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Terry, Hawks take advantage of Miller ejection

2/16/2003

ATLANTA (AP) -- This time, Reggie Miller wasn't around to beat
the Atlanta Hawks at the end.

Miller was ejected in the first quarter and Jason Terry scored
16 of his 26 points in the final period, helping the Hawks end a
four-game losing streak with a 99-86 victory over the Indiana
Pacers on Sunday night.

Just two nights earlier, Miller scored 26 points and hit a
3-pointer in overtime to beat the Hawks 98-97 at Indianapolis.

In the rematch, he was thrown out of the game for complaining to
the officials during a wild first quarter that put the Pacers in a
hole the rest of the way.

"That helped us out,'' said Glenn Robinson, who scored 25
points for the Hawks. "Reggie can hurt you with his 3-point
shooting. He gets the calls and gets to the free-throw line. We
didn't need him out there.''

The Hawks had some good fortune after losing their previous
three games by a combined five points.

Indiana was called for five technical fouls in the opening
period -- four in a span of 19 seconds. The Hawks made 15 of 17 free
throws in the quarter, building a 15-point lead.

"I don't know what happened,'' said coach Isiah Thomas, who
also got T'd up. "I just know technicals were being called all
over the place.''

The Hawks weren't about to complain.

"I told my guys to keep their mouths shut,'' coach Terry Stotts
said. "Obviously, not having Reggie out there is nice, but they're
very deep team and very dangerous.''

The Pacers, whose only lead came on the game's first basket,
closed to 49-45 at halftime and got as close as one point early in
the third period. But the Hawks never relinquished the lead.

Terry, the subject of almost daily rumors with Thursday's trade
deadline approaching, hit a couple of key 3-pointers in the fourth
to put away Indiana.

"We're at our best when we're in transition,'' Terry said. "We
found our shooters and knocked down shots.''

Jamaal Tinsley scored 21 points to lead the Pacers, who were
held below 90 points for only the 11th time in 53 games. They shot
just 35.5 percent from the field and missed 11 free throws.

The ejection of Miller came after Atlanta's Theo Ratliff blocked
Jermaine O'Neal's shot under the basket -- a play the Pacers thought
should have been a foul.

Miller, who started the game, was on the bench when the block
was made. He drew a technical from referee Joey Crawford for coming
on the court to protest.

Miller returned to his seat but wouldn't stop talking. Referee
Bill Spooner gave him another technical just seven seconds later,
resulting in an automatic ejection.

"It made a huge difference,'' Thomas said. "Reggie's been
playing extremely well for us. He's a huge threat and weapon for
what we do.''

Thomas waved his arms in disgust and also received a technical
from Crawford.

Only 12 more seconds passed before Crawford gave the Pacers
another technical -- their fifth of the quarter. This time, it went
to O'Neal.

Earlier in the period, Brad Miller also received a technical for
complaining about a call.

"That wasn't what cost us the game,'' he said. "We didn't
execute. The technicals happened in the first few minutes. The game
is 48 minutes.''

Reggie Miller had already left the locker room after the game
and wasn't available for comment.

Robinson came in needing 11 points to reach the 13,000-point
milestone. He got it with 1:47 left in the first, hitting one of
his patented mid-range jumpers from 13 feet.

Robinson scored 12 points in the opening period, getting a big
assist from all those technicals. He went 8-for-8 from the foul
line.

"It's a great accomplishment,'' Robinson said. "I was unaware
of it until (teammate Chris Crawford) told me when I came out of
the game. I have to credit J.T. (Terry) for it. He gave me the
pass.''

Terry showcased his game for any team that may be interested. He
hit 3-of-5 from beyond the 3-point stripe, dished out seven assists
and made two steals.

Terry would prefer to remain with the Hawks.

"This is my home. I love it here,'' he said. "I would
definitely be a little hurt if they traded me.''

Game notes
Atlanta rookie G Dan Dickau managed to pick up five fouls
in only 13 minutes. ... Shareef Abdur-Rahim scored 20 points as the
Hawks got big contributions from their entire Big Three. ... The
Pacers had five players in double figures. With Reggie Miller out,
Al Harrington scored 16 points and Ron Mercer had 10. ... Hawks C
Theo Ratliff blocked six more shots. He has 46 in the last eight
games, an average of 5.8.