As he looked ahead to next season, Mike Dunleavy pondered the number that he'd get stuck on in 2008-09. "Hopefully 50," he said. That would be particularly bad news for the Knicks. Dunleavy matched his career high once again, scoring 36 for the fifth time this season – and third against the Knicks -- in leading a 132-123 victory in the regular-season finale Wednesday before a sellout crowd of 18,165 on Fan Appreciation Night in Conseco Fieldhouse. "Michael's stuck on 36; I think he has a ceiling," said Coach Jim O'Brien with a laugh. "As long as he keeps getting 36, that'll be fine." Though Dunleavy's big game and the victory lightened the mood, it did little to ease the team's frustration at a second consecutive season without a playoff berth. Though Jermaine O'Neal and Jamaal Tinsley combined to miss 83 games, crippling the starting lineup, O'Brien still believed the postseason was within reach. More
What was left of the playoff race came to a screeching halt just short of the finish line Monday night. Though severely shorthanded, Washington got an astonishing 70 points from its reserves and dominated most of the way in a 117-110 victory that eliminated the Pacers from playoff contention. Indiana failed to qualify for the postseason for the second year in a row, the first time that's happened since the 1987-88 and '88-89 seasons. "We're very disappointed we didn't make the playoffs," said Coach Jim O'Brien. "That's why you play. You play to go to the postseason and any year you don't make the playoffs you're very disappointed."
Down 11 with 7:08 remaining, the Pacers rallied, closed to 101-100 on Travis Diener's 3-pointer with 1:03 remaining, and Conseco Fieldhouse as jumping. Poised on the brink of an opportunity to put hot breath on the necks of the eighth-place Hawks, the Pacers instead ran out of steam as Charlotte held on for a 107-103 victory Saturday before 14,265 in Conseco Fieldhouse. "With Atlanta losing (99-89 to Boston), the table was set," said Coach Jim O'Brien. "We just did not get it done." The Pacers had their four-game win streak snapped by a Bobcats team that was quicker to the glass (20 offensive rebounds leading to 25 second-chance points) and into the lane (drawing 27 fouls leading to 43 free throws). After Diener's 3-pointer, Pacers missed three of their final four shots while the Bobcats went 6-of-8 from the line. More
A stomach virus swept through the Pacers locker room, hitting no fewer than seven players (not to mention two assistant coaches) and forcing Coach Jim O'Brien to cancel the team's shootaround Friday morning. Their legs, though weakened, did not buckle. With Danny Granger scoring 22 of his 30 points in the second half to carry the offense while pulling 12 rebounds and blocking two shots to help anchor a stout defense, the Pacers shut down one of the hottest teams in the Eastern Conference, beating the 76ers 85-76 Friday night in the Wachovia Center for their fourth straight victory. More
With the game in hand and Jim O'Brien up off the bench shouting "no foul, no foul," Danny Granger couldn't help himself. With high-flying Josh Childress soaring in for a meaningless but potentially spectacular dunk in the closing seconds, Granger rose up, met Childress at his apex and snuffed the stuff. It was a point well made. In the eyes of many, it might be over, but the Pacers aren't done. Facing elimination from the playoff race with a loss, the Pacers postponed Atlanta's postseason party with a resounding 112-98 victory Tuesday in Conseco Fieldhouse. Flip Murray led the way with his best performance with Indiana, scoring 20 points in 7-of-11 shooting and adding 10 assists, dominating his matchup with Atlanta's Mike Bibby, who missed all eight of his shots and had just two assists in 27 minutes. More
Down 10 entering the fourth quarter, their normally reliable shooting touch gone, their dwindling playoff hopes fading into the mist, the Pacers were in need of something big. It was provided by the smallest man on the roster. Travis Diener scored 15 of his 18 points in the fourth quarter, adding three assists, a steal and a charge taken, as the Pacers quickly turned the game around and beat Milwaukee 105-97 before 12,107 Sunday in Conseco Fieldhouse to complete a weekend home-and-home sweep of the Bucks.
"He had a terrific fourth quarter, not only offensively but defensively, too," said O'Brien. "He was the spark we needed and we really needed a spark." It marked the third time this season the Pacers have overcome a double-digit fourth-quarter deficit to win.
They still need help to make the playoffs, quite a bit of it, in fact, but the Pacers did what they could to help themselves with a 105-101 victory over the Bucks in the Bradley Center Friday night. With Mike Dunleavy scoring 12 of his 27 points in the fourth quarter, including a pair of clutch 3-pointers and two-thirds of an unusual but important three-point play, the Pacers held off repeated Milwaukee challenges, led wire-to-wire and kept their postseason hopes alive. Of the eight Pacers who played, six score in double figures and a seventh, Jeff Foster, was one point shy of a double-double.
If there was a message sent, it didn't come from the Pacers. It came from the Celtics and went something like this: be careful what you wish for. Hoping to secure a victory to not only help their postseason chances but build confidence should they climb into the eighth spot and earn a first-round matchup with the Celtics, the Pacers didn't come close to accomplishing either goal, trailing wire-to-wire in a 92-77 loss Wednesday in TD Banknorth Garden. Riding an offensive hot streak entering the game, scoring at least 100 points in the previous nine games and averaging 113.8 in the previous six, the Pacers produced their second-lowest point total of the season, shot .356 from the field and were 6-of-29 (.207) from the 3-point line.
The first 30 seconds were a little rough, a travel on a post-up on the offensive end, a foul on the defensive end. From then on, however, Jermaine O'Neal looked much more like, well, Jermaine O'Neal. Playing his first game since Jan. 16, O'Neal totaled 18 minutes off the bench and produced nine points, two rebounds, two assists and a blocked shot as the Pacers routed the D-League All-Star team posing as the Miami Heat, 105-85, Monday in Conseco Fieldhouse. "It's great to have Jermaine back," said Coach Jim O'Brien. "I thought he played really well. He probably thought he was rusty but he did some good things at both ends of the court. He's such a specimen – his quickness, speed, size. More
For much of the year, it has been a common source for criticism. With the season on the line, it earned the praise. Shutting down the Nets in the fourth quarter with one of their best defensive performances of the year, the Pacers pulled away to beat New Jersey 123-115 Friday before 13,282 on Sixth Man Night in Conseco Fieldhouse. "I thought our defense won the game for us," said Coach Jim O'Brien. "We really sat down and took pride in keeping the ball in front of us (in the fourth quarter). Our guys really took ownership of the defense." Holding a perilous 92-91 lead entering the fourth quarter, the Pacers limited the Nets to three baskets in the first 11 minutes of the quarter, and then made their free throws down the stretch to keep their playoff hopes alive.
