JAMAAL TINSLEY
Dictated the game from the point once again, scoring 24 points with six assists, six rebounds and two steals in 41 strong minutes.
JIM O'BRIEN
“Really a terrific win for our basketball team against one of the better teams in the entire NBA. To bend but not break against a team that has come back from big deficits to win its last two games, to get the stops and execute down the stretch is a real credit to our basketball team."
  • Points in the paint: Pacers 46, Mavericks 36
  • Fast-break points: Mavericks 21, Pacers 11
  • Second-chance points: Pacers 17, Mavericks 15
  • Points off turnovers: Mavericks 22, Pacers 12
  • Starters scoring: Pacers 94, Mavericks 76
  • Bench scoring: Mavericks 31, Pacers 17
  • The Pacers improved to 3-0 without Jermaine O'Neal, equaling their total of all of last season when they were 3-10 in games O'Neal missed.
    The final home game of the week comes Sunday afternoon against LeBron James and the defending Eastern Conference champion Cleveland Cavaliers (2:30 p.m., WIBC 1070-AM). The game will not be televised.
  • Postgame notes & quotes
  • Postgame press conference
  • Pacers plus-minus rankings
  • Game info
  • INDIANA 111, DALLAS 107
    Pacers slay another West giant

    By Conrad Brunner | Nov. 23, 2007


    The coach lost his composure, drawing two technicals and an ejection over something as relatively unimportant as a non-shooting foul. Their players were bumping into each other on offense and forcing quick and/or bad shots down the stretch. Their resident superstar was invisible in the fourth quarter.

    Which explains why Dallas buckled under pressure and the Pacers did not, holding on for a gritty, hard-fought, physical and feisty 111-107 victory over the Mavericks Friday in Conseco Fieldhouse.

    "More than anything, I was pleased with the energy level defensively when the game was on the line," said Pacers Coach Jim O'Brien. "In the NBA, you've got to be able to string together stops down the stretch to beat good basketball teams."

    The Pacers (6-7) won for the third time in four games and those three victories came against Western Conference powers that entered with a combined record of 25-5: Utah (7-3), New Orleans (9-3) and Dallas (9-2). The Mavericks had winning streaks of five overall and four against the Pacers snapped.

    "When we were going through a down time (a six-game losing streak after a 3-0 start), our guys never overreacted, nor did our staff," said O'Brien. "I remember Jermaine O'Neal saying before the Utah game, 'Guys, we're so close, if we can just grit our teeth and turn the corner we can be a pretty good basketball team.' "

    It might be a little early to pronounce the corner turned, but the Pacers have at the very least established themselves as a team unwilling to yield to circumstances. They beat the Mavericks despite the absence of franchise forward Jermaine O'Neal, who missed his second game in a row due to swelling in his left knee.

    "We are starting to come together as a team and tonight we could see it," said Jeff Foster, whose defense against Dirk Nowitzki was critical to the outcome. "This was a big win and we've got to build on this."

    Without O'Neal they needed offensive balance and got it. Danny Granger scored 25 with six rebounds and two blocks; Jamaal Tinsley was once again masterful at the point with 24 points, six rebounds and six assists; Troy Murphy scored 18 with eight rebounds; Mike Dunleavy scored 17 with four assists; and Jeff Foster played aggressive defense against Dirk Nowitzki while producing a 10-point, 11-rebound double-double. Shawne Williams chipped in 10 points off the bench.

    The Pacers led most of the way but Dallas had overcome deficits of 24 and 17 points in the second half to win its last two games, so a challenge was inevitable. Several came but the Pacers withstood them. The Mavs scored the final seven of the third quarter to close to 88-87, but the Pacers opened the fourth with a 10-4 run to take a 98-91 lead.

    That stretch included the ejection of Mavs Coach Avery Johnson, who stalked official Bennett Salvatore because he objected to the call of a non-shooting foul.

    The Mavs responded by scoring seven in a row to tie it 98-all but Danny Granger scored four from the line in a six-point counterpunch., Nowitzki's only basket of the fourth quarter came with 3:18 remaining and would be Mavs' last until the closing seconds. The Pacers, meanwhile, got a huge post-up basket from Tinsley to make it 106-102 with 1:04 remaining.

    Dallas got a pair of coast-to-coast buckets from reserve guard J.J. Barea in the closing seconds to keep the margin close but the Pacers sealed it from the free-throw line.

    Devin Harris led Dallas with 24. Nowitzki had 20 points, 11 rebounds and five assists but shot 6-of-14 overall and missed all three of his 3-point attempts. Josh Howard scored 19.


    NOTEWORTHY
  • Nowitzki and Murphy were called for double technical fouls with 9:19 remaining as the players needed to be separated after the Dallas forward executed an unusually hard foul on his driving Indiana counterpart.
  • The Pacers were without O'Neal for the second game in a row and third on the season. O'Neal was getting treatment on his swollen left knee during the game and was not on the bench.
  • Dallas did not dress Jerry Stackhouse because this was a first game of a back-to-back situation and Coach Avery Johnson opted to rest the 33-year-old veteran.