SAN ANTONIO, Jan. 10 (Ticker) -- Ron Artest
and the Indiana Pacers
played heroically against the San Antonio Spurs, but in the end,
they were unable to give themselves a final chance at victory.
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Neither Artest nor any teammate called a timeout after he
grabbed a rebound with two seconds left in overtime, allowing
the Spurs to escape with an 89-88 triumph that snapped the
Pacers' seven-game winning streak.
In a contest pitting the Midwest and Central division leaders, San Antonio's Hedo Turkoglu
hit a 3-pointer with two-tenths of a second remaining to force overtime. He added four
points and an assist in the extra session.
The Pacers trailed 87-82 before Reggie Miller
and Al Harrington
hit back-to-back 3-pointers, the latter with 1:25
remaining. Indiana had missed all seven attempts from the arc
, who had 30 points and 15 rebounds, gave San Antonio
an 89-88 edge with a jumper in the lane over the outstretched
arm of fellow Olympic team member Jermaine O'Neal
Artest missed a scoop shot before Turkoglu misfired on a
3-pointer with three seconds remaining. Artest rebounded and
began dribbling as he and his teammates neglected to stop the
"It was a good call. I didn't get the timeout," Artest said.
"I juggled the ball just a little bit, and then that was it.
That was the end of the game."
Pacers coach Rick Carlisle
was livid with the referees' call
that time had expired, believing Artest had called timeout.
"That was a tough play to make," Carlisle said. "It was a long
rebound, first of all, and that ate up some clock. We just
weren't able to get the timeout. That's more my fault than
Ron's, because we tried to communicate in the huddle that make
or miss, we wanted to secure the rebound and then call timeout.
It's a tough way to lose a ballgame."
O'Neal collected 22 points and 11 rebounds and Artest added 21
points for the Pacers, who entered with a league-best 14-6 road
"They are the best team we've played," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich
said. "They have guys who can post up and go out and
shoot. There aren't any other teams with that combination."
The Spurs have won 17 of their last 18 games.
Indiana appeared to be in trouble after Robert Horry
3-pointer to give San Antonio a 76-69 advatange with 2:46 left
in the fourth quarter. But O'Neal hit a spinning hook and
Artest made a layup, a pair of free throws and a baseline runner
to put the Pacers back on top 77-76 with 45 seconds left.
Duncan made two free throws with 33 seconds to play before
Harrington sank a jumper from the line seven seconds later to
give Indiana a 79-78 lead. Duncan missed a baseline jumper over
O'Neal with seven seconds left and Miller connected on a pair
from the line with 3.9 seconds to play, extending Indiana's
cushion to 81-78.
After a timeout, Turkoglu inbounded to Duncan, who immediately
passed back to the Turkish forward. Turkoglu head-faked Jamaal Tinsley
, took a dribble step to his left and swished a shot from
the right wing to send the game into overtime.
"I kind of backed off to help and Tony (Parker
) came off the top
and I was open," Duncan said. "Hedo threw it to me and I threw
it right back. He was great with his patience and pump-faked
to get himself the open shot."
"Somehow he just got loose," Artest said. "He gathered himself,
gave a little head fake, took one dribble and hit the shot. It
was a good play."