MACEO BASTON
Brought energy off the bench and scored a career-high 10 points, adding two rebounds, three steals and a blocked shot.
RICK CARLISLE
"I’ve got to convince our guys that the way you start games goes a long way towards how games end. You just can’t dig yourself a hole every night. It was a poor start. Our second group gave us some energy and life - and got us back into the game, but we have got to do it over 48. ... I think we’re at a point now where as a team we’ve got to realize that part of being successful is the way you compete - and the way you share the ball and the way you help each other defensively. We haven’t done a good job of doing those things to start games. We got to get better fast because just cause we’re going home doesn’t mean that it’s going to cure itself.”
Points in the Paint:
Lakers 60, Pacers 32
Fast-break points:
Lakers 10, Pacers 5
2nd-chance points:
Lakers 19, Pacers 6
Points off turnovers:
Pacers 30, Lakers 27
Starters scoring:
Lakers 71, Pacers 43
Bench scoring:
Pacers 44, Lakers 30
For the third straight game, the Pacers allowed their opponent to score at least 60 points in the first half. Seattle, Denver and the Lakers (who led 60-44 at the break) combined to average 62.3 points on .538 shooting as the Pacers were outscored by 30.
A two-game homestand begins Wednesday night (7:00) against Dwight Howard and the Orlando Magic in Conseco Fieldhouse.
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  • L.A. LAKERS 101, INDIANA 87
    Late Rally Falls Short In Loss

    At Los Angeles | Dec. 4, 2006


    Finally finding their energy late – too late, as it turned out – the Pacers managed to slice a deficit that had been as large as 23 points to seven in the fourth quarter but couldn't climb all the way out of the hole dug in the first half and ended their longest road trip of the year with a 101-87 loss to the Lakers in Staples Center Monday night.

    The Lakers played most of the second half without Kobe Bryant, who sprained his right ankle when he landed awkwardly on Jeff Foster's foot while trying an acrobatic move to the basket early in the third period but managed to hold off the Pacers without their superstar.

    The Pacers thus wound up 2-4 on their longest road trip of the season, losing the last three to fall to 9-10 overall, 5-8 on the road. They also remained winless in Staples Center against the Lakers, dropping their 11th in a row (including the 2000 NBA Finals). The Lakers won their third in a row to improve to 12-5 overall, 10-2 at home.


    PLUSES

    The bench did what it could to undo the damage wrought by the lifeless starters. Sarunas Jasikevicius scored 16 points with five assists, Danny Granger scored 15 and Maceo Baston had a career-high 10 points along with two rebounds, three steals and a blocked shot as he continued his recent emergence as a productive reserve. Jermaine O'Neal put up respectable numbers (18 points, 11 rebounds, two blocks) but committed five turnovers and battled foul trouble. After the horrendous first half, the defense did buckle down to limit the Lakers to 43 in the second, forcing 12 turnovers.
    MINUSES
    The starters continued to struggle defensively and were outscored 71-43 by their Lakers counterparts on a night when Bryant managed a modest 21. O'Neal was the only starter in double figures and he struggled against Kwame Brown and Andrew Bynum, who combined for 25 points. Al Harrington was 2-of-7, Jeff Foster pulled just three rebounds and guards Jamaal Tinsley and Stephen Jackson didn't make a dent in the box score or the game. The Pacers racked up 22 turnovers and were dominated on the boards 41-28.

    Bryant was 7-of-16 from the field for his 21 points. Brown scored 17 on 8-of-12 shooting, Lamar Odom had 15 points, 13 rebounds and four assists and Luke Walton had 10 points, seven assists and six rebounds. The Lakers shot .513 overall.


    MOMENTS
    Runs of 16-2 in the first quarter and 20-4 in the second gave the Lakers a 60-37 lead late in a half highlighted only by a surprising flurry from Baston, who scored the first seven points of the second quarter to cut the lead to 33-26. The margin soon returned to double digits, where it remained throughout the third period.

    Trailing 83-65 entering the fourth, the Pacers opened the period with a 10-2 run sparked by Granger and Jasikevicius to cut the lead to 85-75. The defense then came up with six consecutive stops but the offense couldn't convert and a big opportunity to continue the momentum was lost. The Lakers stretched it back to 90-77 before O'Neal scored three straight baskets to make it 90-83 with 3:11 left. Playing with five fouls, however, O'Neal gave up consecutive baskets to Brown, then fouled out as the Lakers put it away.


    TIDBITS
  • Reggie Miller, who has dabbled as an independent film producer and television analyst since retiring from the Pacers, was among the celebrities seated courtside.
  • Stephen Jackson, who left Saturday's loss in Denver with a sore right knee and didn't return, started and played 24 minutes.
  • The latest starting lineup has been outscored in four of five games.