Inside the Game: Suns 129, Pacers 122 (OT) 080709

Returning to the rotation with a flourish, the second-year forward scored 22 points in 29 minutes, making 9-of-12 shots and pulling five rebounds before fouling out.

"The effort was exceptional. It was very disappointing to lose. I thought we competed. The injuries to Kareem (Rush) and Travis (Diener) hurt our depth and we were basing our whole tempo on depth and that kind of set us back. We had to play some guys a little longer than we had wanted to."

  • Points in the paint: Pacers 48, Suns 40
  • Fast-break points: Pacers 18, Suns 16
  • Second-chance points: Pacers 22, Suns 12
  • Points off turnovers: Pacers 15, Suns 14
  • Starters scoring: Suns 92, Pacers 75
  • Bench scoring: Pacers 47, Suns 37

  • Indiana enjoyed a 35-7 advantage in bench points in the first half, but Phoenix's reserves won the rest of the game 30-12.

    The Pacers will remain in Phoenix for two days of practice before heading to Sacramento to face Brad Miller and the Kings Saturday (10 p.m., FSN-Indiana, WFNI-AM 1070)

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  • PHOENIX 129, INDIANA 122 (OT)

    Pacers can't hold off Suns

    At Phoenix | Jan. 9, 2008

    With his teammates struggling to make shots down the stretch, Jamaal Tinsley took over. Only this time, the veteran point guard ran out of gas before he could get the Pacers to the finish line.

    Missing their final 11 shots of regulation and scoring just one point in the final 5½ minutes of the fourth quarter to leave the door open for the Suns to rally and force overtime, the Pacers couldn't recover and dropped a 129-122 decision in Phoenix Wednesday night.

    Tinsley took 13 of the team's final 14 shots, the last three of regulation and 10 of 11 in overtime; the only other shot was a tip-in of a Tinsley miss by Mike Dunleavy. Though Tinsley is often capable of breaking out of a bad shooting night when the pressure is on, it didn't happen this time. He wound up 8-of-26 from the field, missing all seven of his 3-point attempts

    "The effort was exceptional," said Coach Jim O'Brien. "It was very disappointing to lose. I thought we competed. The injuries to Kareem (Rush) and Travis (Diener) hurt our depth and we were basing our whole tempo on depth and that kind of set us back. We had to play some guys a little longer than we had wanted to. I thought Jeff (Foster) and Troy Murphy did a great job holding down the middle by themselves. So, disappointing (but) a good, hard effort by our ballclub."

    The Pacers played without Jermaine O'Neal, who rested his sore left knee, so O'Brien went with a small lineup giving Rush his first start of the season with Dunleavy, Danny Granger and Foster up front. Rush scored 14 but was unable to finish the game after landing hard on his back when fouled by Amare Stoudemire late in the third quarter. Diener emerged from the end of the bench to score a season-high 12 points in 14 minutes but he, too, was knocked out of the game when he sprained his right ankle late in the third.

    Despite a generally strong performance, the Pacers (16-21) lost their third in a row and eighth in nine games. Their road losing streak extended to seven, and they've dropped the last six meetings with the Suns (25-10).

    Phoenix started without small forward Grant Hill, who underwent emergency appendectomy surgery earlier in the day and will miss 2-3 weeks, and finished without point guard Steve Nash, who was limited to just 24 minutes by a stomach virus.

    Shawne Williams made a case for increased playing time by scoring 22 points in 29 minutes off the bench, hitting 9-of-12 shots. Danny Granger also scored 22 and pulled 11 rebounds. Tinsley finished with 19 points and 11 assists. Dunleavy and Rush scored 14 apiece while Murphy (15) and Foster (11) combined for 26 rebounds.

    Raja Bell led the Suns with 27, including a pair of huge 3-pointers in overtime, the second of which put the home team ahead to stay. Leandro Barbosa scored 27 off the bench, Stoudemire 25 with 11 rebounds and Shawn Marion 23 with 12 rebounds.

    After controlling most of the game and leading by as many as 16 points (85-69) in the third period, the Pacers led 111-105 with 5:31 left after a Granger 3-pointer but wouldn't make another basket until overtime. Stoudemire's tough fallaway in the lane with 26 seconds tied it and Tinsley missed the potential game-winner, a jumper over Marion.

    After Bell's final 3-pointer made it 122-120 with 1:30 left in overtime, Stoudemire drew fouls on three straight possessions, making five-of-six from the line and Tinsley couldn't answer at the other end.

  • O'Neal sat out his seventh game of the season. He missed five in a row in late November with swelling in the knee and after a strong surge upon his initial return his game has been wracked by inconsistency. In the previous 10 games he has averaged 14.4 points on .393 shooting; in the previous four the numbers dropped to 9.3 points and .378 shooting.
  • The teams combined to attempt 66 shots from the 3-point line, making 24.
  • The Pacers dropped to 7-4 in the second game of back-to-back sets. They're 2-9 in the first game.
  • Indiana dropped to 9-4 when Granger scores at least 20.