Final / 2OT

Regular Season Series (Game 1 of 4)

Series starts 11/3

Game 1: Wednesday, November 3rd
Game 2: Friday, February 25th
Game 3: Sunday, March 13th
Game 4: Wednesday, April 6th

Pacers 109

(1-0, 1-0 away)

Cavaliers 104

(0-1, 0-1 home)

Coverage: FSOH

7:00 PM ET, November 3, 2004

Quicken Loans Arena, Cleveland, OH

1 2 3 4 OT 2OT T
IND 26 20 17 22 9 15109
CLE 21 19 27 18 9 10104

Top Performers

Indiana: M. World Peace 31 Pts, 9 Reb, 2 Ast, 2 Stl, 1 Blk

Cleveland: Z. Ilgauskas 35 Pts, 18 Reb, 1 Ast, 2 Blk

Banged-up Artest plays 50 minutes

CLEVELAND (AP) -- They're limping. They're aching. They're wearing casts. And somehow, the Indiana Pacers are 1-0.

Ron Artest scored 31 points and Jamaal Tinsley added 15 points and 14 assists as the banged-up Pacers opened the season with a 109-104 double-overtime win against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Wednesday night.

After initially planning to rest his sore right knee, Artest decided to play shortly before tipoff, and then gave the Pacers everything he had, adding nine rebounds in 50 minutes.

"Twenty-five minutes before the game I wasn't playing," said Artest, who knew the Pacers couldn't afford to have him watch. "I wanted to play. I can play with pain."

Zydrunas Ilgauskas tied a career-high with 35 points and added 18 rebounds, while LeBron James added 28 points, eight assists and five rebounds for Cleveland, which was unable to take advantage of Indiana's injuries.

The Pacers were without starters Jermaine O'Neal (sore left foot), Reggie Miller (broken right hand) and Jeff Foster (hip surgery), as well as guard Anthony Johnson (broken right hand).

Three of them sat on Indiana's bench in street clothes, well-dressed and well-paid cheerleaders.

"This was a big win because we were without so many guys," Tinsley said. "But we stuck together and made things happen."

Austin Croshere added 20 points for Indiana and sank a crucial 3-pointer with 54.6 seconds left in the second overtime to put the Pacers ahead 105-102.

After Fred Jones lost control of the ball, Croshere picked it up in the corner and drained his 3.

"It just rolled to me," said Croshere, who was interrupted by Jones.

"That was a pass, Cro," Jones joked.

The Cavaliers made two turnovers before pulling within a point on Robert Traylor's two free throws with 13.9 seconds remaining. Jones then hit two free throws to put Indiana up 107-104 with 12.1 seconds to go.

James, who forced overtime with a 3-pointer late in regulation, was short on another 3 and Tinsley put it away by making two free throws with 4.8 seconds remaining.

James felt like the Cavaliers let one slip away.

"We didn't execute down the stretch," he said. "We gave up a lot of easy buckets. Too many turnovers, too many missed shots. It was just a tough loss."

Scot Pollard added 10 points and 10 rebounds and Jonathan Bender, another of the ailing Pacers, added 11 points.

Cleveland got only four points and six rebounds from Drew Gooden, who the Cavaliers are hoping can fill the void left by Carlos Boozer's departure as a free agent.

James sent the game to overtime by draining a 3-pointer with 1.7 seconds remaining to tie it 85-all. Coming off a screen, James made a small jab step to his left, came right and nailed his 3 over Artest, who tried his best but couldn't rattle Cleveland's forward.

Artest had a chance to win it, but missed a 3-pointer at the final horn.

James could have put Cleveland up late in OT, but missed the first of two free throws with 2.9 seconds to play. Again, Artest had the ball with the game on the line but missed an eight-footer from the left side.

The Cavaliers used a 10-0 run to take a one-point lead in the second quarter, but the Pacers countered by scoring nine in a row to take a 46-40 lead at halftime.

Game notes

Cleveland dropped to 8-27 in season openers. ... Opening night was much different for James than a year ago when 370 media credentials were issued in Sacramento and TV cameras followed his every move. "I'm more relaxed," James said, dressing before the game. "I'm still going to have jitters, but now I know what to expect." ... Cavs G Eric Snow had his streak of 225 consecutive starts -- all with the Philadelphia 76ers -- snapped. ... Tinsley picked up his 1,500th career assist in the first quarter. ... It was a big night for at least one John Edwards. The Pacers rookie center went to high school in nearby Hudson, Ohio, and played at Kent State.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


Team Stat Comparison

Points 109 104
FGM-FGA 43-93 (.462) 37-87 (.425)
3PM-3PA 4-17 (.235) 3-8 (.375)
FTM-FTA 19-26 (.731) 27-34 (.794)
Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 11-47 11-45
Assists 24 23
Turnovers 14 15
Steals 9 3
Blocks 5 8
Fast Break Points 8 2
Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 28 (1/0) 24 (1/0)

Top Performers

Metta World Peace World Peace
Points: 31
Reb: 9
Ast: 2
Stl: 2
Blk: 1
Zydrunas Ilgauskas Ilgauskas
Points: 35
Reb: 18
Ast: 1
Stl: 0
Blk: 2