Hornets Top Pacers in Peja’s Return
Posted Nov 4 2006 12:23AM
By CLIFF BRUNT
INDIANAPOLIS, Nov. 3 (AP) - The New Orleans Hornets got a lot of attention for picking up Peja Stojakovic, Bobby Jackson and Tyson Chandler this summer. It was their lesser-known players who carried the load in the fourth quarter of a 100-91 victory over the Indiana Pacers on Friday night.
Rasual Butler scored all 11 of his points in the fourth quarter as the Hornets' bench scored 21 of New Orleans' 31 points in the final 12 minutes.
Indiana forward Jermaine O'Neal, who led all scorers with 25 points, said the Pacers let down against the New Orleans bench.
``This is a very talented league,'' he said. ``You've got to respect each and every person who checks into that game because they're checking into the game for a purpose. They bring something to the table that can help their team win.''
Stojakovic, who played for the Pacers for the second half of last season before signing with the Hornets in July, was booed during introductions and several more times throughout the game. He finished with eight points on 3-for-10 shooting and had five turnovers.
Stojakovic's teammates made up for his subpar effort by dominating the glass. The Hornets (2-0) outrebounded the Pacers 53-34 with Chandler grabbing 15.
The rebounding difference bothered Indiana coach Rick Carlisle.
``We got killed,'' he said. ``Chandler was huge on the boards for them. Generally, rebounding is an effort statistic, so it's something we've got to look at. Maybe it's something we address via a lineup change, or maybe it's got to be an adjustment in our approach.''
Indiana reserve guard Darrell Armstrong scored 11 points. The 38-year-old played 19 minutes.
``We're asking a guy who's almost my age to be the spark every night,'' Carlisle said. ``We can't have that.''
The Pacers led 72-69 heading into the fourth quarter, and increased that to 74-69 on a basket by Marquis Daniels.
New Orleans responded with a 14-0 run, highlighted by a dunk by Cedric Simmons, to take an 83-74 lead halfway through the final period.
The Pacers cut the deficit to 91-84 on a 3-pointer by Danny Granger with 2:28 remaining, but Paul scored two late baskets to keep the Hornets in control.
New Orleans led 48-40 at halftime despite two of its stars struggling. Paul was held to four points and Stojakovic scored just five points in 11 minutes while playing through foul trouble.
Indiana forward Al Harrington was shut out in the first half, but he scored four quick points in the third quarter in an 8-0 run that tied the score at 48. The Pacers held the Hornets scoreless for the first 3:30 of the quarter.
The Hornets quickly responded with a 9-0 run that included Chandler's highlight-reel one-handed jam down the lane over Stephen Jackson.
Jackson came back with a 3-pointer, then scored a basket to tie the game at 63. The Pacers scored 32 points in the third quarter to take a 72-69 lead into the fourth.
O'Neal said he felt the Pacers have been too focused on offense, and it showed most in the fourth quarter.
``We can't have more energy on the offensive end than the defensive end. We can't be tired on the defensive end and all of a sudden have a burst of energy on the offensive end.''
Notes: The Pacers celebrated the start of their 40th season by introducing several original team members before the game. ... James White, a rookie the Pacers picked up in a draft-day trade, signed with San Antonio days after Indiana cut him.
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