INDIANAPOLIS, Jan. 16 (Ticker) -- Reggie Miller
got hot, Jermaine O'Neal
and Jeff Foster
got tough and the Indiana Pacers got even
with the San Antonio Spurs.
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Miller scored 28 points and O'Neal and Foster
combined to shut down Tim Duncan
as the Pacers avenged last
week's loss to the Spurs with an 89-79 victory, their ninth in
Miller picked up where he left off on Wednesday when he scored all 13
of his points in the fourth quarter of a win over Atlanta. He
made 10-of-15 shots, including 7-of-9 3-pointers to help Indiana
avenge its only loss since December 27.
"I'm getting my legs under me, but I don't want to get ahead of
myself," said Miller, who has been bothered by a sore ankle.
"The ankle is starting to feel pretty good."
"Reggie is a pain in the (neck), a royal pain in the (neck),"
Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. "When he feels it, he knows he
feels it. And he just sticks it to you."
In an 89-88 home win over Indiana six days ago, Duncan collected
30 points and 15 rebounds and made the game-winning shot with
44 seconds left in overtime. This time, O'Neal and Foster
throttled the two-time MVP, holding him to 16 points on 4-of-18
"He's a great player, but Scot (Pollard), Jermaine and I used a
variety of fronts and defenses to try and make him miss. We
tried to keep the ball from him, because the key to their
offense is for him to get the ball. The offense goes through
"Jeff did a great job on me," Duncan admitted. "He contested
every shot and he kept me from getting the ball in good spots.
He just did a great job all around."
Duncan did not make a basket in the second half until a pair of
garbage hoops in the final 65 seconds after matters had been
decided. He added nine rebounds and seven assists but was
outplayed by O'Neal, who battled foul trouble for 20 points, 10
boards and five blocks.
"He finished great and I thought he got off to a good start
offensively," Pacers coach Rick Carlisle said. "He then got a
couple of bad fouls that sent him to the bench. ... But in the
fourth quarter, he was a monster. Everything went through him
in the post."
The Pacers limited the Spurs to less than 36 percent (28-of-78)
shooting as they improved to 30-11, their best midway mark since
entering the NBA in 1976.
scored 14 points and Charlie Ward
added 13 for the
Spurs, who have lost three in a row after winning 16 of 17.
"This is the most disappointing loss of the season," Popovich
said. "The lack of mental toughness and leadership was not
impressive. Maybe I need new speeches or something."
O'Neal bounced off the bench early in the fourth quarter to make
a banker and two free throws in an 8-0 spurt that gave Indiana
the lead for good. Hedo Turkoglu
answered with a 3-pointer, but
O'Neal threw in a hook and a spinning jumper for a 77-68 lead
with 5:26 left.
While Duncan struggled, Miller put the finishing touches on the
victory, throwing in a pair of 3-pointers in the last minute.
"I think he is trying to tell me he wants more minutes,"
A 3-pointer by Miller gave Indiana a 21-6 lead, but San Antonio
stormed back with a 24-5 surge, opening a 44-35 advantage on a
reverse layup by Duncan with 1:59 left in the first half.
Miller's 3-pointer restored a 47-46 lead for the Pacers early in
the second half. But O'Neal took a seat with his fourth foul
less than two minutes later.