INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Danny Granger scored 25 of his 33 points in the second half, leading the Indiana Pacers to a 102-95 victory over the Sacramento Kings on Tuesday night for their eighth straight home win.
Troy Murphy added 19 points and 13 rebounds, and Roy Hibbert and Earl Watson each scored 10 for the Pacers, who have won six of seven to improve to 28-47. They had their five-game winning streak snapped at Atlanta on Sunday.
Jason Thompson and Beno Udrih each had 18 points, and Carl Landry finished with 17 points and 10 rebounds for Sacramento (24-51), which has lost five straight. Rookie of the Year candidate Tyreke Evans, who missed the previous five games due to a concussion, had 17 points, 10 assists, seven rebounds and four steals.
The Pacers pushed a three-point lead to 77-70 on Granger's two baskets to begin the fourth quarter. Sacramento cut the deficit back to three, but consecutive 3-pointers by Granger and Murphy extended the advantage to 85-76. Following a Kings basket, Indiana scored the next seven points to go ahead 92-78 with 6 minutes left.
The Kings controlled most of the first half, taking their biggest lead at 50-35 on Landry's basket in the second quarter. Indiana cut the deficit to seven on Solomon Jones' two free throws late in the period, but Spencer Hawes' jumper gave Sacramento a 56-47 advantage at the break.
The Pacers began the third quarter with an 11-2 run to tie the score at 58-all. Granger's 3-pointer extended the lead to nine later in the period, but the Kings got within 73-70 on Landry's free throw.
Notes: Pacers G T.J. Ford (left groin) and F Tyler Hansbrough (ear infection) did not play. ... University of Texas men's basketball coach Rick Barnes sat courtside. ... Landry, a former Purdue player, has been impressed with Butler's run in the NCAA tournament. The Bulldogs face Michigan State in the national semifinals Saturday at nearby Lucas Oil Stadium. "I think it's good for the state and definitely for the city of Indianapolis," he said. Landry, who played against both schools while at Purdue, expects a close game this weekend. "It will be a grind-it-out, probably one or two-possession game at the end," he said. "I'm going with Michigan State. They always have a good year, they have a great coach."