Final

Regular Season Series (Game 1 of 2)

Series starts 2/29

Game 1: Sunday, February 29th
Pistons100Final
Clippers88
Game 2: Wednesday, March 31st
Clippers99Final
Pistons108

Pistons 100

(38-24, 17-14 away)

Clippers 88

(25-33, 17-12 home)

    Coverage: FSPI

    12:30 PM ET, February 29, 2004

    STAPLES Center, Los Angeles, CA

    1 2 3 4 T
    DET 24 27 18 31100
    LAC 33 22 17 1688

    Top Performers

    Detroit: C. Billups 28 Pts, 4 Reb, 7 Ast, 1 Stl

    Los Angeles: E. Brand 26 Pts, 10 Reb, 4 Ast, 1 Stl, 3 Blk

    Brown ejected in first quarter

    LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Reggie Miller hit a tiebreaking 3-pointer with 1:49 left in overtime -- doubling his point total for the game, and the Indiana Pacers beat the Los Angeles Clippers 101-94 Wednesday night.

    Ron Artest, playing his second game since undergoing surgery on his non-shooting thumb, had 25 points and tied a season high with seven turnovers. Jermaine O'Neal had 19 points and 17 rebounds to help Indiana beat the Clippers for the 19th time in 21 meetings.

    Elton Brand scored 24 points for the Clippers, who faced the top team in the Eastern Conference one night after playing the team with the best record in the Western Conference -- and came close to beating both. Quentin Richardson had 23 points and Corey Maggette 21. Los Angeles has lost 10 of 13.

    Miller's 3 from above the key gave Indiana a 95-92 lead. O'Neal added an 11-footer and Jamaal Tinsley put it away with a pair of free throws.

    The victory clinched a winning season on the road for the Pacers for the third time since moving from the ABA to the NBA. They also did it in 1997-98 (26-15) and in the lockout-shortened 1998-99 season (15-10).

    Neither team led by more than three points in the fourth quarter, and the lead changed hands five times before Brand hit an off-balance 17-foot jumper from the left baseline to put the Clippers ahead 85-84 with 1:06 to play. O'Neal made one of two free throws to tie it, but Marko Jaric's layup in heavy traffic regained the lead for the Clippers with 26 seconds left.

    Artest tied it 87-all 15 seconds later with an eight-footer in the lane and the Clippers called timeout. Eddie House shot an airball on a desperation 3-point try over Tinsley at the regulation buzzer.

    The Clippers, who missed their first six shots of the game, started the third quarter 0-for-7 from the field as Indiana turned a one-point halftime deficit into a 58-54 lead. Los Angeles regained the lead at 68-66 on a short running jumper by Brand, who swatted away Kenny Anderson's eight-foot jumper in the final second of the quarter.

    Richardson powered the Clippers to a 52-51 halftime lead with 17 points -- including a fast-break layup off a long pass from Jaric with 17.3 seconds left in the second quarter.

    Game notes


    Miller played in his 1,285th NBA game, tying Elvin Hayes for eighth place. Miller has played more games with one team than anyone in league history except for Utah's John Stockton and Moses Malone, both of whom left the Utah Jazz after last season. ... Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was at the courtside press table, working his first game as an advance scout for the New York Knicks. The NBA's career scoring leader was an assistant coach with the Clippers four seasons ago under Jim Todd, then briefly worked with a few of the Pacers' big men including F Primoz Brezec. ... O'Neal has blocked at least one shot in 38 straight games, the second-longest active streak behind the injured Tim Duncan (41). ... O'Neal is the only player in the Eastern Conference averaging at least 20 points and 10 rebounds and leads the conference with 35 double-doubles. ... Miller has not gone to the free throw line in four of his last five games, including this one.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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    Team Stat Comparison

     
    DET
    LAC
    Points 100 88
    FGM-FGA 33-68 (.485) 35-82 (.427)
    3PM-3PA 4-14 (.286) 2-12 (.167)
    FTM-FTA 30-39 (.769) 16-23 (.696)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 8-41 13-39
    Assists 23 24
    Turnovers 12 15
    Steals 7 8
    Blocks 7 3
    Fast Break Points 2 3
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 15 (4/0) 27 (1/0)

    Top Performers

    Detroit
    Los Angeles
    Chauncey Billups Billups
    Points: 28
    Reb: 4
    Ast: 7
    Stl: 1
    Blk: 0
    Elton Brand Brand
    Points: 26
    Reb: 10
    Ast: 4
    Stl: 1
    Blk: 3