INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -- Double-doubles are becoming a habit for Indiana forward Jermaine O'Neal.
He had 22 points and 11 rebounds to lead Indiana over Chicago 98-83 Friday night, keeping the Bulls winless on the road this season after 11 games.
O'Neal led five Pacers in double figures, a statistic that brought a smile to the face of Indiana coach Isiah Thomas.
"Offensively, balance is our most important weapon because you're developing so many assets to use," Thomas said.
It was the fifth double-double in eight games for O'Neal and his ninth of the season. Rookie guard Jamaal Tinley had his seventh double-double for Indiana with 18 points and 10 assists.
"We did a great job of managing the game," Miller said. "We moved the ball well and got contributions from a lot of players."
Miller, who is closing in on his former coach (Larry Bird) for 19th place on the NBA's all-time scoring list, also liked the balance displayed by his team.
"It's definitely difficult to scout. I know it is hard to guard when you have four or five guys that are continually looking at the basket," he said.
Chicago also had five players in double figures, led by Marcus Fizer with 19 and Brad Miller with 13.
"For a team like ours, 98 is too many to give up. We just didn't defend," Chicago coach Tim Floyd said.
Dominating the boards by a 46-31 margin, Indiana led nearly the entire game and took its biggest lead at 87-67 on Miller's 3-pointer with 7:02 to play.
"Rebounding was a problem," said Chicago's Ron Mercer, who had 10 points on 5-of-15 shooting. "It (rebounding) is a weakness of ours and it is one of their strengths and they were able to take advantage of it."
O'Neal went into the game eighth in the league in rebouding with a 10.4 average.
"Last year we would play really good defense for 23 seconds and then give up offensive rebounds. That wears you down," O'Neal said. "This year we want to control the boards a little more, so we can get into our transition."
Indiana had a 15-7 advantage off the boards, leading to a 16-4
edge in second-chance points.
The Pacers broke a 9-9 deadlock with a 13-2 run in the opening
quarter and were never caught. O'Neal had six in the run, including
the go-ahead basket. Chicago cut its deficit to 32-26, but could
draw no closer than six points again.
Indiana built a 14-point advantage three times in the second
quarter, which ended with the Pacers leading 50-38. The Bulls
didn't get an offensive rebound until 2:55 remained in the opening
Chicago got within single digits only once in the second half,
69-60 when Fizer hit a short jumper with 34 seconds remaining in
the third quarter. Tinsley closed the period by making a 3-pointer,
and that was as close as the Bulls would come again.
Reggie Miller extended the league's longest current streak
of games with at least one 3-pointer to 32 on his first shot. ... A
strained back kept Indiana guard Travis Best idle for a second
consecutive game. ... Chicago finished with only seven offensive
rebounds. ... The Bulls are 1-12 against the Pacers since Michael
Jordan left Chicago. ... The game was the first in a back-to-back
schedule for both teams. Indiana visits New York on Saturday, while
the Bulls host Boston.
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