Another game that really shouldn’t have been this close, but a win is a win. And it’s a big one. The Indiana Pacers were very fortunate to come away with a 104-103 victory against the Charlotte Bobcats after again squandering almost all of their double digit lead in the 4th quarter.
Roy Hibbert continued his strong play of late to finish with a career high tying 29 points to go with 10 rebounds. Danny Granger had 25, Darren Collison had 15, and Josh McRoberts finished with 12 points, 9 rebounds and 7 assists.
This was a perfect opportunity for the Pacers to come out flat against a heartbreaking loss against the Heat the night before, but again they played strong and hard all night. It’s just that come 4th quarter time they tend to tense up and keeping turning the ball over or taking bad shots. It wasn’t just one guy either — they were all equally to blame.
Fortunately, the Bobcats missed one out of two free throws and the Pacers made both of theirs to give them a one point lead. When Collison missed a pull up jumper with just a few seconds to go, ex-Pacer Stephen Jackson raced up the court instead of calling a time out, and tried to draw a foul from Collison by jumping into him on a 30 footer at the buzzer.
No call, and the Pacers escape with the win.
With the victory, the Pacers now hold the 8th and final playoff spot in the East outright, and it also gave them a series win against the Bobcats in case a tiebreaker is needed. I don’t think they can catch the Knicks, but if the Pacers keep this up there’s no reason why they can’t overtake the 76ers and take the 7th seed.
Next up, another winnable game — the Minnesota Timberwolves. Better keep an eye on Kevin Love.