CLEVELAND, Nov. 3 (Ticker) -- Austin Croshere
's 3-pointer with 54
seconds remaining in the second overtime put the Indiana Pacers
up for good on their way to a 109-104 victory over the Cleveland
Cavaliers in the season opener for both teams.
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Croshere, who started in place of injured All-Star Jermaine O'Neal
, poured in 14 of his 20 points in the fourth quarter and
"I figured the shot clock was down, and my best chance was to
get it up," Croshere said. "It's one of those things you do by
feel - Just put it up. Obviously you don't practice shooting
the ball catching it at your ankles."
, the 2004 NBA Rookie of the Year, tied the contest
at 85-85 when he buried a 3-pointer over NBA Defensive Player of
the Year Ron Artest
with 1.7 seconds left in the fourth
gave the Pacers a 94-93 edge in the first
overtime when he nailed a 3-pointer with 29 seconds to go.
James made only 1-of-2 free throws after he was fouled by Scot Pollard
with 2.9 seconds left, leading to a second overtime.
"(Tinsley) is one of the smartest players I've been around in
this league for his age," Pacers coach Rick Carlisle said. "He
orchestrated everything at the offensive end. For him to play
that number of minutes (45) and have only one turnover, and to
be able to hit big shots and to continually find people, he was
The 19-year-old James opened his second season with 28 points
and eight assists.
"We didn't execute down the stretch," James said. "We gave up a
lot easy buckets, too many turnovers (and) too many missed
shots in overtime. I know I had a couple of shots that I should
Artest originally was supposed to sit out with a sore right
knee. But after the pregame shootaround, he decided to play and
came through with 31 points and nine rebounds.
"(Artest) met with the Cleveland doctors, who looked at his MRI
and explained to him that he wasn't in any danger by playing,"
Carlisle said. "It was his decision to play at the last second
and that gave us a huge lift."
"If I take care of (my knee), I can get it back to full
strength," Artest said. "We deserved to win."
Pollard and Tinsley each had double-doubles. Pollard, starting
for injured center Jeff Foster
, contributed 10 points and 10
rebounds, while Tinsley came up with 15 points and 14 assists.
"This is a big win for us, knowing that we have guys out and
knowing that it was going to be a tough win," Tinsley said.
"Everybody stuck together."
In addition to O'Neal and Foster, the Pacers were without Reggie Miller
and backup point guard Anthony Johnson
"That's why it hurts so bad," Cavaliers guard Jeff McInnis
"Because we know we should have won this game."
tied a career high with 35 points and also
had 18 boards for Cleveland, which has lost nine of the last 10
meetings with Indiana.
Ilgauskas and James combined to score Cleveland's first 23
"We thought we could have had this one," Cavaliers coach Paul
Silas said. "I thought Artest and LeBron equalized the play of
Power forward Robert Traylor
sparked Cleveland off the bench
with 11 points, seven rebounds and three blocked shots.