East meets West in LA
Los Angeles, CA (Sports Network) – Two of the NBA’s elite teams meet tonight
when Jermaine O’Neal and the Indiana Pacers start a five-game West Coast road
trip in Los Angeles against the exciting Lakers.
The Pacers come into tonight’s contest on an eight-game winning streak.
O’Neal scored a game-high 21 points and grabbed six rebounds to lead Indiana
over Philadelphia, 90-77, Friday at Conseco Fieldhouse in an Eastern
Ron Artest added 20 points, seven boards and eight assists for the Pacers, who
won their eighth straight game. Al Harrington contributed 17 points, 12
rebounds and seven helpers off the bench, as Indiana has won 13 of its last 14
games and holds the best record in the Eastern Conference at 14-2.
The Pacers, who are a perfect 7-0 away from home this season, face an
extremely tough road swing. After playing the Lakers, Indiana will visit,
Phoenix, Portland, Seattle and Sacramento.
Indiana guard Jamaal Tinsley is questionable for tonight’s contest with a sore
The Lakers enter tonight’s game having won five in a row.
Karl Malone recorded his fourth career triple-double with 10 points, 11
rebounds and 10 assists, as the Lakers pounded the San Antonio Spurs, 103-87,
Friday at the Staples Center.
Devean George led all scorers with a season-high 19 points and Gary Payton and
Kobe Bryant each added 17 for the Lakers, who won their fifth straight and
were victorious for the eighth time in their last nine games.
The Lakers have won all nine of their home games this season and tied a Los
Angeles-era record with their 24th straight home win. LA hasn’t lost a regular
season home game since February 16 to the New York Knicks, and tied the record
set between the 1987-88 and 1988-89 seasons.
LA center Shaquille O’Neal returned to the lineup for the Lakers against the
Spurs after missing the last two games because of a strained right calf.
However, he played just 25 minutes and recorded seven points against San
In 2002-03 the Lakers won two close contests with the Pacers. LA took home a
97-94 decision on February 4, 2003 at Indiana and then defeated the Pacers,
97-95, on March 5 at Los Angeles.
Overall, the Lakers have won four straight and six of the last seven meetings
with the Pacers.
Indiana has lost four in a row and 10 of its last 11 as the visitor against