BOSTON, Nov. 5 (Ticker) --
Even with a sore knee of his own, Ron Artest
continues to step up for the shorthanded Indiana Pacers early in
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Artest scored 22 of his 28 points in the second half, including
six free throws in the final 40 seconds, as the Pacers continued
their domination of the Boston Celtics with a 100-94 victory.
Artest scored 31 points in 50 minutes in Indiana's
season-opening, 109-104, overtime victory over Cleveland on
"I'm feeling pretty good," Artest said. "It's good to be tired
after a game like that. We've been playing games like that for a
long time, a lot of grueling games, a lot of close games."
While Jermaine O'Neal
(sore left foot) made his season debut off
the bench, the Pacers were without Jonathan Bender
soreness and swelling in his right knee. Reggie Miller
left hand), Jeff Foster
(right hip) and Anthony Johnson
right hand) also are sidelined for Indiana
"With J-O and everybody else out early in the season, we've got
to somehow try to maintain the team we have and when they come
back, it will make us that much stronger," Artest added
Indiana, which swept Boston in the first round of last season's
playoffs, posted its eighth straight win over the Celtics,
including five in a row at the FleetCenter.
After a ragged third quarter, the Pacers took control down the
stretch as Artest's fallaway jumper capped a 7-0 spurt that left
Indiana on top 84-80 with 4:28 remaining. Fred Jones' two free
throws gave Indiana its biggest lead, 94-86, with 56 seconds to
"We do feel good that J-O wasn't supposed to play today and he
played and played good. He stepped up and got to the free-throw
line," Artest added. "He gave what he could give."
O'Neal added 19 points in 24 minutes. He dressed but did not
play Wednesday due to a sore left foot.
"I'm just trying to work my way back in there," O'Neal said.
"The guys like Cro (Austin Croshere
) and Scot Pollard
routine at the position and I've got to work my way back in
there. I truly believe that if you've been out for a while,
you've got to find your way back and I don't deserve to be a
starter right now."
O'Neal admitted that is not back to full strength.
"It's also better for me, physically, not to be thrown back into
it," he added. "I'm still having problems in my foot and I'll
work my way back up until my foot feels better."
scored 22 points and Mark Blount
added 18 for the
Celtics, who dropped to 0-2 under new coach Doc Rivers.
"We have been playing great in the first three quarters and then
slack up in the fourth quarter," Boston guard Gary Payton
"I think it's just mental, (being) mentally tough. There are a
lot of young guys in here and I think we stop playing in the
fourth quarter every time. In the last two (games), we've should
have beat both those teams. People gotta understand that we
gotta stop barking at the referees. We gotta stop all that stuff
was held to 15 points on 5-of-14 shooting from the
floor while the Celtics were outrebounded 52-31 on the night.
"I thought the last five minutes of the game, we just really
broke down on both ends of the court," Pierce said. "We didn't
know what we wanted to do offensively. I think it just has to
mean more to us. I think we have to want the game more down the
stretch with five minutes to go.