It wasn't a knockout blow for the Pacers' postseason hopes, but Wednesday's 124-117 loss to the Nets in New Jersey left them squarely on the ropes. Though Mike Dunleavy scored 33 and Danny Granger helped spark a third-quarter rally before heading to the bench with foul trouble, the Pacers couldn't contain the Nets, who had four players score at least 20 points including a season-high 26 from Josh Boone. Their second loss in a row left the Pacers with a 29-43 record, 2½ games behind eighth-place Atlanta (31-40) and 2 games behind the ninth-place Nets (31-41). More
“I thought we battled hard. We just couldn’t overcome two great players, (Chris) Paul and (David) West. It’s tough to come back on a very, very good basketball team like that." (On the Nets) "Every game we play is key against teams that are bunched up." (on Shawne Williams) "I thought he played well defensively. In the last week he is becoming the player we expect him to be. I’m very pleased with what Shawne is giving us right now." (on David West) "He’s just a great player and I don’t use that word lightly. And Paul is an MVP candidate.” More
A couple of little-used elements – defense and Shawne Williams – gave the Pacers a stirring 108-101 comeback victory over the Bulls in Chicago Saturday night.And it gave them so much more. The Pacers (29-41) extended their winning streak to four games, the longest in more than two years. They moved into a ninth-place tie with New Jersey in the Eastern Conference playoff race, with two games against the Nets looming next week. They remained 1½ games behind eighth-place Atlanta (30-39). They pushed the Bulls (27-42) into the rear-view mirror for now, at least. And for the sixth time this season, they overcame a double-digit deficit to win. More
With Danny Granger joining the All-Star cast of absentees – albeit temporarily – with a sprained right wrist, the Pacers were running short of conventional options. Luckily for them, some unconventional methods provided much-needed compensation. Getting 38 points combined from one guy that had played a total of six minutes in the previous nine games and another that wasn't on the roster three weeks ago, the Pacers built a 13-point lead with 5:24 remaining and hung on in the face of yet another furious Charlotte rally to survive the Bobcats 102-95 Wednesday in Conseco Fieldhouse. "We don't make it easy on ourselves against anyone," said Coach Jim O'Brien. More
It took a minute, but the Dallas Mavericks appear to have adjusted nicely to the return of Jason Kidd. They lost five of their first nine after acquiring Kidd from the New Jersey Nets in a blockbuster trade-deadline deal but Friday's 116-97 rout of the visiting Pacers in American Airlines Center was their fourth blowout in a row, with an average victory margin of 23.3 points.
The Pacers (25-40) last their fourth in five games and fell two games behind New Jersey and Atlanta, who share eighth place at 27-38. “They were outstanding from the standpoint of shooting the basketball," said Pacers Coach Jim O'Brien. "All night, we had no answer defensively for them.” More
When a team loses three in a row and actually gains ground in a playoff race, anything is indeed possible. The Pacers, 2½ games out of eighth place when the skid started and 2 back when it reached three, took a more conventional approach Tuesday night, beating Seattle 114-107 to clip another half-game, from the deficit. Mike Dunleavy bounced back from a second-quarter ankle sprain to score 32 points, Danny Granger added 23 and David Harrison had a career-high six blocked shots off the bench as the Pacers (25-39) moved 1½ games back of eighth-place Atlanta. "We believe that we're in a playoff race," said Coach Jim O'Brien. "We lost three games in a row and gained ground." More
This quick trip is often referred to as the "Texas two-step." It felt more like a forced march than a dance for the Pacers, who once again fell victim to one of the league's hottest teams, losing 108-97 Thursday in San Antonio. After the Rockets extended their NBA-high winning streak to 16 with a 117-99 win over Indiana Wednesday night, the Spurs (43-17) won their 11th in a row.
The Pacers (24-38) lost their second in a row overall and sixth straight in San Antonio. "The Spurs are a heck of a basketball team and that’s why they are the defending champions. We played a tough game last night and just didn’t have what it took to beat the Spurs," said Coach Jim O'Brien. More
Yao? Yo. A season-ending injury to All-Star center Yao Ming hasn't stopped the Rockets and neither could the Pacers. With Tracy McGrady dominating the first half and a variety of players chipping in throughout the second, Houston set a franchise record with its 16th consecutive victory by routing the Pacers 117-99 Wednesday night in Toyota Center. The Rockets (40-20) have gone 4-0 since the left foot injury to Yao, winning by an average margin of 19.5 points. The Pacers (24-37) had a two-game winning streak snapped and face another hot team on the road Thursday night in San Antonio, as the Spurs have won 10 in a row. More
With a lingering scar from the early-season gash on his upper lip and the new cut on his lower lip, courtesy of a collision with the Bucks' Michael Redd Sunday night, Mike Dunleavy is taking on the look of a boxer. You should see the other guy. Matching his career-high 36 for the second game in a row, Dunleavy once again was the spearhead of a potent offensive attack as the Pacers rolled up a season-high point total in routing Milwaukee 128-106 Sunday. "We stayed aggressive from start to finish and played our regular game," said Dunleavy, who has averaged 27.8 points in the last six games. More
It seems the Pacers just needed a little more adversity. There certainly was plenty available. Missing three starters thanks to the NBA's decision to suspend leading scorer Danny Granger for one game for throwing an elbow at Chicago's Andres Nocioni Wednesday night, the Pacers turned to Mike Dunleavy, who hit six 3-pointers and tied his career high with 36 points to lead a 122-111 victory over the Raptors Friday in Air Canada Center. "This makes everybody in that locker room very happy," said Coach Jim O'Brien. "Our guys have been fighting through some difficulties lately and to see them step up on the road against a good basketball team and win is a great feeling. I'm very proud of them." More
Larry Hughes and Ben Gordon took care of the second quarter. Hughes was the man in the third. Andres Nocioni then took over in the fourth. With game-changing performances from a variety of reserves, the Bulls simply had too much for the Pacers in a 113-107 victory Wednesday in Conseco Fieldhouse. With Hughes racking up a game-high 29 to lead the way, Chicago enjoyed a 67-19 advantage in second-unit scoring – 23-0 in the fourth quarter. "They're very talented," said Coach Jim O'Brien of the Bulls' second unit. "We're 0-3 against Cleveland and two of the starters that but us three times (Hughes and Drew Gooden) are now coming off their bench along with Ben Gordon and Andres Nocioni and a player I respect a lot, Chris Duhon, didn't even play. They're very athletic, very deep and they have a toughness to their team." More
One of these days, the big shot is going to fall. The either-or call is going to go their way. And the Pacers will win one of these down-to-the-wire games that have become recurring exercises in frustration. Monday wasn't that day. Marquis Daniels scored 20 points in the final 16½ minutes, including six in a row in the final 90 seconds, to bring the Pacers to the brink but they once again fell short as Kareem Rush's potential tying 3-pointer missed with 11 seconds left and Toronto escaped with a 102-98 victory in Conseco Fieldhouse. "I thought we really competed our hearts out in the second half, stepping up, taking charges," said Coach Jim O'Brien. "We played a good basketball team and never gave up and it's disappointing that we should lose that." More
A big game from a young point guard. Explosive performances from both wing players. Solid defense in the second half.
