Last night the Pacers controlled their game with Miami for about 38 minutes before they had another fourth quarter meltdown. Tonight they almost did it again, but were able to outlast Charlotte.
The Pacers defeated the Bobcats tonight at Conseco Fieldhouse 104-103.
Roy Hibbert continued his upswing since the coaching change, as he posted a game-high 29 points to go along with his ten rebounds. Danny Granger had 25 for Indiana, but it was Josh McRoberts who nearly stole the show with his performance. His near triple double of 12 points, nine rebounds, and seven assists helped guide the Pacers to their fifth win in their last six games.
Steven Jackson had a chance to win it at the end for the Bobcats, but Darren Collison made a huge block to seal the win for Indiana.
All of the starters for Indiana played at least 31 minutes tonight, with Granger in the game for 40. AJ Price and rookie Paul George continued to play well with just limited minutes, each scoring seven points off the bench.
With the win tonight, not only is Frank Vogel now 5-1 as head coach of this team, but the Pacers were finally able to win a close game, even though they should have put them away when they had the chance. Despite being outscored by ten points in the fourth quarter, they had enough left in the tank to hang on.
The win really helps their playoff chances, as Charlotte is one of the teams that they are battling with for the final playoff spot in the East. Two other teams they are going neck-and-neck with (76ers and Bucks) both lost tonight, to help Indiana's cause.
Indiana has four more games before the All-Star break, but they are looking to finish strong, as three of them are very winnable games. They will have the Timberwolves, Bucks and Pistons, with another match with the Heat mixed in. The won by double digits earlier this season in Miami, and had another double digit lead last night before LeBron brought the Heat back. Both of those games were in Miami, but this one will be at Conseco Fieldhouse next Tuesday.
As for their next game, they will face Minnesota on Friday night at 7:00pm. The other two games with the Pistons and Bucks will be very crucial, as all three teams are fighting for the last playoff spot in the East. If they want to make the playoffs, these are the games they are going to have to win.