Pacers Win Fifth Straight Over Blazers
Indiana 101, Portland 69
INDIANAPOLIS, Feb. 8 (Ticker) -- Stephen Jackson and Peja Stojakovic kept the Indiana Pacers rolling against the Portland Trail Blazers.
Jackson scored 25 points and Stojakovic added 23 as the Pacers coasted to a 101-69 victory over the Trail Blazers for their fifth straight win in the series.
"We came out aggressive tonight," Stojakovic said. "We moved the ball well and took control of the boards. I think our team did a pretty good job on defense. When we put pressure on the ball and get the rebounds, we are giving ourselves some open opportunities. We have to keep playing well and see what happens."
"It's always good to win and we had a lot of good things happen," Pacers coach Rick Carlisle said. "The way we are structured right now, we have to play more up tempo, but the key to the game was the way we picked up our intensity on defense in the second half."
The Pacers set a franchise record by holding the Blazers to 26.7 percent (20-of-75) shooting - the lowest percentage in the NBA this season.
"I know we are a much better basketball team than how we played," Portland coach Nate McMillan said. "Tonight, our minds were not together as a unit. We just didn't show up as a team and do the things necessary to win."
The Blazers drew within 41-33 at the break before the Pacers broke open the game with a 13-2 run to start the third quarter.
Stojakovic and Jackson hit back-to-back 3-pointers to ignite the burst and Jackson capped it with another shot from the arc that made it 54-35 with 8:07 left.
Indiana produced a 35-point fourth quarter to maintain the cushion en route to its third straight win.
"It was a big game for us," Jackson said. "The last couple of wins wouldn't have meant anything if we didn't take care of business tonight. We knew we had to come out and match their intensity."
Stojakovic made 9-of-15 shots, including four 3-pointers, and Jackson was 10-of-17 from the floor. Fred Jones added 14 points and Scot Pollard grabbed 16 rebounds.
"I think (the style of play) is working for us right now," Pollard said. "The dynamics are there, we just have to keep from getting selfish and keep playing the right way."
Zach Randolph scored 21 of his 25 points in the first half and grabbed nine rebounds, all on the offensive glass, for the Blazers.
"They just came out and got on top of us," Randolph said. "We didn't get any stops and they did what they wanted to do. They came with a lot of energy and we couldn't stop it. I thought we were over games like this."