Pacers halt their longest losing streak in 11 years

ATLANTA (AP) -- Reggie Miller was tired of the history lessons
and determined to end the Indiana Pacers' longest losing streak in
more than a decade.

Jamaal Tinsley scored a season-high 29 points and the Pacers
rallied from a 12-point deficit in the fourth period, snapping a
seven-game losing streak Tuesday night with a 108-97 overtime
victory over the Atlanta Hawks.

The Pacers' losing streak was their longest since 1993. They
avoided their longest losing spell since dropping 12 straight in

"Hallelujah!" Miller said. "We don't have to talk about the

The Pacers held the Hawks to a total of 20 points in the fourth
quarter and in overtime to end the skid.

"We needed this win really bad," Tinsley said. "We were
struggling. It's just hard."

The Pacers won 10 of their first 13 games this season, but have
struggled since Ron Artest, Jermaine O'Neal and Stephen Jackson
were suspended for fighting with Detroit fans on Nov. 19.

The short-handed Pacers saw their game against last-place
Atlanta as a chance to end the streak.

"When you're in a situation like this, you tend to look at the
teams you think you have the best chance of beating," said Indiana
guard Anthony Johnson. "This is definitely one we circled that we
have to get."

Tinsley was back in the lineup after missing three games with a
sprained ankle.

"I was getting a good base to make shots; my teammates were
setting good screens," Tinsley said. "The coaching staff just put
the ball in my hands."

The Hawks' reserves, led by Tony Delk's season-high 22 points,
outscored the Pacers' subs 49-28, but Indiana had more balance with
six players scoring in double figures.

"We've got to have balance, we've got to have togetherness,
we've got to have resolve, we've got to have real grit," Pacers
coach Rick Carlisle said. "A lot of times now it's not pretty, but
it's about finding a way. At times, we simply willed the ball into
the basket."

Al Harrington added 21 for the Hawks.

The teams were tied at 91 at the end of regulation, and the
Pacers scored the first 10 points in overtime before Harrington
scored for the Hawks with 1:09 left in the period.

The Hawks led by 12 points early in the fourth quarter, but
scored just 14 points in the period and then managed just six in

"We blew an opportunity at home against a team we should have
beaten," said Atlanta's Antoine Walker, who scored 17 points.

Hawks coach Mike Woodson said his team has not learned how to

"As soon as we got the lead, we started to lose our momentum,"
Woodson said.

"We just went flat. I have to take some of the blame for this
one because I thought I played Al and Antoine entirely too many
minutes. ... We just didn't have anything left in our tank to
finish the game, and that's kind of disheartening, so I have to
take the heat for this one."

Indiana opened the game with a 9-0 run. The Hawks limited the
Pacers to just 34 points the rest of the opening half and led 49-43
at the break.

Royal Ivey drove past Anthony Johnson for a basket at the end of
the third quarter to give Atlanta a 77-67 lead. The Hawks twice
pushed their advantage to 12 points, the last time at 81-69, before
the Pacers rallied with a 14-1 run for an 83-82 lead.

Trailing 88-84, the Hawks scored five straight points for an
89-88 lead. A 3-pointer by Miller with 2:12 left gave the Pacers a
91-89 lead.

Harrington made two free throws with 25.6 seconds left to tie
the scored at 91, and Jones' layup attempt at the end of regulation
was blocked by Boris Diaw.

Game notes
Hawks rookie Royal Ivey returned from a knee injury to
score a career-high 11 points. ... Pacers F Austin Croshere was not
with the team. He sprained his ankle in Saturday's game against the
Kings. ... The Hawks waived C Jelani McCoy and activated G Royal
Ivey Tuesday. ... Pacers F Michael Curry played 27 minutes and
scored four points after signing with the team Monday.


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