The formula worked so well for the Pacers in a 10-point victory over New Jersey Friday night, the Nets figured they'd give it a try.
With Richard Jefferson and Vince Carter combining for 60 points, Marcus Williams dishing a career-high 13 assists, and the defense limiting Indiana to .398 shooting, including 9-of-29 from the arc, the Nets returned the favor with a 102-91 victory Saturday night in the Izod Center to split the home-and-home back-to-back set with the Pacers.The seventh-place Nets (25-31) re-established a three-game lead over the 11th-place Pacers (22-34) in the Eastern Conference playoff standings. More
The Pacers scored just one basket in the final 6:39 of the game … and didn't even need that one, as it turned out.
With Mike Dunleavy sparking the offense with 34 points and the team adopting a more aggressive defensive stance, the Pacers rolled up a 17-point lead and coasted home for a 113-103 victory over the Nets before 11,930 Friday night in Conseco Fieldhouse.
Dunleavy had been battling a lengthy slump in which he had shot .368 overall and just 8-of-40 from the 3-point line in his previous eight games, but broke out with 11-of-20 shooting, including 4-of-6 from the 3-point line. Dunleavy scored 20 in the second half, 13 in the fourth quarter. More
The All-Star break might've given the Pacers fresher legs but the same, tired problem recurred in their first game back.
Leading 94-92 with 5:11 to play, they missed six straight shots and nine of their final 10 as Cleveland finished with a 14-3 run to claim a 106-97 victory Wednesday before 13,096 in Conseco Fieldhouse. “This was another game that we could have won," said Danny Granger, who scored 30. "We choked and made bad plays during the stretch at the end. They hit shots when they needed to. We didn’t. … I am sick of it. We have got to get rid of it." It has become a frustratingly familiar refrain as the Pacers (21-33) lost their third in a row and 10th in 12 games. Within the last month, they've lost seven games after leading or trailing by less than four points in the fourth quarter. More
The Pacers had no problems at all in the fourth quarter, for a change. The first three, however, were a different matter.
Falling behind by eight in the first, 14 in the second and 26 in the third, all the Pacers could win was garbage time as the Pistons cruised to their 10th straight victory, 96-80, Wednesday in The Palace of Auburn Hills. Detroit swept the season series for the first time since the 1984-85 season. Indiana heads into the All-Star break with a 21-32 record, still within striking distance of a playoff berth in the Eastern Conference but heading the wrong direction. The Pacers have dropped two in a row, nine of 11 and 19 of 25 after a 15-13 start. More
Time and again, they've shown they can hang with the best teams in the league up to a point, but the Pacers have yet to prove they possess that necessary finishing kick to break the tape. Trailing the NBA's best team by one with 3:08 remaining, the Pacers produced just one point – that the result of a defensive three-second violation against Boston – while the Celtics pulled away for a 104-97 victory Tuesday before 13,603 in Conseco Fieldhouse. "We didn't make the best of decisions and we missed a couple of shots right at the basket that would've turned the tide," said Coach Jim O'Brien. "But, they found a way to win and we didn't, so we move on." The Pacers (21-31) had their two-game winning streak snapped and lost for the eighth time in 10 games with another major challenge facing them Wednesday night in Detroit against a Pistons team riding an NBA-long nine-game winning streak. More
The confluence of circumstances was frightening. Leading by three points at halftime, the Pacers played the third period without three injured starters, shot 4-of-16 from the floor and missed all six of their 3-point attempts. Rather than collapsing under the weight of their offensive woes, the Pacers dug in and played their best defense in weeks – possibly months – and actually extended their lead to eight, which represented the final margin in a 101-93 victory over Portland Saturday before 14,130 in Conseco Fieldhouse. The Blazers shot 5-of-17 and committed nine turnovers in the third period. As a result, the Pacers (21-30) have their first winning streak, albeit a modest two games, since winning three straight from Dec. 15-19. More
Running out of point guards, not to mention viable offensive options, the Pacers needed some help from unusual sources. They got just what they needed from Kareem Rush, Marquis Daniels and a team defense that finally stood firm down the stretch.
