By Conrad Brunner - Pacers.com
8:47 PM PST, January 31, 2011
Roy Hibbert scored 24 points with 11 rebounds and Paul George and Darren Collison had 16 apiece as the Pacers nearly blew a 20-point lead, overcame 25 turnovers and a crowd thinned by the ice-storm blanketing the Indianapolis area and held on to beat the Raptors 104-93.
Coach Frank Vogel, who replaced Jim O'Brien on Sunday, debuted with a victory while the Pacers handed the Raptors their 12th consecutive loss, Toronto's longest such streak since the 2002-03 season.
The Pacers improved to 18-27 overall, 12-11 at home and 1-0 under Vogel. Toronto fell to 13-36 overall, 5-21 on the road, where the Raptors have lost eight in a row.
* "I’m obviously ecstatic. We got a win and got off to a good start to a new beginning." – Pacers coach Frank Vogel
* "We didn’t run anything different. We didn’t run a single new play." – Vogel
* "I feel relieved we won. And I feel we could have played a lot better. We’re capable of playing at a higher level." – Vogel
* "We let the lead get away but got our composure together and won." – Pacers guard Darren Collison
* "We came out with a lot of energy and a lot of scrap and played hard all the time." – Pacers forward Tyler Hansbrough
* "We played very hard and with the tenacity to win. … We are ready to turn the corner but this one game does not mean that we have turned the corner." – Pacers guard A.J. Price
STAT OF THE GAME
The Pacers had been 0-11 when Granger scored 16 points or less, but won with Granger scoring just 11 on 3-of-15 shooting.
The Pacers could do no wrong in the early going, using first-half runs of 16-2 and 14-3 to build a 48-28 lead midway through the second quarter. But the red-hot offense quickly cooled and the Pacers missed five in a row and committed five turnovers, opening the door for a Toronto comeback.
The Raptors promptly responded with a 13-0 run to cut the lead to 48-41 and it was a scant 51-45 at the break. Toronto scored the first five points of the second half to extend the run to 23-3 and tie the game at 51-all but the Pacers did not relinquish the lead.
Clinging to an 87-82 lead midway through the fourth quarter, Hibbert and George combined for all of the points in an 8-0 run that put the game out of reach. George, playing down the stretch in a close game for the first time, had a spectacular fast-break dunk off a nice feed from Josh McRoberts in the run.
BY THE NUMBERS
Hibbert's double-double was just his second in the last 11 games. He shot 9-of-19 and had two steals and two blocks but committed five turnovers. George was 4-of-8 overall, 7-of-8 from the free-throw line, adding four rebounds and two blocks to his 16 points. Collison shot 7-of-9 and had six assists and four rebounds but six turnovers with his 16 points. Tyler Hansbrough returned after missing two games with pneumonia and produced 14 points and six rebounds in 15 minutes off the bench. Granger struggled to 11 points on 3-of-15 shooting overall, 1-of-6 from the arc, but had nine rebounds and five assists.
The Pacers tied their season high with 25 turnovers and had just 19 assists but dominated the boards 56-38.
Seven of the eight Raptors to play scored in double figures, led by Amir Johnson with 18 points and eight rebounds. Jose Calderon had 13 points and seven assists, Ed Davis 13 points and seven rebounds, and Sonny Weems and Andrea Bargnani scored 12 apiece. Bargnani and DeMar DeRozan, who scored 10, both shot 3-of-15 from the floor. Jerryd Bayless had 11 off the bench. The Raptors shot .413 and were just 1-of-6 from the arc.
* The Pacers have now won three straight over the Raptors, their longest winning streak in the series since winning five in a row in the calendar year 2004.
* With two straight, the Pacers have tied their longest home winning streak of the season.
* Having collected three tonight, Jeff Foster is just 10 offensive rebounds short of becoming the third Indiana player in history with 2,000 boards at the offensive end.
* With two players in double figures and a total of 41 points, the bench scored 40+ points for the third time in the last five games.
* A.J. Price has played in seven straight games and averaged 7.4 ppg in that span.
The Pacers open their February schedule with a trip to Cleveland to face the struggling Cavaliers Wednesday (7 p.m., Fox Sports Indiana, WIBC 93 FM).
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