ORLANDO, Florida (Ticker) -- After an outstanding performance
in the All-Star Game, Jermaine O'Neal leads the Indiana Pacers
on what he hopes will be the start of a playoff push Tuesday
against the Orlando Magic.
Indiana's leading scorer and rebounder at the All-Star break,
O'Neal posted 15 points and five rebounds off the bench for the
Eastern Conference in a 125-115 victory over the Western
The Pacers, who are just percentage points behind the
Philadelphia 76ers for the final playoff spot, won five of their
final seven games entering All-Star weekend, including a 95-87
triumph over the Portland Trail Blazers on Wedneady.
Reggie Miller scored a season-high 36 points in the win and Jeff
Foster added 14 and 17 rebounds for Indiana, which finished a
four-game road trip with a 3-1 record. Despite being held to 10
points against Portland, O'Neal is averaging 22 points, eight
rebounds and just under two blocks per game.
Orlando, which has won both meetings with Indiana this season,
won two straight before the All-Star Game.
On Tuesday, All-Star starter Grant Hill scored a season-high 39
points to lead the Magic to a 99-94 triumph over the Los Angeles
Clippers. Steve Francis added 16 points and seven assists in
Against Indiana this season, Hill is averaging 23.5 points while
hitting 60 percent of his shots.
In 14 seasons, the Magic have a 10-4 record in the first game
after the All-Star break, including a 10-2 mark at home.