Rush scored 11 of his 24 points in the fourth quarter, including the final two baskets in a 13-3 run that turned a five-point deficit into a five-point lead with 1:26 left. Moved to the point because of injuries to Travis Diener and Jamaal Tinsley, Daniels scored nine of his 13 in the final period, hitting a pair of 3-pointers to spark the comeback, and played a vital role in quelling a potential offensive eruption from New York's Jamal Crawford, as the Pacers beat the Knicks 103-100 Wednesday night in Madison Square Garden. The Pacers (20-30) snapped a seven-game losing streak while the Knicks (14-35) lost their seventh in a row. Indiana has won three in a row in the Garden for the first time ever. More
The first sign of trouble actually came at the end of the first quarter when the Pacers, despite a stunning 15-of-19 shooting performance, led by just two points. The second sign came at halftime when the Pacers, despite shooting .676, found themselves in a 59-all tie. When the shots stopped falling, the trouble started, and never really finished. Breaking open the game in the third quarter by holding the previously hot Pacers to nine points and 4-of-22 shooting, San Antonio cruised to a 116-89 victory Tuesday in Conseco Fieldhouse. The most lopsided loss of the season punctuated the Pacers' seventh consecutive loss – the longest skid since last year's 11-gamer – and dropped Indiana to 19-30. San Antonio, playing the fourth of a nine-game, 17-day trip, improved to 30-16 overall, 4-0 on the road against Eastern Conference teams. More
The frustrating trend that has wrecked a homestand, and possibly much, much more, continued for the Pacers Saturday night in Conseco Fieldhouse. Playing well most of the game, in position to win with plenty of time remaining, they couldn't come up with either of the ingredients that lead to victories in close games – big shots or key stops – and wound up falling 121-115 to the Orlando Magic. It was the sixth loss in a row and 16th in 20 games for the Pacers (19-29) while Orlando (31-18) won its fourth straight and seventh in eight games. "They shot lights-out. They shot great," said Pacers Coach Jim O'Brien. "We didn't do enough defensively to stop a great offensive team. We just did not have enough at the defensive end for them." In a matchup of the two highest-scoring teams in the Eastern Conference, the Magic prevailed because they had an inside presence to complement their perimeter game. More
The difference between the quality of competition in the Eastern and Western Conferences may be no more apparent than in the plight of the Houston Rockets. Led by elite talents Yao Ming and Tracy McGrady, the Rockets improved to 26-20 with their 106-103 victory over the Pacers Friday in Conseco Fieldhouse. That record would put the Rockets squarely in the battle for homecourt advantage in the East. In the West, however, they aren't even in playoff position. "I'm sure they wish they were in Houston, Pennsylvania, or wherever, to be in the East," said Pacers Coach Jim O'Brien. "They're formidable." So much so, in fact, that on a night when Yao and McGrady were well-defended and combined to shoot just 10-of-31 from the field, the Rockets were able to turn to Purdue rookie forward Carl Landry, who scored a career-high 22 points, 13 in the fourth quarter, to serve as the difference-maker. More
Whenever the Pacers found a spark, Rasheed Wallace was there to snuff it out. Wallace scored 24 points, 17 in a 6½-minute stretch bridging the second and third periods, and blocked three shots – including two big ones in the closing minutes – as Detroit held off Indiana 110-104 before 12,572 Tuesday in Conseco Fieldhouse. "He's a great player," said Pacers Coach Jim O'Brien of Wallace. "He's one of the premier big men in the NBA. He generally doesn't get the recognition that he deserves. He's an indispensable part of their team and even though he isn't always on the All-Star team, to me, I think he's one of the top three big men in the East and very, very difficult for anyone to defend." The Pacers led 53-43 late in the second quarter when Wallace took off, scoring 11 in a 14-point run that gave the Pistons their first lead, 57-55. As it turned out, they wouldn't give it back. More
Having demonstrated a remarkable proficiency for enabling opponents of all shapes, sizes and levels of competence to bust their slumps, the Pacers have created a new challenge: how to bust their own. With Dwyane Wade scoring 22 of his 35 points in the second half, Miami overcame an 11-point deficit to beat the Pacers 98-96 Saturday evening to snap a 15-game losing streak just two shy of the franchise's all-time record. For the Pacers (19-26), the 13th loss in 17 games represented a new low because it established them as the only team in the NBA with losses to the league's four worst teams: the Heat, Timberwolves, Sonics and Grizzlies. Indiana's three-game losing streak has come against teams that entered their respective games with a combined record of 40-83 (Chicago was 16-24, Milwaukee 16-26, Miami 8-33). More
What the Pacers lack in individual star-power they are designed to compensate for with collective productivity. It hasn't worked out that way lately. One night after Kirk Hinrich torched them for a career-high 38 points as the Bulls pulled away in the fourth quarter for a 13-point victory, Michael Redd ignited for 37 as the Bucks followed the same pattern, dominating the closing minutes in a 104-92 victory Thursday in the Bradley Center. "Tight ballgame up until the beginning of the fourth quarter and we didn't have what it took to get a W against these guys," said Coach Jim O'Brien. "I thought we played hard as heck, we just didn't have what was necessary in the fourth quarter to beat them. I thought we did a good job of hustling and communicating defensively but that's not good enough." The Pacers (19-25) lost their second in a row and 12th in 16 games, while Milwaukee (17-26) snapped a three-game losing streak largely thanks to Redd. More
A Chicago team struggling for offense, playing without its two leading scorers, turned to its last option. Against an increasingly defenseless Indiana team, Kirk Hinrich delivered in a big way. Perhaps shaking out of what has been his worst overall season with one of his best games, Hinrich racked up a career-high 38 points, 12 in the fourth quarter as the Bulls pulled away for a 108-95 victory Wednesday in the United Center. The Pacers (19-24) dug an early hole by yielding a 17-point run to the Bulls (17-24) in the second quarter. Indiana cut the deficit to 79-77 early in the fourth quarter but Hinrich took over, scoring 12 points on 5-of-5 shooting and adding five assists in the final 9½ minutes as the Bulls stretched out the lead. More
Kareem Rush scored a season-high 25 points and Mike Dunleavy added 24 to help the Indiana Pacers beat the Philadelphia 76ers 110-103 on Monday. Danny Granger had 18 points and Troy Murphy, who left with a sore left knee, added 13. Jamaal Tinsley had 13 assists and Jeff Foster grabbed 10 rebounds for the Pacers, who moved into a tie with New Jersey for the eighth spot in the Eastern Conference standings. Andre Iguodala led the Sixers with 23 points and Andre Miller had 21. Samuel Dalembert had 13 rebounds. But it wasn't enough for the Sixers, who flopped at the free throw line. While Indiana stretched its lead on 14 3-pointers, the Sixers couldn't seriously make a run because it made just 21 of 34 free throws. Iguodala went 11-for-13 from the line, but Louis Williams was only 2-for-6 and wasted an otherwise steady 14-point effort off the bench. More
For the second game in a row, the Pacers rallied from a double-digit deficit in the fourth quarter. This time, however, they couldn't finish the deal. Scoring 11 in a row to cut a 99-86 deficit to 99-97, the Pacers had a chance to tie when Danny Granger pulled up for an open mid-range baseline jumper but it rimmed out and Sacramento was able to escape with a 110-104 victory Saturday night before 14,015 in Conseco Fieldhouse. “We got behind early, couldn’t seem to get back to where we wanted be," said Jamaal Tinsley, who returned to the starting lineup with 13 assists. "We’ve got to figure out how to stop getting ourselves in these deep holes. One thing that we know we have to do and we haven’t is play 48 minutes on both ends of the floor, on both sides of the ball. We’ve got to finish what we start.” More
Rarely has a game been so similar, and yet completely different, than its predecessor. The visiting team controlled most of the way before the previously listless home team suddenly came to life, wiping out a big deficit to pull out a surprising victory. There was even an ill-advised flagrant foul by a visiting player thrown in as if to underline the thoroughness of the role-reversal. Sunday, it was Golden State coming back on the visiting Pacers for a 106-101 victory. This time, however, Indiana produced the rally that left the Warriors feeling victimized. Kareem Rush, Danny Granger and Mike Dunleavy sparked a huge fourth-quarter comeback, combining for 41 of the team's 46 points as the Pacers wiped out a 14-point deficit to beat the Warriors 125-117 Wednesday at Conseco Fieldhouse. More
The Pacers had the size, but the Warriors had the speed, which proved to be the decisive element in a matchup of two teams playing small-ball. Unable to contain guards Monta Ellis and Baron Davis, who combined to outscore Indiana's starting backcourt of Jamaal Tinsley and Kareem Rush 56-14, the Pacers lost an 11-point third-quarter lead and dropped a 106-101 decision to Golden State Sunday night in Oakland. The Pacers (17-22) went 1-4 on their longest road trip of the season but return home for the next two games, including a Wednesday rematch with the Warriors (22-16), who've won 22 of 32 after an 0-6 start. “I think we were running on fumes tonight," said Mike Dunleavy, who had 18 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists despite being booed every time he touched the ball in his first game back since being traded to the Pacers from Golden State last January. More
With the sudden change to a small lineup, it was somehow fitting the smallest of the Pacers played the biggest role.
