- The Washington Times - Wednesday, November 26, 2008

HOUSTON (AP) - Danny Granger tipped in his own miss with 13 seconds left and the Indiana Pacers rallied from 10 points down in the fourth quarter to beat the Houston Rockets 91-90 on Wednesday night.

Troy Murphy scored 14 of his 21 points in the final quarter as the Pacers snapped a three-game losing streak in Houston. Indiana was outrebounded 57-44, but held the Rockets to 35 percent shooting (31-of-89).

Luis Scola scored 15 points and matched a career high with 18 rebounds for Houston, which played without injured Tracy McGrady. Yao had 19 points and 10 rebounds for the Rockets.

The Rockets led 84-74 after Carl Landry grabbed an offensive rebound and dunked with 6:28 to go. Murphy hit consecutive 3-pointers to start Indiana’s comeback.

The Pacers trailed 90-89 when Granger drove to the basket from the corner. He missed off the back rim, but tipped in the go-ahead basket.

Out of a timeout, Yao got the ball down low and missed from close range in traffic. Ron Artest got the rebound, but his desperate fadeaway fell short. The Rockets had a three-game winning streak snapped.

McGrady started the Rockets’ first 15 games, but sat out this one with more pain in his nagging left knee.

Shane Battier added five points and seven rebounds in his first game since sitting out training camp and the first month of the season with inflammation in his left foot.

Houston led most of the game, despite shooting poorly from the start and losing Yao and Battier momentarily to injuries.

Less than 10 minutes into the game, Murphy drove into the lane and his right elbow hit Yao above his right eye, opening a cut. No foul was called, but Yao hit the floor and trainer Keith Jones came off the bench to check on him.

Yao, Houston’s leading scorer, walked off the floor with a white towel pressed against the bloody cut.

The Rockets built a 10-point lead after Yao left. The Pacers made only 7 of 20 shots in the quarter and trimmed Houston’s lead to 25-18.

Yao returned to the Rockets’ bench, wearing a bandage over his eye. He was back on the floor for the start of the second quarter and ripped off the bandage after missing three shots.

Houston’s cold shooting caught up with them just before the half ended, and Indiana rode a 17-8 run to a 47-44 lead at the break. Houston went 7-for-23 in the second quarter.

Houston opened the second half with an 8-0 burst, capped by a reverse layup and a 3-pointer from the corner by the re-energized Battier. The Rockets stretched the lead to 13 before Battier landed awkwardly on his right ankle after blocking a shot by Granger.

Battier drew a charge on Granger on the Pacers’ next possession, then hobbled off the floor. He made a quick trip to the locker room with Jones, but returned to the game with 8:51 left.

Notes:@ Landry had 15 points and 10 rebounds for the Rockets. … The Pacers were outrebounded for the first time in six games. … Murphy also grabbed 14 rebounds and went 4-for-6 from 3-point range.

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