DANNY GRANGER
Continued his streak of strong play off the bench with 22 points, eight rebounds and two steals, making 5-of-11 from the field and 10-of-11 from the line.
RICK CARLISLE
"It was disappointing to come out on the short end in that game because we played hard but we just made too many mistakes, particularly at the defensive end, particularly in terms of blocking out. Our undoing was the second-chance opportunities, especially down the stretch. A lot of times we got stops but we couldn't come up with the ball and it's a shame because we were working hard to get the stops. We missed some blockouts and had some tough bounces, etcetera. When you're playing a really good team like that you've got to tend to the details, otherwise they're going to find ways to beat you."
Points in the Paint:
Pacers 48, Mavericks 28
Fast-break points:
Pacers 19, Mavericks 16
2nd-chance points:
Mavericks 17, Pacers 12
Points off turnovers:
Pacers 17, Mavericks 16
Starters scoring:
Mavericks 106, Pacers 73
Bench scoring:
Pacers 40, Mavericks 9
A number of trends were bucked. The Pacers lost for the first time in six games in which Stephen Jackson has scored at least 20, for the first time in three games in which three players have scored at least 20, and for just the second time in eight games in which Jamaal Tinsley has at least nine assists.
The Pacers travel to New Jersey for a Monday afternoon game against Vince Carter and the Nets (3:30) in a game that will not be televised locally.
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  • DALLAS 115, INDIANA 113 (OT)
    Pacers Fall Short Against Mavs

    By Conrad Brunner | Jan. 12, 2007


    In close games against quality opponents, big shots make headlines but little things make the difference.

    Little things like boxing out and getting the rebound after a much-needed defensive stop. Little things like finishing the play when you catch the ball under the basket. Little things like communicating on defense to prevent shooters from getting open looks. Little things like making free throws when needed. And little things like missing free throws when needed.

    Though they turned in a noble effort and gave themselves ample opportunity to beat the NBA's best team, the Pacers couldn't come up with enough of those little things and wound up falling 115-113 in overtime Friday to Dallas. Dirk Nowitzki scored a season-high 43 points, including eight of the Mavericks' 12 points in overtime, as the visitors won for the 30th time in 34 games and improved to 30-8 overall.

    The Pacers got 26 points from Jermaine O'Neal and 22 apiece from Stephen Jackson and Danny Granger but couldn't protect leads in the final minute in both regulation and overtime. Their three-game winning streak snapped, the Pacers dropped to 20-17 overall, 10-6 at home.

    The free throw line was a particularly costly place for the Pacers. Leading 101-100 with 1 minute left, Jamaal Tinsley missed a pair. Though he made a pair to tie it and force overtime after Jason Terry's 3-pointer put the Mavs ahead, those misses proved costly.

    In overtime, trailing 114-111 with 3.2 seconds left, Al Harrington went to the line with instructions to make the first and miss the second to give the Pacers a chance for the tying putback. He made the first – and then unintentionally knocked in the second, robbing the Pacers of their last chance.

    "I'm sure he was trying to miss, it was just that kind of night when it came to those kinds of things," said Coach Rick Carlisle. "Things don't always go as planned. But the game shouldn't have come down to whether or not Al missed a free throw on purpose. It should come down to our ability to finish off plays, defensively, and that's really what hurt us down the stretch and that's a shame. We fought hard, we were in position to win, we just came up short."


    PLUSES

    For the second time in five games, the Pacers put themselves in position to beat the NBA's best team. O'Neal, who also had nine rebounds, five assists and three blocks, was effective inside. Jackson (8-of-14 shooting, including 2-of-2 from the arc) mixed up his offensive game nicely. Granger hit big shots down the stretch in both the fourth quarter and overtime, adding eight rebounds. Tinsley flirted with a triple-double with 17 points, 11 assists and seven rebounds, adding two steals and two blocks. And Marquis Daniels and Sarunas Jasikevicius scored eight apiece as the bench enjoyed a 40-9 scoring advantage.
    MINUSES
    For the second time in five games, the Pacers couldn't close the deal. Dallas scored 17 second-chance points, including an uncontested tip-in by Josh Howard that gave the Mavs a 110-109 lead with 49 seconds left. The defense broke down on the next possession, leaving Terry wide open for a warmup jumper that put Dallas in front for good, 112-111. Howard again came up with a big hustle play, blocking Granger's putback attempt from behind with 5.6 seconds left. Nowitzki proved unguardable, making 13-of-24 shots and 15-of-18 from the free-throw line, adding 12 rebounds. Terry, a non-factor last week, was a major player in this meeting with 30 points on 10-of-18 shooting, adding seven assists.
    MOMENTS
    The Pacers started well, using a 16-3 run to open a 26-15 lead late in the first quarter. They closed the half with a 9-2 run for a 51-44 lead and pushed it to 63-54 midway through the third. But Nowitzki scored 10 as the Mavs closed the third by outscoring the Pacers 20-10 to take a 74-73 lead into the fourth.

    Appearing to regain momentum, the Pacers rode Marquis Daniels' strong play – six points in the first 6 minutes of the fourth – to a 91-86 lead. Thus began a parade to the free throw line as neither team scored a basket for nearly 5 minutes as 21 free throws were attempted. When O'Neal finally broke the field-goal drought with 1:53 left, the Pacers had a 101-97 lead.

    Terry, however, answered right back, drawing a foul from Tinsley and completing a three-point play. Tinsley then missed two from the line and Terry hit a 3-pointer to make it 103-100. Tinsley tied it at the line, but then it was Terry's turn for a mistake as he lost the ball out of bounds on his way to the basket with 18.8 seconds left. Given the last-shot opportunity, the Pacers could do no better than a top-of-the-key jumper that O'Neal missed. Granger rebounded and appeared to draw contact on his putback attempt but no whistle was forthcoming as time expired.

    The teams traded baskets, and the lead, on six straight possessions in overtime. O'Neal posted Nowitzki to put the Pacers up 111-110 with 38 seconds left but Terry got wide open for an easy jumper that gave Dallas a one-point lead with 27 to go. With another opportunity to milk the clock and get off a potential game-winner, the Pacers again went to O'Neal, who missed his shot from the post. Granger again snuck inside for the rebound but Howard denied the shot. Nowitzki was fouled and made both for a 114-111 lead. After Harrington inadvertently made both, Nowitzki was fouled again. He, too, was instructed to miss the second with 2 seconds left but his high-arching shot swished through the basket.

    With no timeout remaining to set up a play or advance the ball, the Pacers were left with a desperation long lead pass to Harrington that was knocked away.


    TIDBITS
  • The game didn't offer much in the way of opportunity for either of the ex-Pacers on the Dallas roster. Anthony Johnson played just 8 minutes, 20 seconds, scoring one point. Austin Croshere was the only active Mavericks player who Coach Avery Johnson did not see fit to employ.
  • Croshere rented a suite for 30 family and friend in attendance.
  • Both Nowitzki and O'Neal suffered ankle sprains in the closing minutes but neither left the game. Nowitzki stepped on Harrington's foot with 2:53 left in the fourth quarter and O'Neal tweaked his sore left ankle landing with a rebound with just over 1 minute left in the fourth.