Point guard Travis Diener continued his emergence as a sparkplug off the bench, racking up a career-high 19 points off the bench as the Pacers snapped a three-game losing streak with a 111-105 victory over the Kings Saturday night in Sacramento. "The opportunities haven't been here that much this year," said Diener, who had played sparingly until the lineup change. "I haven't really shot the ball that well. Tonight, I got a couple of shots going and it felt good. The key is we won the game and snapped the losing streak and hopefully we can string together some wins now. "It means a lot. We try to come out and play hard every night. We're going through a bad stretch but the guys competed in Phoenix and we had a chance to win that game. Tonight, we got up and they came back and we showed the character to make enough plays in the fourth quarter to win the game." More
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. More
If the Pacers were counting on Jamaal Tinsley's return to cure what ails them, they may need to seek a second opinion.
Though Tinsley was back in the starting lineup after a five-game absence due to a strained hamstring, the Pacers showed the same deficiencies that have contributed to the team's current funk – too many turnovers, too few free throws, flat spots in the defensive rotations and long lapses of lifeless play – in losing 111-89 at Utah Tuesday night. It was the second loss in a row and seventh in eight games for the Pacers (16-20), who play the third of their five-game road trip Wednesday night in Phoenix. Indiana has dropped six straight on the road after a promising 8-5 start. Utah (19-17) improved to 13-3 at home. More
The Pacers made enough of a run to get the Lakers' starters back in the game, but that's when the comeback stopped.
A 13-2 run against a lineup of Lakers reserves early in the fourth quarter cut what had been an 18-point deficit to 92-85 on Mike Dunleavy's 3-pointer with 6:17 remaining. But Coach Phil Jackson called a timeout, returned his starting lineup to the game, and the Lakers promptly responded with a 16-point run to quell Indiana's rally and seal a 112-96 victory Sunday in Staples Center. Kobe Bryant hit two quick jumpers to start the run and Derek Fisher filled it out with a trio of 3-point shots that pushed the Lakers to a 108-85 advantage as the Pacers went more than four minutes without scoring. More
Mike Dunleavy felt so good, he just couldn't help himself. Everything else was falling, so why not a 28-foot pull-up 3-pointer? It missed, barely, but that was one of the few things that didn't go right for the Pacers. Playing like this was a game they absolutely had to have – because they did – the Pacers rode Dunleavy's hot shooting to build a lead in the second quarter, then Danny Granger's slump-busting night to blow it open in the third period on their way to a 113-91 rout of Atlanta Friday in Conseco Fieldhouse. The victory snapped a five-game losing streak for the Pacers (16-19), who play nine of their next 11 games on the road beginning with a five-game Western Conference road trip that starts Sunday against the Lakers. The Hawks (15-15) lost their third in a row. Dunleavy, who had a double-double in the first half (15 points, 10 rebounds), finished with 23 points, 12 rebounds and three assists, hitting 9-of-12 shots including 4-of-6 from the 3-point line. More
It's getting difficult to identify the low point. It could've been blowing a 21-point lead to lose to a Minnesota team with the league's worst record. It could've been blowing a 13-point fourth-quarter lead to a Charlotte team that had lost 14 of 18. Those, at least, were on the road. This one, however, may have bottomed them all. The Pacers didn't blow a big lead because they were never able to build one in a 90-72 home loss Wednesday to a Memphis team that had: never won in 11 previous trips to Indianapolis; was riding a five-game losing streak; and had dropped 12 of its previous 14 games. "Every loss is disturbing and painful," said Coach Jim O'Brien. "It's our job to figure it out. Any time you lose five in a row, certainly we took a step back. But we will figure this situation out and be ready to play on Friday night (against Atlanta in Conseco Fieldhouse." More
For an idea of what life without Jamaal Tinsley will be like for the Pacers, look no farther than the fourth quarter of Saturday night's rematch with Detroit. Devoid of their primary playmaker, a player able to create for others or himself when all else fails, the Pacers searched for good shots and the right combinations. Ultimately, not enough were found. Holding the Pacers to just one basket in the final 5:42, Detroit pulled away down the stretch to take a 98-92 victory to complete a back-to-back doubleheaders sweep of Indiana before 14,960 in Conseco Fieldhouse. "They're a tough team to beat," said Pacers Coach Jim O'Brien. "We put ourselves in position to win the basketball game but came up short. (Richard) Hamilton hit a huge shot, which they tend to do in the clutch. It was a very solid performance in a loss." More
Facing the Pistons in Detroit at any time is a daunting task. Facing them at their absolute best proved a prohibitive challenge for the Pacers Friday night. Blowing open the game with a 40-point second quarter, the Pistons offered up a dominant performance in routing the Pacers 114-101 in The Palace of Auburn Hills. It was the seventh consecutive victory and 14th in 16 games for the Pistons (22-7), who have the second-best record in the NBA. The Pacers (15-15) lost their second in a row and third in four games with a redundant failing: the second quarter. Including the 40-22 mauling by the Pistons, the Pacers have been outscored 109-47 – an average of 20.7 points – in the second quarters of their last three losses (including 29-20 in Atlanta and 40-15 in Minnesota). More
Atlanta has been an easy target for visiting teams as it built the NBA's longest current streak of non-playoff seasons.
