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New York: A furious fourth quarter from the Indiana Pacers sparked an 88-83 comeback win over the visiting Memphis Grizzlies yesterday.
The Grizzlies, the NBA’s top defensive team, led by 11 late in the third quarter before the Pacers charged back.
Ben Hansbrough spurred the charge with two consecutive three-pointers to open the fourth, propelling the Pacers to a 14-4 run that gave them the lead for good.
“That’s a really good team win for our guys,” Pacers coach Frank Vogel told reporters.
“I’m proud of the effort and grit to beat a really good basketball team.”
Paul George scored 21 points to lead Indiana (18-13), who outscored Memphis 28-16 in the final quarter.
Grizzlies big man Zach Randolph had 21 points and 15 rebounds with Rudy Gay adding 11 points but missing a potential tying three-pointer with five seconds remaining.
Indiana made six straight free throws in the final 30 seconds to seal the win, their fifth in six contests.
DJ Augustin helped wrap up the win and finished with 17 points after being pushed into the starting line-up because of a thigh injury to George Hill.
Augustin’s three-pointer with 2:07 left gave the home team an 82-76 edge.
While Indiana came to life with 50 second-half points, Memphis fell apart in the fourth behind poor shooting and decision making. Gay made just 3 of 17 shots on the day.
“We got a little selfish in the fourth quarter,” said Grizzlies point guard Mike Conley. “We made a lot of bad turnovers and didn’t continue to play our transition game.”
Memphis (19-9) have lost three of their last four to fall further behind first-place San Antonio in the Southwest Division.
In Florida, LeBron James delivered the go-ahead basket in overtime and Dwyane Wade followed with a steal and a dunk to seal a 112-110 victory for the NBA champion Miami Heat over Orlando.
James’s 36 points included a slashing layup that broke a 106-106 tie with 1:07 remaining in overtime.
He also added 11 assists, while Chris Bosh added 22 points for a Heat team that rebounded from back-to-back losses at Detroit and Milwaukee.
“We haven’t been playing particularly well on the road so maybe this will change the dynamic and hopefully we’ll have a paradigm shift in 2013 and we’ll take off and start playing the way we’re capable of on the road,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said.
Wade shrugged off a poor 3-for-10 performance from the free-throw line to finish with 21 points.
With less than 10 seconds to play in overtime he intercepted an inbounds pass from Orlando’s J.J. Redick and jammed home a dunk.
The Heat clawed back from an 11-point third-quarter deficit, and overcame a monster night from the Magic’s Nikola Vucevic, who scored 20 points and grabbed a club-record 29 rebounds.
Shaquille O’Neal had held the Magic’s record for most rebounds in a game at 28.
Despite his efforts, the Magic lost their sixth straight, their longest losing streak since a six-game slide in 2006
The Charlotte Bobcats got their first win in more than a month yesterday, beating the Chicago Bulls 91-81 to halt their woeful run of 18 consecutive losses.
Coming into Monday’s game in Chicago, Charlotte (8-23) last picked up a win on November 24 against Washington.
Kemba Walker scored 18 points and Gerald Henderson added 16 for the Bobcats, who set a team record of 23 consecutive defeats last season.
The all-time record is 26 straight losses by Cleveland in the 2010-2011 campaign.
Charlotte made the breakthrough in the final quarter, where they broke free from a 65-65 tie with a 10-0 run that made the difference.
“We just wanted to fight more than anything,” Henderson told reporters.
“We were a desperate team.”agencies