"This is beautiful. The other team definitely could have won,'' said Indiana's Reggie Miller. "Sometimes, it's better to be born lucky than rich. We hit some lucky, lucky shots. They had their opportunity to put us away and they didn't.''
Tinsley, back in the lineup after a two-game absence with a deep
thigh bruise, connected for a 114-109 lead with the shot clock down
to 3 seconds.
"The shot clock was winding down, they moved the ball around and he threw it up there,'' Seattle's Brent Barry said. "I didn't hear him call 'Glass.' It went off the backboard and in, and put them up by 5. It was the nail in the coffin.''
O'Neal scored 30 points and Harrington had a season-high 26 for the Pacers, who exploited Seattle's lack of an inside presence to break a three-game losing streak to the Sonics.
Ron Artest scored 13 and Tinsley finished with 11.
Payton had a fabulous night, the sixth time in his 13-year career he's scored at least 40 points. He left without speaking to reporters.
"A strong game and you hate to waste that kind of effort by a guy who's gutting it out,'' Barry said. "Gary was sore and tired. We really should have won this one for him, but we just didn't do it.''
Payton had 10 assists and scored Seattle's last six points in regulation. The Sonics seemed have the victory in hand when Payton's layup circled the rim twice and dropped for a 102-99 lead with 4.4 seconds to go, bringing fans to their feet.
But after a timeout, Artest forced overtime when he calmly swished a 3-pointer with 1.6 seconds on the clock and Barry was called for a foul. Artest's free throw missed, though, and Rashard Lewis grabbed the rebound with 1.3 seconds to play.
Lewis missed a turnaround jumper at the horn and the te
ams went to overtime.
"You have the game right in your hands and you make a bad decision late, and it costs you,'' Sonics coach Nate McMillan said. "You've got to know time, score, possession and what was said in the timeout.''
The Pacers, whose 15-3 record is the league's second-best, broke into a celebration as the game ended.
"It was a great game,'' Thomas said. "I thought both teams
played well, made big shots and big stops.''
Miller, held scoreless at Utah on Monday for the first time in more than 13 years, had 10 points for the Pacers.
Technical fouls were called on Payton, Drobnjak, Brad Miller and Artest. ... Artest was assessed a flagrant foul after colliding with Rashard Lewis in the third. Artest landed hard on
the floor, waited to get up and, when he later went back to the
bench, sat with a heating pack on his lower back. ... The Pacers
activated Erick Strickland and placed rookie G Fred Jones on the
injured list (tendinitis, left knee). ... Seattle Mariners outfielder Ichiro Suzuki and Washington football coach Rick Neuheisel sat near midcourt. Fans chanted Ichiro's name during a fourth quarter timeout after he threw T-shirts into the crowd.