Stojakovic, Pacers Pound Lakers
Indiana 105, L.A. Lakers 79
INDIANAPOLIS, Feb. 1 (Ticker) -- With another one of his new teammates going down, Peja Stojakovic took charge in his home debut.
Stojakovic collected 26 points and 13 rebounds as the Indiana Pacers overcame the loss of Stephen Jackson by rolling to a 105-79 triumph over the Los Angeles Lakers.
"We're behind the 8-ball as far as injuries are concerned and we'll have to fly by the seat of our pants," Indiana coach Rick Carlisle said.
Jackson, the team's second-leading scorer at 15.8 points, clutched his lower back and remained on the floor until he was carried to the locker room.
He was later taken to Methodist Hospital as a precaution where X-rays revealed no fractures. The team listed the injury as a hip contusion but Jackson will be kept in the hospital overnight for observation.
"When Jackson got hurt," Lakers coach Phil Jackson said, "it was either a motivating force for them or, because he had so many turnovers and it wasn't really working tonight, he was an asset by default."
The Pacers were up 41-34 when Jackson left with 2:15 remaining in the second quarter and responded to the injury by closing the half with an 11-3 burst. Stojakovic and Fred Jones, who added 16 points off the bench, each hit 3-pointers during the spurt.
"The energy our guys played with was exceptional," Carlisle said. "(Peja) played great. He does a lot of things out there and he's a very resourceful player."
The Lakers, who shot a season-worst 31 percent (26-of-85), got as close as 57-43 on a pair of free throws by Kobe Bryant with 10:22 remaining in the third quarter. But Indiana answered with a 12-3 run, capped by one of Stojakovic's five 3-pointers.
"We played with energy and followed the game plan," Stojakovic said. "It felt good to play at home and it will take a little time for me to feel completely comfortable, but so far so good."
A three-time All-Star, Stojakovic was playing his first game here since coming over from Sacramento for Ron Artest on Wednesday.
"He looked like the player I remember from Sacramento," said Pacers center Jeff Foster, who collected 15 points and 13 rebounds. "It reminded me a lot of Reggie (Miller), the way he came off screens, drew defenders out to him, and looked for the easy pass inside."
Bryant, who garnered NBA Player of the Month honors after averaging 43.4 points in January, was limited to 26 points on 8-of-24 shooting. It was the first time since January 12 that the NBA's leading scorer was held below 30 points.
"They just outplayed us," Bryant said. "I've been double-teamed like I was tonight before, so that's nothing that we haven't seen. My scoring is only a burden from the stand point that, right now, it seems like I have to score 40 or 50 for us to win. We all know that there's no way to continue that for the whole season."
"Him coming into your building is like inviting an assassin into a room full of living presidents," Carlisle said. "You just know that, at any time, he could go for a zillion on you."
Phil Jackson credited Indiana for slowing down his team, which was coming off of a 33-point win in New York on Tuesday.
"I have to give credit to Indiana," he said. "They played really good team defense on Kobe. Tonight really looked like a situation where our guys looked dead out there on the court. Kobe didn't play a great game, but he certainly wasn't the problem."