Granger on verge of returning


INDIANAPOLIS — Danny Granger, the leading scorer for Indiana the past five years, could play for the first time this season Wednesday night against Charlotte.

After watching the former All-Star go through a second full practice Tuesday, coach Frank Vogel told reporters that Granger looked a “little rusty” and that the Pacers were eager to finally get him back on the court.

“My message to Danny is that we don’t want you to come back unless you feel you’re ready to come back,” Vogel said. “So if he’s not there yet, we don’t want to push it. We’ll wait.”

The Pacers (31-21) have been waiting more than three months for Granger to recover from patellar tendinosis in his left knee. After the initial diagnosis in early November, Indiana struggled to get its offense in sync and win games.

Then they adapted.

Vogel modified the offense, which led to a breakout first half from forward Paul George, who was selected to his first All-Star Game. David West pitched in by becoming a major offensive threat inside, and the Pacers went 27-14 over their next 41 games to take the Central Division lead.

Sacramento under pressure to keep Kings

The clock is ticking for Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson’s efforts to keep the Kings from moving to Seattle.

Speaking at his weekly City Hall news conference, Johnson said Tuesday that the joint committee that will decide whether the Kings leave might want to discuss his city’s proposal before the NBA Board of Governors meeting April 19.

Owners can vote on the pending sale and relocation of the Kings at any time, but the annual meeting in New York is typically when decisions about moving a franchise are made. NBA Commissioner David Stern said last week he combined the two committees that oversee sales and relocations and told them, “You guys figure it out.”

“I’m under the assumption that the joint committee may want to hear from us sooner,” Johnson said. “We’re going to have all the agreements and all the actions and all the documents squared by March 1, as well as if there’s an opportunity to present to the joint committee prior to mid-April, then I feel very confident. We’re going to have all our ducks in order. We’re going to be ready before mid-April if that’s what it takes.”