IKE DIOGU
Led team in scoring and rebounding off the bench, recording 14 points and nine boards.
JERMAINE O'NEAL
"How did it feel? Not good. I played on one leg tonight. But this time of year you just give all that you can give. My explosion is just zapped. I’m not at a level that I need to be at to help this team right now. You just have to gauge it. If it gets to a point where you can’t do the things you usually do and you’re not helping the team, then at that point you just have to step back a little.”
Points in the Paint:
Spurs 40, Pacers 30
Fast-break points:
Pacers 14, Spurs 13
2nd-chance points:
Pacers 19, Spurs 9
Points off turnovers:
Spurs 18, Pacers 15
Starters scoring:
Spurs 62, Pacers 34
Bench scoring:
Pacers 38, Spurs 28
Including his 5-of-15 effort Wednesday night, Jermaine O'Neal has gone 16-of-51 from the field (31.4 percent) in the last three games.
The Pacers open a three-game homestand Friday against Shaquille O'Neal and the surging Miami Heat (7 p.m., FSN-Indiana).
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  • SAN ANTONIO 90, INDIANA 72
    Punchless Pacers Routed By Spurs

    At San Antonio | March 21, 2007


    The two teams that share the NBA's longest streak of consecutive playoff appearances met Wednesday night in AT&T Center. That number, nine, is about all the Pacers and Spurs share these days – and they may not even have that much longer.

    Tim Duncan scored 22 of his 27 points in the second and third periods, when San Antonio outscored Indiana 53-28 to blow open the game on the way to a 90-72 rout.

    The loss was the ninth in a row on the road and 13th in 14 games overall for the Pacers (30-37), who nonetheless remained ninth in the Eastern Conference, one-half game behind seventh-place New Jersey (31-37). The Pacers, who dropped to 11-23 on the road, also lost their fifth in a row in San Antonio.

    The Spurs (47-20) snapped a two-game losing streak but won for the 14th time in 16 games while improving to 23-9 at home.


    PLUSES

    Jermaine O'Neal, ruled out of the game after tweaking a troublesome left knee injury in the fourth quarter of Tuesday's 86-76 loss at Houston, opted to give it a go but was only a shell of himself, shooting 5-of-15 from the floor and producing 10 points, six rebounds and six turnovers. The only effective offensive performers were Ike Diogu, who had teams highs of 14 points and nine rebounds in 20 minutes off the bench, and Troy Murphy, who had 10 points in 25 minutes. Mike Dunleavy scored 11 on 5-of-9 shooting.
    MINUSES
    Jamaal Tinsley lost his temper late in the second quarter and drew an automatic ejection for throwing the ball off the playing surface in protest of an offensive foul call. On a night when the Pacers needed every weapon they could muster, that was a particularly costly lapse by a veteran player. Indiana shot 35.4 percent from the field, missed all six of its 3-point attempts and had more turnovers (15) than assists (10). The offense failed to break 80 points for the second game in a row.

    The defense couldn't deal with Duncan, who finished with 27 points in 30 minutes, making 11-of-16 shots and adding seven rebounds, three assists, two steals and two blocks. Francisco Elson posted a season-high 14 points on 6-of-8 shooting, while Tony Parker and Matt Bonner scored 10 apiece. The Spurs shot 48.6 percent and had 25 assists on 34 field goals.


    MOMENTS
    The Pacers actually got off to a nice start, putting together a 13-2 run spanning the first and second periods to build a 26-17 lead. That's when Duncan simply took over, scoring 12 of the Spurs' next 13 points to ignite a 21-3 run that pushed the home team into a 38-29 lead. Tinsley was ejected during that run with 3:59 left in the half.

    Regaining their balance, the Pacers crept back to 46-43 after consecutive fast-break baskets from Danny Granger and Dunleavy early in the third, but the Spurs immediately countered with a devastating 20-4 burst, with the first 13 points coming from Elson and Manu Ginobili. Outscoring the Pacers 53-28 in the second and third periods, the Spurs took a 70-50 lead into the fourth. Indiana shot 10-of-36 (27.8 percent) and committed 11 turnovers in the middle two periods.


    TIDBITS
  • The Pacers concluded their Western Conference road schedule with a 4-11 mark.
  • Rookie Shawne Williams enjoyed a reunion with his former Memphis University teammates. The Tigers, in San Antonio for the NCAA Tournament's Sweet 16, shared the same hotel with the Pacers.
  • Jeff Foster, battling back spasms, was in the starting lineup again but did not score and managed six rebounds in 20 minutes.
  • After Tinsley's ejection, little-used Keith McLeod stepped into the first-unit point guard role and wound up playing 19 scoreless minutes.