JEFF FOSTER
Returned from a three-game absence and was extremely effective for 20 minutes, racking up a season-high 15 points on 5-of-6 shooting while adding nine rebounds, six on the offensive glass.
RICK CARLISLE
"Our inability to make shots was our undoing in this game. But we've got to shake it off and get ready for tomorrow (when the Pacers face the Bucks in Milwaukee) because we don't have much turnaround time. … We needed to make one or two more plays offensively and defensively and we just didn't do it."
Points in the Paint:
Pacers 36, Sixers 36
Fast-break points:
Sixers 14, Pacers 2
2nd-chance points:
Pacers 27, Sixers 11
Points off turnovers:
Pacers 16, Sixers 7
Starters scoring:
Pacers 55, Sixers 53
Bench scoring:
Sixers 37, Pacers 31
The Sixers played the game without their two leading scorers, Andre Iguodala and Kyle Korver. The Pacers essentially played most of the game without theirs, as Jermaine O'Neal and Danny Granger combined to shoot 4-of-28 from the field (14.3 percent) through three quarters and wound up 9-of-39 for the game (23.1 percent).
The road trip continues as the back-to-back set concludes Wednesday night in Milwaukee against Mo Williams and the Bucks (8 p.m., FSN-Indiana).
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  • PHILADELPHIA 90, INDIANA 86
    Law Of Averages Rules Pacers

    At Philadelphia | April 10, 2007


    It isn't a neighborhood homeowners' association covenant of averages. It isn't a municipal ordinance of averages. It's the law of averages, and here's why: When a team that ranks dead last in the NBA in field goal percentage through 73 games suddenly goes on a shooting binge, as the Pacers had in hitting 53.8 percent in their previous three games, the law eventually will be enforced. The mathematical pendulum that took the shooting to improbable heights must ultimately swing the other direction.

    It swung back Tuesday night, and may have taken the Pacers out of the playoffs in the process.

    Shooting 32.7 percent from the field, including 3-of-20 from the 3-point line, the Pacers were beaten 90-86 in Philadelphia by a battered 76ers team missing its two leading scorers (Andre Iguodala and Kyle Korver). The loss left the Pacers (34-43) two full games behind eighth-place Orlando (36-41) with five remaining. Seventh place was made all-but unreachable as New Jersey (37-41) beat Washington to move three games ahead of Indiana and the Nets hold the tie-breaker.

    After trailing throughout the game, Indiana wiped out a 12-point fourth-quarter deficit with a 15-2 run and led 82-81 with 2:40 remaining but came up empty on its next four possessions while the 76ers scored six in a row to put the game away.

    Philadelphia (32-45) improved to 15-9 since the All-Star break.


    PLUSES

    Jeff Foster's return from a three-game absence due to lower back spasms was impressive as he racked up 15 points and nine rebounds in 20 minutes. Of course, his teammates were kind enough to provide a plethora of opportunities on the offensive glass with their poor shooting. Rookie Shawne Williams also brought a spark, scoring 11 with six rebounds in 19 minutes off the bench. Jermaine O'Neal scored 21 with 10 rebounds.
    MINUSES
    O'Neal's shooting slump continued but not for a lack of opportunities as he put up 22 shots, making just seven. Danny Granger had an abysmal night, missing his first 13 shots and finishing 2-of-17. With the two leading scorers combining to shoot 9-of-39, the Pacers left themselves with few alternatives. Unlike in recent games, there were no unsung heroes among the rest of the roster as Mike Dunleavy and Troy Murphy combined for 9-of-26 shooting, 1-of-8 from the arc, and the bench was outscored 37-31.

    Defensively, the Pacers were abused by reserve guard Louis Williams, who went off for a career-high 18 points off the bench. Samuel Dalembert was the most consistently effective big man on the floor with 15 points, 12 rebounds and three blocks. Andre Miller controlled the tempo of the game from the point with 19 points and 11 assists. And veteran Joe Smith had 17 points and 11 boards off the bench.


    MOMENTS
    The Sixers set the tone immediately by jumping out to a 15-5 lead that left the Pacers on their heels most of the night. Flat-footed on defense and impatient on offense, the Pacers settled for far too many early jumpers. Their only surge was a seven-point run late in the second quarter that cut the deficit to 42-39 but the Sixers took a 45-39 lead into the break.

    After shooting 29.2 percent in the first half, the Pacers actually managed to get colder in the third period, going 6-of-23 (26.1 percent). Foster sparked another seven-point burst that cut the lead to 58-56 but the Pacers promptly missed their next 10 shots, including two good looks by Granger on consecutive possessions with the opportunity to tie the game, as the Sixers closed the period on an 11-2 run to take a 69-58 lead into the fourth.

    It was 72-60 when Murphy found the range from the perimeter to get the Pacers' biggest move of the game started. Williams made a 3-pointer, Granger finally broke his 0-of-13 drought with a driving three-point play and O'Neal followed with a strong driving dunk for another three-point play to give the visitors their first lead of the game, 75-74, with 4:44 remaining. But the Sixers, who made just one basket in the first eight minutes of the quarter, made just enough plays to recover while the Pacers soon went cold again.

    After Williams' layup gave the Pacers an 82-81 lead with 2:40 left, Smith finished a fast-break with a dunk and Miller hit a step-back jumper over Granger to put Philadelphia up 85-82 with 1:25 remaining. Granger missed a forced drive into heavy traffic. Though the Sixers didn't score on their next possession, they came up with a critical offensive rebound that eluded the grasp of Darrell Armstrong and didn't relinquish possession until 18.9 seconds remained. Dunleavy then missed a 3-pointer badly and Smith, fouled immediately, wrapped it up at the line.


    TIDBITS
  • Iguodala missed just the second game of his career with a sore lower back, ending a streak of 232 consecutive appearances, all starts.
  • Korver missed his second game in a row with a slight tendon tear in his right wrist, while Indianapolis native Rodney Carney was unable to play against former Memphis teammate Williams because of a sore left knee.
  • Jamaal Tinsley missed his third game in a row with a right elbow injury.
  • While both were pursuing a long rebound, Armstrong and Williams collided and tumbled hard to the floor with 1:40 left, but both remained in the game.