No more. The Hawks suddenly are winning at home, and such visiting teams as the Indiana Pacers can't help but notice. Joe Johnson scored 26 points to lead six scorers in double figures and the Hawks beat the Pacers 107-95 on Wednesday night for their first five-game winning streak in eight years. The Hawks have won six of their last seven home games to move to 10-6 in Atlanta. Among Eastern Conference teams, only Boston and Detroit have more home victories. "Teams are starting to realize it's not just a walk in the park to come to Atlanta and play in Philips Arena,'' said Josh Smith, who scored 11 of his 16 points in the final quarter as the Hawks turned back the Pacers' comeback attempts. More
Even before it began, there was a strong sense this was going to be one of those muckety games. Both teams were playing the second game of back-to-back sets and the visitors from Washington were fielding a desperately shorthanded lineup that was left with no choice but to play, well, desperately. The result was a game with the flow of traffic in front of a mall on the weekend before Christmas, and very nearly as frustrating. But thanks to timely shooting from Danny Granger and Kareem Rush, the Pacers did just enough to produce a 93-85 victory Saturday before 11,583 in Conseco Fieldhouse. Pacers Coach Jim O'Brien described it as "a grind-it-out win, a hard-fought ballgame by both teams." It was also the fourth win in five games for the Pacers (15-13), who got 25 points from Granger and 15 in 22 minutes off the bench from Rush.More
The Minnesota Timberwolves have been begging to see the Antoine Walker Shoulder Shimmy all season. With only three wins in their first 24 games, Walker never really had a chance to let it loose. He finally unveiled his trademark juke in the second quarter against Indiana on Friday night, and it spurred the young Wolves to an improbable comeback victory. Playing on a gimpy ankle, Walker made six 3-pointers and scored 23 points to help the lowly Timberwolves erase a 21-point deficit in their 131-118 win over the Pacers on Friday. "Just trying to get guys motivated,'' Walker said when he shimmied after hitting a 3-pointer to give the Wolves a 57-52 lead. "I don't want our season to go down the tubes. There's still a lot of games left.''More
Most every game lately, it seems, a different player is taking over. Mike Dunleavy in New York. Jamaal Tinsley in Miami. Kareem Rush against Chicago. This time, it was Marquis Daniels' turn in the spotlight. With Jamaal Tinsley sidelined with a deep thigh bruise, Daniels carried most of the minutes at point guard and produced 26 points, hit a career-high three 3-pointers – continuing the new "Quisy for threezy" call from legendary public address announcer Reb Porter – as the Pacers pulled away in the second half to beat Philadelphia 102-85 Wednesday in Conseco Fieldhouse. Holding the Sixers to .346 shooting while getting five double-figures scorers, the Pacers (14-12) won their third in a row and improved to 6-7 in Conseco Fieldhouse. They also gave O'Brien a victory in his first game against the Philadelphia franchise that fired him after a lone season in 2004-05 – the last time the 76ers have been to the playoffs.More
With Jermaine O'Neal in foul trouble, the Knicks refusing to wilt and a double-digit lead erased, the Pacers were getting close to a desperate need for a lift. That's when Mike Dunleavy simply took over. Dunleavy accounted for the Pacers' final 20 points of the third quarter, scoring 16 and assisting on the other two baskets, fueling a 20-8 run that broke New York's fragile will and sent Indiana on the way to a 119-92 rout Monday in Madison Square Garden. In all, Dunleavy scored 27 of his career-high 36 points in the second half and finished 13-of-18 from the field, adding seven rebounds and four assists in a stunningly dominant performance. It wasn't just a matter of getting hot from the perimeter; Dunleavy relentlessly attacked the basket, finishing with a variety of moves, including a couple of nifty reverses.More
Dwyane Wade is the guy with the shoe commercial heralding his ability to get back up after getting knocked down, but it was Jermaine O'Neal who did it when it mattered most. After taking a vicious elbow to the side of the head from Shaquille O'Neal on his way to the basket, the Pacers' O'Neal remained prone for several minutes, and then needed treatment on the bench – including dumping a cup of water on his head – to remain in the game. He then stepped to the line and made two huge free throws that gave the Pacers a 103-97 lead with 2:14 remaining. On the ensuing possession, he stepped into the path of the hard-charging Wade to draw an offensive foul, again tumbling hard to the floor – and this time heading straight to the locker room after getting up.More
There's hot, and there's Jason Kapono. When a guy catches the ball above his head in the corner and simply flicks it into the basket without ever bringing it down, there's not a lot a defense can do. That's what Kapono did on his final 3-pointer of the night that sealed Toronto's 104-93 comeback victory over the Pacers before 10,437 Friday in Conseco Fieldhouse. Kapono scored 25 of his 29 points in the second half and hit four 3-pointers in the fourth quarter as the Raptors put together an 18-0 run in the final 4:55 to frustrate Pacers (11-12), who missed seven shots in a row in that span. Toronto (14-10) won its fourth in a row.More
Certain things are inevitable. Death. Taxes. Kareem Rush's jumper. It just took a little longer than expected – OK, a lot longer – for that final inevitability to unfold. With Rush breaking out of a long shooting slump by scoring 22 points, 16 in the second half, the Pacers recovered from a dangerously slow start to rout the visiting Bulls 117-102 before 10,381 in Conseco Fieldhouse Wednesday night. "As a shooter, you’ve got to get rhythm and you’ve got to hit big-time shots," said Rush, who had shot 13-of-54 (.241) overall and 4-of-21 (.190) from the 3-point line in his previous 13 games. "My shots were falling tonight and I think this will give me the rhythm that I need."More
For one night, anyway, the Cavaliers had one of the best benches imaginable – and they made full use of their newfound wealth of depth. With LeBron James returning from a 5½-game absence as a reserve, joining Larry Hughes – another usual starter – on the second unit, Cleveland used two huge runs fueled by its suddenly explosive reserves to pull away from visiting Indiana for a 118-105 victory Tuesday night. The victory snapped a six-game losing streak for the Cavaliers (10-12), who pulled one-half game behind the Pacers (10-11) in the Central Division. Indiana played without starting center Jeff Foster, who was a late scratch due to back spasms that struck during pregame warmups.More
