Regular Season Series (Game 1 of 4)

Series starts 12/22

Game 1: Saturday, December 22nd
Game 2: Friday, February 22nd
Game 3: Monday, April 8th
Game 4: Tuesday, April 16th

Pacers 109

(16-13, 6-9 away)

Cavaliers 103

(11-16, 7-7 home)

    7:30 PM ET, December 22, 2001

    Quicken Loans Arena, Cleveland, OH

    1 2 3 4 T
    IND 32 24 28 25109
    CLE 26 26 26 25103

    Top Performers

    Indiana: J. O'Neal 38 Pts, 4 Reb, 3 Ast, 2 Stl, 1 Blk

    Cleveland: A. Miller 20 Pts, 8 Reb, 8 Ast, 1 Stl, 1 Blk

    Pacers shoot 61 percent in victory over Cavs

    CLEVELAND (AP) -- A cold couldn't slow Jermaine O'Neal against the Cleveland Cavaliers.

    Jermaine O'Neal

    O'Neal, feeling ill before the game, scored a career-high 38 points to lead the Indiana Pacers to a 109-103 victory over Cleveland on Saturday night.

    O'Neal scored his previous career high of 30 points at Cleveland last season.

    "I had a headache and stuff. Once I came out and got going, I felt kind of good," O'Neal said.

    "Gund Arena, I guess, is now my best arena."

    O'Neal shot 15-for-20 from the field and 8-for-9 from the line, beating the Cavaliers on jump shots and in the paint.

    "He was dominant and we just didn't have an answer," Cavaliers coach John Lucas said. "We doubled him and they kept making shots. He had everything going. We just have to really adjust and get him the next time."

    O'Neal shot 75 percent from the floor and Indiana shot a season-best 61 percent. The Pacers' previous best was 52 percent against Portland in November.

    "When a team shoots 60 percent, it's tough to win, no matter what percentage you shoot," Jumaine Jones said.

    The Cavaliers shot 50 percent.

    O'Neal scored eight points early in the fourth quarter as Indiana pushed its lead to 97-84.

    The Cavaliers closed within 99-92 with less than three minutes remaining.

    O'Neal hit a pair of free throws and Al Harrington scored two of his 11 in a reserve role with a turnaround jumper to make it 103-95 with 1:34 left.

    Reserve Bryant Stith played only six minutes, but scored Cleveland's last 10 points. He hit a jumper and scored on a pair of drives as Cleveland closed within 103-100.

    Stith had a put-back blocked by O'Neal -- his only blocked shot of the game.

    "I never saw him," Stith said.

    Jamaal Tinsley and Harrington each hit a free throw to put Indiana up 105-100.

    Stith hit a 3 with 4.8 seconds left, but Jalen Rose and Reggie Miller hit free throws to seal the victory.

    Miller shot 5-for-7, including 4-for-5 from 3-point range, and finished with 18 points. Tinsley had 14 assists.

    Andre Miller and Wesley Person each scored 20 points for Cleveland. Chris Mihm added 19.

    Zydrunas Ilgauskas entered the game with 8:33 left in the third period and shot 1-for-6. He failed to slow down O'Neal, who shot 3-for-4 in the third quarter against the 7-foot-3 center.

    "They were only down four in the first half so we knew 'Z' was coming in some point," Pacers coach Isiah Thomas said. "'Z' was putting pressure on us in the post, so we went back at him."

    Andre Miller and Mihm put together a six-point run to end the first half, cutting Indiana's lead to 56-52.

    O'Neal was 7-for-10 for 14 points in the first half.

    "There's something about this building. The rims look as wide as the ocean to him," Thomas said, adding that O'Neal's quickness in the post is why he was effective.

    "I would say the quickest guy I saw in this league in the post was Moses Malone. I think he's quicker in the post than Moses Malone in terms of his moves," Thomas said.

    Game notes
    Lamond Murray left the game with 5:41 remaining in the third quarter with a lower back strain. ... The Pacers have won 13 out of the last 15 against the Cavaliers and the last seven at Cleveland. ... The series between the Cavaliers and Pacers is tied at 61-61. ... Pacers forward Jeff Foster scored Indiana's first six points and finished with 10. ... Coaches Isiah Thomas and John Lucas traded technical fouls in the third quarter. The Cavaliers haven't allowed an opponent to shoot 60 percent since March 7, 2000, against Utah.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 109 103
    FGM-FGA 43-70 (.614) 39-78 (.500)
    3PM-3PA 5-7 (.714) 6-13 (.462)
    FTM-FTA 18-24 (.750) 19-23 (.826)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 4-28 11-31
    Assists 33 24
    Turnovers 13 12
    Steals 7 6
    Blocks 3 3
    Fast Break Points 8 16
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 21 (1/0) 19 (1/0)

    Top Performers

    Jermaine O'Neal O'Neal
    Points: 38
    Reb: 4
    Ast: 3
    Stl: 2
    Blk: 1
    Andre Miller Miller
    Points: 20
    Reb: 8
    Ast: 8
    Stl: 1
    Blk: 1