 points and grabbed 14 boards in the victory.
Tracy McGrady, who returned after a seven-game absence battling back spasms, led the Rockets with 19 points. Rafer Alston scored 15 points for Houston, which lost its third in four games and was playing without injured center Yao Ming. Yao will miss at least the next six weeks with a non-displaced fracture in a bone under his right knee, suffered early in Houston's 98-93 loss to the LA Clippers on Saturday.
"Because I was fatigued tonight down the stretch, I didn't recognize their double teams," said McGrady. "That is how I got stripped a few times."
Shane Battier scored 14 points and grabbed 10 rebounds in defeat.
The Rockets had a chance to tie the game after Darrell Armstrong missed one of his free throws with 16 seconds left, leaving the Houston deficit at 79-76. Head failed to work an open shot, though, instead jacking up a contested three that banged short off the rim.
Armstrong hit two free throws with one-tenth of a second left to produce the final score.
A Jackson jumper to open the second half put the Pacers up 43-29, but the Rockets answered with a 13-2 run, spurred by treys from McGrady and Battier, and led 52-45 with just under nine minutes left in the third quarter. Indiana came back, though, tying the game at 54-54 on a Tinsley jumper with 4:59 left, and taking a 62-58 lead into the final quarter.
Houston led 24-22 after the first quarter, but Indiana came back to take a 41-39 lead into halftime.
Houston is 8-20 in games without Yao over last three seasons...Bonzi Wells scored 11 points for Houston...Indiana only hit 3-of-20 from beyond the arc.
12/27 00:00:41 ET