The final score might indicate otherwise, but defense was the decisive element. Holding Orlando to 42 points on 33.3 percent shooting while forcing 13 turnovers in the second half, the Pacers rallied from a 15-point deficit to beat the previously red-hot Magic 115-109 Friday in Amway Arena. It was the sixth win in nine games for the Pacers (10-10) but their first on the road against an Eastern Conference opponent. "(This win) means a lot, knowing we had a game at home where we could've beaten Phoenix (Tuesday) but we fell short," said Jamaal Tinsley. "Tonight, coming in and beating one of the top teams in the East, it means a lot to us. When we go out there and compete on the defensive end, we can win against anybody." More
There was much to like, unless you're a coach trying to teach your team how to win. Jermaine O'Neal had by far his best game of the season, with 30 points, 14-of-20 shooting and 11 rebounds. Jamaal Tinsley had yet another double-double with 19 points and 12 assists. Marquis Daniels and David Harrison brought a big lift from the bench, combining for 23 points. And the Pacers, in their first game back from a long Western Conference road trip, fought back from a 15-point deficit to put themselves in position to beat Phoenix, one of the NBA's best teams. Therein, however, lay the root of Pacers Coach Jim O'Brien's dismay. Holding a 117-113 lead with 1:15 remaining, the Pacers couldn't close the deal as the Suns scored the game's final eight points to take a 121-117 decision before 11,435 Tuesday in Conseco Fieldhouse. More
The Los Angeles Clippers chose to leave Jamaal Tinsley alone on the perimeter because Jermaine O'Neal was enough trouble in the low post. They made the wrong choice. Tinsley capitalized on the open looks, scoring 10 of his 29 points in the final 4:09 and leading the Indiana Pacers to a 101-95 victory on Sunday. The win gave the Pacers (9-9) a 3-1 record on their first long Western Conference road trip of the season. Indiana has won six of its last nine. "I'm always confident when the ball is in my hands. I don't care if I miss eight or nine shots, I feel like the next one is going to go in,'' Tinsley said. "I've got to credit my coaching staff for leaving me out there when I miss a lot of shots so that I get an opportunity to take another one. They were doubling down on Jermaine, the guys made the extra pass, and they just went in today.'' More
Sooner or later, Kevin Durant was going to find his rhythm and the Sonics were going to win a home game. That it happened Friday night was unfortunate for the Pacers. Durant had the best game of his young career with 35 points, 22 in the second half, as the Sonics held on to beat the cold-shooting Pacers 95-93 for their first homecourt victory of the season in eight tries. The loss snapped winning streaks of two games overall and three on the road for the Pacers (8-9), who shot just .359 from the field to spoil Jermaine O'Neal's return to action. More
Neither was having much of a shooting night and both dealt with pain and frustration. Both, however, shook out of their doldrums when it mattered most. Danny Granger and Jamaal Tinsley combined for 16 fourth-quarter points, including 13 in a row in the final minutes as the Pacers pulled away for a 95-89 victory over the Trail Blazers in Portland on Wednesday night. The Pacers (8-8) returned to .500 with their second win in a row and fourth in five games. They also won their third straight road game to improve to 4-3. Portland (5-10) lost for the seventh time in eight games. More
Moments after his best game as a member of the Pacers and perhaps one of the most memorable of his career, Mike Dunleavy was asked to summarize the evening's series of unpredictable events. "We got off to a great start, they came back," Dunleavy said. "We got off to a great start in the second half, they came back. But we just persevered. Even when they made that run at the end we knew everything would be alright." Dunleavy's 3-pointer with 1 minute left appeared to seal the victory, giving the Pacers a 106-97 lead but this game of wild swings had one more. Denver threw in three 3-pointers while the visitors missed three free throws, leaving Indiana with a 111-108 lead and the Nuggets with one last chance in the closing seconds. More
Turning LeBron James into a passer is a sound theory, but in practice it was anything but perfect.
Despite a heavy emphasis in practice on rotating to cover weak-side shooters defensively, it was the failure to execute that particular task repeatedly that cost the Pacers a 111-106 defeat to the visiting Cleveland Cavaliers Sunday before 11,603 at Conseco Fieldhouse. The Pacers had wiped out a 14-point third-quarter deficit and took a 99-94 lead into the final minutes but gave up two open 3-pointers to Damon Jones and one to Sasha Pavlovic – all on assists from James – that proved to be daggers. Jones' bomb with 36 seconds left gave the Cavs a 106-102 lead. More
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." More
Coming off their worst defensive performance in years and without their best defensive player, the Pacers nevertheless managed to shut down one of the hottest teams in the league. Holding the Hornets to 38 points on 39 percent shooting in the second half, the Pacers compensated for the loss of Jermaine O'Neal with a wide variety of exceptional performances to win 105-93 Wednesday night in New Orleans. The Pacers (5-7) bounced back nicely from a 134-114 home loss to the Lakers Tuesday night by handing the Hornets (9-4) their third loss in six home games. "We've played a lot of practices without Jermaine and we have pretty good depth at the big positions," said Pacers Coach Jim O'Brien. "Our guys knew what they had to do." More
It wasn’t so much the 32 points in 31 minutes from Kobe Bryant. No, it was more the matter of all those other numbers put up by all those other guys. When Andrew Bynum outplays Jermaine O’Neal by a wide margin, when Jordan Farmar is the best point guard on the floor, the problem is bigger than any one player. Getting strong production from virtually every player on the roster, the Lakers took control in the second quarter and did not relent in rolling to a 134-114 rout of the Pacers Tuesday before 11,577 in Conseco Fieldhouse. The Lakers' 134 points were the most scored by any NBA team this season; were the most allowed by the Pacers since a 141-140 double-overtime loss to Dallas on Feb. 5, 2002; and were the most allowed by the Pacers in regulation since a 140-121 loss at Golden State on Jan. 4, 1992. More
It was happening again. In less than two minutes, Utah took 10 points off the Pacers' seemingly comfortable halftime margin, and it looked like Indiana was in the early stages of yet another second half fade. This time, however, they didn't buckle. They dug in, dug down, withstood that surge and went about the business of finishing what they started – namely, a pummeling of a very good Utah team. With Mike Dunleavy scoring a game-high 25 points and several other players making major contributions, the Pacers routed visiting Utah 117-97 Saturday in Conseco Fieldhouse. Indiana (4-6) snapped a six-game losing streak. More
Deadly shooters dotting the 3-point arc. A gifted post player that knows when to pass, when to shoot and how to get to the free throw line. Unselfish ball movement that yields a high volume of open shots. A second wave of scoring from a deep bench.
