Final

Regular Season Series (Game 2 of 2)

Series starts 12/1

Game 1: Sunday, December 1st
Pacers92Final
Clippers87
Game 2: Sunday, January 26th
Clippers101Final
Pacers108

Clippers 101

(16-27, 7-13 away)

Pacers 108

(32-12, 21-1 home)

    Coverage: FSMW

    1:00 PM ET, January 26, 2003

    Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, IN

    1 2 3 4 T
    LAC 29 29 20 23101
    IND 32 26 25 25108

    Top Performers

    Los Angeles: E. Brand 17 Pts, 14 Reb, 10 Ast, 2 Stl, 1 Blk

    Indiana: J. O'Neal 21 Pts, 10 Reb, 1 Ast, 2 Stl, 8 Blk

    Pacers win 14th straight at Fieldhouse

    INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -- Somehow, Indiana is finding different ways to win at home.

    Jermaine O'Neal
    O'Neal

    Against the Los Angeles Clippers, it was zone defense and a resurgent Jermaine O'Neal.

    O'Neal had 21 points, 10 rebounds and eight blocked shots, and Ron Artest and Al Harrington each scored 17 as the Indiana Pacers beat the Clippers 108-101 Sunday.

    The Pacers won their 14th straight at home, the second-longest streak at Conseco Fieldhouse. The 1999-2000 Pacers set the team record with 25 straight victories.

    "We're finding the energy somewhere,'' said Artest, who had four steals. "We want to win so bad. We just focus and find a way to do all the things that it takes to win.''

    Brad Miller had 13 points and 11 rebounds, Jamaal Tinsley had 15 assists and Erick Strickland added 13 points, including four 3-pointers for Indiana.

    Elton Brand scored 17 points, grabbed 14 and 10 assists for the Clippers for his first career triple-double. Corey Maggette scored 25 points -- on 11-for-19 shooting -- and Lamar Odom had 14.

    The Eastern Conference leaders again allowed one of the NBA's worst teams to stay in contention through most of the game.

    Against Toronto, Indiana needed O'Neal's three-point play with 3.2 seconds left to win. Then the Pacers had to hold Seattle to 10 points in the fourth for a victory.

    On Sunday, though, the Pacers broke the game open in the fourth quarter.

    The Pacers switched to a zone defense, forcing the Clippers to take outside shots and they couldn't adjust. They went 8-for-23 in the fourth, taking 12 of those shots from 3-point range.

    "It was something we went to and it was working for us,'' coach Isiah Thomas said. "Our guys were active, alert and forced them to miss outside shots. That gave us a spurt.''

    The Pacers opened the quarter with a 14-2 run, highlighted by a spectacular alley-oop from Harrington to Ron Mercer. Mercer sprinted down the right side, grabbed the ball with his right hand almost above the rim and put it in.

    "I thought I threw it too high,'' Harrington said. "Mercer used to have hops. They're coming back.''

    Minutes later, the Pacers' lead swelled to 18 points.

    Strickland wasn't worried about Indiana's inability to put teams away early.

    "We know we're at home, we know we're capable of playing good defense and we know we'll get our stops,'' he said.

    The game was much closer through the first three quarters.

    The Clippers shot 50 percent in the second quarter and played tight defense, limiting Indiana's quality shots. Plus, O'Neal was struggling offensively. While he had six blocked shots in the first quarter, he scored only three points in the half.

    The teams were tied at 58 at the break.

    When Los Angeles started to struggle in the third, O'Neal took over for Indiana. He scored 12 points in the quarter and made the last basket of the period to stretch Indiana's lead to 83-78.

    "I knew I couldn't play any worse,'' O'Neal said. "I had to really focus in to make the shots. My teammates were getting me the ball. They didn't give up on me.''

    That type of teamwork is what the Clippers could use, Brand said.

    "We've got a lot of talent on this team, we just can't seem to put it together,'' he said. "We need to look at Indiana as a model. They play their roles and they win.''

    Game notes


    The Pacers are 7-0 against the Western Conference. ... Brand and Eric Piatowski were each whistled for technical fouls. ... The Pacers won 17 straight at Market Square Arena during the 1995-96 season. ... O'Neal slammed his right shoulder into the backboard post in the first quarter and stayed down for several minutes. He didn't leave the game, however. ... The Pacers had 34 assists to the Clippers' 23. ... The Clippers are 7-13 on the road. ... The Pacers are 29-4 when leading entering the fourth with the lead.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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    Team Stat Comparison

     
    LAC
    IND
    Points 101 108
    FGM-FGA 38-89 (.427) 43-88 (.489)
    3PM-3PA 11-24 (.458) 7-16 (.438)
    FTM-FTA 14-16 (.875) 15-17 (.882)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 18-46 16-50
    Assists 23 34
    Turnovers 14 14
    Steals 9 11
    Blocks 5 11
    Fast Break Points 7 9
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 17 (3/0) 17 (1/0)

    Top Performers

    Los Angeles
    Indiana
    Elton Brand Brand
    Points: 17
    Reb: 14
    Ast: 10
    Stl: 2
    Blk: 1
    Jermaine O'Neal O'Neal
    Points: 21
    Reb: 10
    Ast: 1
    Stl: 2
    Blk: 8