MEMPHIS, Tenn., Jan. 11 (Ticker) -- Pau Gasol
reached his milestones
by the end of the first period, but it was Jermaine O'Neal
sent his team home happy after the fourth quarter.
O'Neal scored 35 points and hit a pair of free throws with 4.6
seconds remaining to lift the Indiana Pacers to an 86-85 victory
over Gasol and the Memphis Grizzlies, who had their six-game
winning streak snapped.
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With the win, Indiana avoided a winless four-game road trip in
which it had been outscored by an average of 22.8 points.
"It's a tough loss," Grizzlies forward Shane Battier
"We've been coming to the gym thinking we can win every game,
but tonight we ran into a good team.
"They've been beat pretty handily on their road trip so we knew
they were going to come out with some fight tonight, and they
made the plays."
The Pacers trailed for the entire game until Reggie Miller
pair of 3-pointers and a layup by O'Neal put Indiana ahead,
75-73, with 6:10 left.
"We started the fourth trying to get (Miller) going a bit,"
Indiana coach Rick Carlisle
said. "They defended him well for a
while, but we always believe any time we can give him a clean
look he's going to somehow get the ball in the basket."
The lead traded hands four times in the final three minutes
before Gasol scored his first points of the fourth quarter with
a short jumper over Jeff Foster
with 53 seconds remaining,
giving the Grizzlies an 85-84 edge.
Gasol grabbed his first rebound in the period after O'Neal's
miss on the other end. But Lorenzen Wright
turned the ball over
with 16 seconds to go.
Memphis had a foul to give, but O'Neal was able to dribble to
the left of the key before being fouled while shooting by Jason Williams
and hit both free throws.
Gasol had a chance to win it in the final seconds, but missed
two shots, including a short follow on his own miss as time
"I tried to drive the lane and get the foul, and I had a chance
to get the put-back," Gasol said. "I thought there was a lot of
contact, enough to get me out of bounds, but it's tough to make
that call at the end of the game."
Gasol led the Grizzlies with 31 points on 12-of-19 shooting but
was just 1-of-3 in the fourth quarter.
"He was very aggressive in the first half, and he got us in foul
trouble," O'Neal said. "So we wanted to be physical and make
him take tougher shots."
Needing eight points to reach 5,000 for his career and two
blocks for 500, Gasol had 11 points and two blocks after 12
minutes. He made all five of his shots in the second period and
blocked a shot by Michael Curry
at the buzzer to give Memphis a
57-48 advantage at the half.
"As long as I play this way, the milestones will come," Gasol
said. "But that's not my concern. It's something maybe you look
back at at the end of your career, but I'm just trying to go
out and play tough every night. You just focus on the team and
the win on a daily basis."
"Our big people showed some pride tonight," Carlisle said. "He
was 9-of-11 in the first half, which is an unbelievable half,
but I thought Jermaine and Jeff (Foster) and Austin (Croshere)
played him tough and made a concerted effort to stop him."
After shooting 66 percent (21-of-32) from the field in the first
half, Memphis shot just 20 percent (3-of-15) in the third
period, but still held a 67-61 edge entering the final 12
"In the second half we sucked it up and had the kind of half we
needed to to win this game," Carlisle said. "We showed some real
Indiana stayed close by hitting 92 percent (23-of-25) from the
line while Memphis made just 62 percent (18-of-29).
"In the second half, we sucked it up and had the kind of half we
needed to to win this game," Carlisle said. "We showed some