The qualities the Pacers crave were on full display Friday night. The problem was, those qualities were more evident in the opposition. With the Raptors keeping them at bay with a barrage of 3-pointers, the Pacers challenged but couldn't overcome the hot-shooting home team, falling 110-101 as Toronto made 12-of-23 from the 3-point line. Indiana (3-6) lost its sixth in a row heading into a home game with Utah Saturday in Conseco Fieldhouse, while Toronto (5-4) won for just the second time in five home games. More
One of these teams was bound to get hot. It wasn't Indiana. With Gilbert Arenas scoring 30 and Caron Butler 25, Washington lived up to its reputation as an explosive offensive team in rolling to a 103-90 victory over the Pacers Wednesday night. Indiana's new up-tempo offense again was stifled as the Pacers shot less than 40 percent (.393) for the second time in a row and fourth time this season. While the Wizards improved to 2-5 with their second consecutive win, the Pacers dropped to 3-5 with their fifth consecutive loss. Indiana has shot just .399 from the field while averaging 91.6 points in the losing streak. In opening the season with three consecutive wins, the Pacers averaged 109 points. More
For all the discussion about how Boston's new big three of Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen would light up scoreboards around the NBA, very little has been made of the revamped team's defense. Truth be told, that was what won Tuesday's game for the Celtics Tuesday night. Holding the Pacers to 34.9 percent shooting while forcing 23 turnovers, Boston seized control in the second period on the way to a 101-86 victory in Conseco Fieldhouse. While the Pacers (3-4) dropped their fourth in a row overall and third straight at home, Boston (6-0) matched its best start in 20 years. "They're a terrific team," said Pacers Coach Jim O'Brien. "They're surprising a lot of people by how good a defensive team they are. They turned us over a lot and kept us from getting into a rhythm. And they certainly challenge you to guard them." More
For a half, they were the new, run-and-gun, pass-and-cut, fun-to-watch Pacers, rolling up a stunning 74 points in building an 18-point lead over visiting Denver. As has been increasingly evident this week, however, old habits are proving very hard to break.
Following a brilliant first half with an inept second, the Pacers lost their offensive tempo, defensive commitment and ultimately the game. With Carmelo Anthony and Allen Iverson combining for 59 points, the Nuggets wiped out a 25-point deficit and used a 12-point run down the stretch to pull out a 113-106 victory before 12,748 Saturday in Conseco Fieldhouse. It was the third straight loss for the Pacers (3-3) and seventh in a row against the Nuggets (4-3), who were playing their fourth road game in five nights.
Who knew Ike Diogu was the difference? That notion an injury to a reserve forward would reverse the team's fortunes might seem absurd but the Pacers are searching for answers after going completely flat for an entire period for the second loss in a row. After taking an eight-point lead into the fourth quarter, the Pacers promptly gave up 13 unanswered points and a 26-4 run that propelled Charlotte to a 96-87 home victory Friday night. After a 3-0 start, Indiana – outscored 32-14 in the third period of a 104-89 loss to the Clippers Wednesday – now stands 3-2 heading into a game against Denver Saturday in Conseco Fieldhouse. The Pacers have lost six in a row to the Nuggets. More
Two unbeaten teams with high-powered offenses clashed for the second time this week in Indianapolis but, this time, there was a little something missing. Like, for example, one of the unbeaten teams. Unable to knock down shots either in quality or quantity, the Pacers were overwhelmed by Sam Cassell and the Los Angeles Clippers 104-89 Wednesday night before 10,122 in Conseco Fieldhouse. The Pacers (3-1) last for the first time in four games while the Clippers (4-0) remained undefeated. "The Clippers really played a great game of basketball with people banged-up," said Pacers Coach Jim O'Brien. "Sam Cassell was fantastic. He’s an awful tough guard. I’ve seen him put up big points over the years. He’s a load to handle when he’s on like he was tonight." More
On the wings, Mike Dunleavy and Danny Granger are flowing over, around and through the defense. Inside, Jermaine O'Neal – even in limited minutes – is proving a dominant defensive force and a surprising playmaker on the offensive end. Out front, Jamaal Tinsley is conducting the offensive orchestra with remarkably few sour notes. So far, it's all good for the Pacers. Indiana improved to 3-0 with a 121-111 victory in Memphis Saturday night as Dunleavy and Granger combined for 50 points. After needing second-half rallies to win their first two, the Pacers had to withstand a Memphis comeback in the fourth quarter as their 16-point lead early in the fourth dwindled to four with 5:38 left but they buckled down and pulled away. More
Two games, two unpopular officials' reversals in the closing minutes and two last-second 3-pointers from the opposition later, the Pacers nevertheless stand two-and-oh. "Hot diggity dog," said Coach Jim O'Brien as he stood up to exit his postgame press conference. Make that record two-and-oh-my. With Kareem Rush rising from the end of the bench to hit two huge 3-pointers, the Pacers put together a 12-point run to wipe out a seven-point deficit in the final four minutes and pulled out an 87-85 victory over Miami Friday in Conseco Fieldhouse. "If people don't believe this group is never going to give up, they should've been here," said O'Brien. "That was a hell of a basketball game." Consecutive 3-pointers by Mark Blount and Daequan Cook gave Miami an 82-75 lead with 4:06 remaining. But the defense dug in, holding the Heat to 0-of-7 shooting while forcing three turnovers, and the offense responded. More
They may have been built for the run-and-shoot but the Pacers showed another side to their personality Wednesday night, pulling out a victory more through grit and determination than glamour. Forget the 41 percent shooting and the 17 turnovers; this was a thing of beauty. Despite the absence of starting post players Jermaine O'Neal and Troy Murphy and foul trouble that handcuffed all three of the remaining big men at various points in the game, the Pacers found a way to pull out an inspiring 119-110 overtime victory over the Wizards Wednesday night in the first game of Coach Jim O'Brien's tenure. "A terrific win for our franchise," said O'Brien. "I'm very, very proud of our guys. That’s all I've seen from this team, that they fight. This is what everybody's going to come to expect from these guys. They're never out of the game. They don't care if people are banged-up, you're going to have to win with the people who play." More