Regular Season Series (Game 2 of 2)

Series starts 11/10

Game 1: Wednesday, November 10th
Game 2: Wednesday, December 1st

Pacers 76

(10-5, 4-3 away)

Clippers 88

(10-6, 6-3 home)

    7:30 PM ET, December 1, 2004

    STAPLES Center, Los Angeles, CA

    1 2 3 4 T
    IND 21 17 20 1876
    LAC 24 16 24 2488

    Top Performers

    Indiana: E. Gill 21 Pts, 4 Reb, 6 Ast, 1 Stl

    Los Angeles: E. Brand 27 Pts, 5 Reb, 1 Ast, 1 Stl, 2 Blk

    Additional injuries force Indy to suit up eight

    LOS ANGELES (AP) -- The Los Angeles Clippers had empathy for the short-handed Indiana Pacers -- perhaps a little too much for their own good.

    Elton Brand scored 27 points, Bobby Simmons added 20 and the Clippers barely held on to beat the Pacers 88-76 on Wednesday night for their fifth straight victory.

    The Clippers have won five in a row for the first time since November 1995. The last time they won six straight was March 1992. The franchise record is 11, set in January 1974, when they were the Buffalo Braves.

    "Each game is a confidence builder," Corey Maggette said. "Right now, we want to go out there and play hard for ourselves and for our coach. We want to make him proud and make ourselves proud."

    Coming off the second-best November in franchise history (9-6), the Clippers spent most of the game playing down to the level of an opponent that dressed only eight players. One was forward Marcus Haislip, who signed with them earlier in the day and scored eight points in 25 minutes on 3-for-10 shooting.

    "I was familiar with probably about three or four of those guys, but I wouldn't say we were taking them lightly. They were playing well," Simmons said. "Indiana only had eight players, but they were keeping the game close. Rick Carlisle's done a great job with those guys."

    Maggette had 17 points and nine rebounds for Los Angeles after missing two games because of a strained tendon in his left ankle. But Kerry Kittles missed his fifth straight game with a bruised right knee after playing 24 minutes in his season debut.

    Eddie Gill scored 21 points for Indiana. The Eastern Conference-leading Pacers slipped to 10-5, one day after a Detroit newspaper reported that misdemeanor assault and battery charges would be filed against Ron Artest, Jermaine O'Neal and Stephen Jackson for their participation in the Nov. 19 brawl with Detroit Pistons fans.

    In addition to the absence of their top three scorers because of lengthy suspensions and three others on the injured list, the Pacers also played without Austin Croshere (bruised right rib), Scot Pollard (back) and Jamaal Tinsley (bruised left thigh).

    "We are making some things up as we go along here, since our personnel has changed pretty drastically," Carlisle said. "We have a couple of guys who we literally picked up off the street. We have some challenges, but we'll get it together and keep fighting."

    At one point, Indiana was down to seven players. Center David Harrison strained his right ankle and spent the next 6:21 on the bench before returning with 8:23 left in the first half.

    "I respect them a lot," Maggette said. "Most teams that play them think they're supposed to win, but they snuck up on Boston and Minnesota and beat them. You have to give them a lot of credit for playing this well with the players they've got. They just need to keep their spirits up right now."

    Brand scored eight points during a 17-5 run, including a short jumper that capped the rally as the Clippers turned a one-point deficit into a 57-46 lead with 6:16 left in the third quarter.

    The Pacers got as close as 72-67 on Fred Jones' 3-pointer with 4:03 to play, but Brand responded with a 15-footer and Marko Jaric drained a 3-pointer 37 seconds later to restore the Clippers' double-digit margin and trigger a 12-3 run that put it away.

    The Clippers' victory was only their fourth over Indiana in the last 23 meetings, and second in a row. They won 102-68 win on Oct. 10 at Conseco Fieldhouse, the same night Artest completed the two-game benching he got from Carlisle for requesting time off because of a busy schedule that included promoting a soon-to-be released rap album.

    "You see a team that you beat by 30-someodd points with Jermaine O'Neal and Stephen Jackson, and now you see a bunch of guys you don't know," Brand said. "You get full of yourself after winning four in a row, and we took them a little bit too lightly. We didn't bring the intensity at all, but they ran out of gas and we kept going."

    Game notes

    The Clippers have had eight four-game winning streaks since their previous five-game streak. ... Since the brawl, the Pacers and Pistons are both 3-3. ... The Clippers have won all 10 games in which they've allowed fewer than 100 points. ... Reggie Miller, out with an injured left hand, could be activated by the weekend. ... The Clippers beat the Pacers twice in the same season for the first time since 1991-92.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 76 88
    FGM-FGA 30-66 (.455) 35-71 (.493)
    3PM-3PA 10-22 (.455) 4-12 (.333)
    FTM-FTA 6-9 (.667) 14-16 (.875)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 5-27 9-36
    Assists 15 25
    Turnovers 19 13
    Steals 6 11
    Blocks 5 3
    Fast Break Points 6 7
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 14 (0/0) 15 (1/0)
    Largest Lead 6 14

    Top Performers

    Los Angeles
    Eddie Gill Gill
    Points: 21
    Reb: 4
    Ast: 6
    Stl: 1
    Blk: 0
    Elton Brand Brand
    Points: 27
    Reb: 5
    Ast: 1
    Stl: 1
    Blk: 2