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News » Hansbrough a hit for Pacers in NBA debut

Hansbrough a hit for Pacers in NBA debut

Hansbrough a hit for Pacers in NBA debut

Washington trimmed the lead to 66-58 before the Pacers' rookies entered the game and went to work. Hansbrough hit a layup and two free throws, and A.J. Price made back-to-back 3-pointers in a 10-0 run to stretch the lead to 76-58.

Hansbrough went 3 for 7 from the field and 7 for 10 from the foul line. He also had five rebounds and dove into the crowd once while chasing a loose ball.

"He brings that intensity, kind of that mad-dog intensity," Granger said. "I like to refer to him as a pitbull on the loose. He's just attacking all over the place, and that's the mentality you need."

It was a day filled with celebrations. Besides the rookie's debut and the banner-raising ceremony, it was the 10th anniversary of the opening of Conseco Fieldhouse. Simon cut the ribbon to open the building with his brother Herb on Nov. 6, 1999.

Mel Simon joins former players Reggie Miller, Mel Daniels, Roger Brown and George McGinnis, and ex-coach Bobby "Slick" Leonard as the only people with their names in the rafters. The Simons bought the franchise in 1983 and, in one 11-year stretch, the Pacers reached the Eastern Conference finals six times and the NBA finals once.

Hansbrough is one of the core pieces the Pacers hope will get them back.

"He brings tremendous energy," Granger said. "He's going to play as hard as he can for as long as he can. He's so physical. He's one of those guys you definitely want on your team."

NOTES: Arenas became the 294th player to score 10,000 points. ... Indiana's Mike Dunleavy (knee), Travis Diener (toe on left foot) and Jeff Foster (sore lower back) sat out along with Murphy. ... The Pacers beat Boston 115-108 to open Conseco Fieldhouse. Miller scored 29 points that night. ... Granger collected four steals in the first six minutes. ... Rik Smits, who played on the Pacers' 2000 Finals team, attended the game. ... Indiana G Brandon Rush sprained his right ankle and did not return.

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Added: November 7, 2009


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