CLEVELAND – One of Indiana’s players wrestled Cleveland’s furry mascot before the game. The Pacers then had to fight off the spunky Cavaliers.
Danny Granger made a three-pointer in overtime and scored 23 points, and George Hill made a dagger three-pointer in the extra session, lifting Indiana to a 104-98 victory Wednesday and allowing the Pacers to hold onto the No. 3 spot in the Eastern Conference for one more day.
David West added 19 points, Hill had 17 and Roy Hibbert finished with 11 rebounds, five assists and four blocks for Indiana, 6-1 in its last seven. The Pacers outscored the Cavs 10-4 in OT and stayed just ahead of Boston, Atlanta and Orlando in the standings.
During pregame introductions, West got into a mock fight with Moondog, the Cavs’ floppy-eared mascot, who often interacts and teases opposing players. West accidentally struck the character in the mask, sending him to the hospital with an eye injury.
I feel terrible about that, I really do, said West, who was visibly upset. We were just having fun. We were just messing around. I really hope he’s OK. Make sure he knows I’m sorry.
KNICKS 111, BUCKS 107: In Milwaukee, J.R. Smith hit a three-pointer for the lead with 1:04 left, and New York held on in a game that could turn out to be critical to both teams’ playoff hopes.
Carmelo Anthony had 32 points and 10 rebounds for the Knicks, who lead Milwaukee by two-games for the Eastern Conference’s No. 8 seed.
LAKERS 98, SPURS 84: In San Antonio, Andrew Bynum had 16 points and 30 rebounds, the most in an NBA game this season, and Los Angeles didn’t need Kobe Bryant to blow out San Antonio.
Metta World Peace scored 26 for the Lakers.
CLIPPERS 100, THUNDER 98: In Oklahoma City, Chris Paul scored 31 points, including the game-winning shot on a layup with 8.8 seconds left, to lift Los Angeles. The Clippers remain in position for home-court advantage in the first round of the playoffs.
Kevin Durant led Oklahoma City with 22 points
CELTICS 88, HAWKS 86: In Boston, Paul Pierce overcame a miserable shooting game with a key jumper in overtime and Rajon Rondo finished with a triple-double with 20 assists, 10 points and 10 rebounds to lift Boston.
76ERS 93, RAPTORS 75: In Toronto, Thaddeus Young scored 17 points and Nikola Vucevic had 12 to lead Philadelphia.
GRIZZLIES 104, SUNS 93: In Memphis, Rudy Gay scored a season-high 32 points and Memphis won its fourth straight.
HORNETS 105, KINGS 96: In New Orleans, Jason Smith scored 22 points, hitting 10 of 12 shots, to lead New Orleans.
JAZZ 103, ROCKETS 91: In Houston, Gordan Hayward scored a season-high 29 points and Utah helped its fading playoff hopes.