Indiana Pacers Team Report – December 2
=== Indiana Pacers Team Report – December 2 ===
(Sports Network) – Jermaine O’Neal scored a season-high 34 points, hauled
down 14 boards and blocked eight shots in a dominating performance, leading
the Indiana Pacers to an 89-82 win over the Phoenix Suns Monday at America
Al Harrington scored 18 points to go along with six rebounds and seven
assists, and Reggie Miller collected 15 points for the Pacers, who followed up
a Sunday demolition at the hands of the Lakers with their ninth win in 10
Trailing 62-61 to open the fourth quarter, the Pacers ran off 11 of the first
13 points to take a 72-64 lead. Harrington scored the first six points of the
Phoenix cut the lead to 74-70, but an Anthony Johnson basket and a Reggie
Miller three sandwiching a Scott Williams free throw pushed the Indiana lead
to 79-71 with about five minutes to go.
An Amare Stoudemire basket made it 79-73, and Stoudemire had a chance to get
the lead down to four on the next trip down the floor, but O’Neal swatted his
shot and filled the lane on the ensuing fast break. O’Neal not only made the
layup, but was fouled and converted the three-point play for the 82-73
advantage with less than three minutes to play.
The Suns got the Indiana lead back down to four at 82-78 on a Penny Hardaway
three-pointer with just over a minute to play, but O’Neal buried two free
throws at the other end to push the lead back to six.
Stephon Marbury converted a three-point play for the Suns when he was fouled
by O’Neal while making a layup to slice the Phoenix lead to 84-81. However,
after O’Neal missed a layup under heavy pressure in the paint, he secured his
own rebound and hit a turnaround six-footer to get the Pacers’ lead back to
Shawn Marion made one free throw and Kenny Anderson made 1-of-2 for the
Pacers, before O’Neal collected Anderson’s miss and made the final basket of
the night for the final margin.
The Pacers continue their five-game road trip on Wednesday in Portland against
the Trail Blazers.