DARRELL ARMSTRONG
Flirted with a triple-double as the substitute starter for the injured Jamaal Tinsley, producing 16 points, 10 assists, eight rebounds, three steals and a blocked shot.
RICK CARLISLE
"Darrell Armstrong played a great game for us. It’s amazing what he can do at his age. I’ve been in the NBA a long time and Darrell is Kevin Garnett in a 5-10 body. He has that kind of energy. He’s got a heart as big as Conseco Fieldhouse. He’s an unusual athlete. He can play 10-15 minutes a night and he’s done that. But lining up against guys like (Ben) Gordon and (Kirk) Hinrich for 30 minutes a night, that’s a lot to ask."
Points in the Paint:
Pacers 36, Pbulls 28
Fast-break points:
Pacers 14, Bulls 13
2nd-chance points:
Pacers 12, Bulls 9
Points off turnovers:
Pacers 21, Bulls 20
Starters scoring:
Pacers 79, Bulls 73
Bench scoring:
Pacers 19, Bulls 18
With Marquis Daniels and Mike Dunleavy sharing the point-guard duties to start the second quarter, the Pacers fielded a lineup in which every player was between 6-7 and 6-11.
After losing a close one in Miami last Thursday, the Pacers have a rematch with Dwyane Wade and the Heat Wednesday in Conseco Fieldhouse (7:00, FSN-Indiana).
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  • INDIANA 98, CHICAGO 91
    Armstrong's Energy Ignites Pacers

    By Conrad Brunner | Jan. 22, 2007


    Darrell Armstrong is supposed to be at the stage of his career where he plays a few minutes here and there, providing a little defense, a little energy and occasional shot-making. Circumstances dictated otherwise Monday night and Armstrong rolled back the clock. With Jamaal Tinsley missing his first game of the season with an illness and a sore lower back and newly acquired backup Keith McLeod out with an abdominal strain, Armstrong was thrust into the starting lineup and responded with a vintage performance.

    The 38-year-old veteran racked up 16 points, 10 assists, eight rebounds, three steals and a blocked shot and made the game-clinching play as the Pacers held off a strong Chicago rally to beat the Bulls 98-91 at Conseco Fieldhouse.

    The Pacers (21-20) snapped losing streaks of four games overall and two at home, where they improved to 11-7. The Bulls dropped to 23-19.

    With the Pacers clinging to a 96-91 lead in the final minute, Armstrong missed a 3-pointer but stepped in and stole Andres Nocioni's outlet pass to Ben Gordon and drew an immediate foul. Armstrong made both free throws with 26.1 seconds left to ice the victory, the first since the eight-player trade with Golden State last week.


    PLUSES

    Armstrong's energy was infectious as the Pacers played with high intensity for most of the game and had five players score in double figures. Jermaine O'Neal scored 22 with 10 rebounds. Danny Granger scored seven of his 19 from the free-throw line. Mike Dunleavy picked up some minutes at point guard and finished with 15 points, seven rebounds, five assists and a block. Marquis Daniels scored 12 off the bench on 5-of-7 shooting. Troy Murphy picked up seven points, eight rebounds, four assists and a block in his first start. The Pacers outrebounded the Bulls 47-36 and forced 22 turnovers.
    MINUSES
    Aside from a 9-minute stretch in the third period when the offense went flat, the Pacers were pretty solid, though no one could stop Gordon, who scored 31 on 11-of-18 shooting. Luol Deng finished with 18 but 12 came in the first quarter. Kirk Hinrich scored 14 with seven assists but fouled out, picked up a technical and was visibly frustrated by the omnipresence of Armstrong.
    MOMENTS
    The Pacers started well, for a change, leading throughout the first half and using an 11-0 run late in the second quarter to push the lead to 58-40. Dunleavy's second 3-pointer of the game made it 69-49 early in the third but the Pacers might've gone into cruise control a little too early. The Bulls put together a 22-8 run as Gordon scored 11 of their final 13 of the period, including a 29-foot buzzer-beating 3-pointer to cut the lead to 77-71 entering the fourth. In the final 9 minutes of the third period, the Pacers made just one shot – a 20-foot jumper by Jeff Foster – missed five free throws and committed six turnovers.

    Gordon came out hot in the fourth quarter as well, with his second jumper of the period closing the gap to 83-79. But Armstrong hit a 3-pointer that seemed to stabilize the Pacers, who made Chicago pay for its small lineup by working the ball inside to O'Neal, who scored six of the next eight as the lead grew to 94-85 with 1:46 left. Gordon hit a 3-pointer to cut the lead to six and, after a pair of Armstrong free throws, converted a putback into a three-point play to make it 96-91 with 54.7 seconds remaining. Armstrong made sure the Bulls would get no closer.


    TIDBITS
  • Tinsley's goal of playing all 82 games this season has been sidetracked. The veteran point guard had been the only player to start every game but was unable to play because of illness as well as lingering back pain. Carlisle, who described Tinsley's status as "a day-to-day thing," said the injury was a "disappointing situation because he wanted to play all 82 this year and had worked very hard to get himself into position to do it. We'll just hope this is a short-term thing."
  • With Murphy replacing Foster at center, the Pacers employed their 12th starting lineup of the season.
  • Bulls guard Chris Duhon, a 30-game starter, picked up a DNP-CD. He's been mired in a deep slump, shooting 9-of-53 (.170) overall and 2-of-30 (.067) from the 3-point line since Dec. 30.