Monday , Jan , 19 , 2004 C.Y. Ellis

Central Division teams meet in Atlanta

Atlanta, GA (Sports Network) – The best meets the worst in the Central
Division today, as the Indiana Pacers bring their division-leading 31 wins to
Atlanta to face the lowly Hawks in an afternoon game at Philips Arena.

The teams have already met three times this season with the Pacers winning
each contest. Indiana defeated the Hawks, 103-99, in overtime on November 1,
2003 at Philips Arena. The Pacers also beat Atlanta twice at Conseco

The Pacers come into today’s game on a three-game winning streak. On Saturday,
Jermaine O’Neal collected 20 points and 10 rebounds and Ron Artest added 18
points as Indiana rallied to beat the New Jersey Nets, 90-84, in a battle of
Eastern Conference powers at the Meadowlands.

Al Harrington had 15 points and 12 rebounds off the bench, while Reggie Miller
hit four clutch free throws in the final seconds for the Pacers, who have won
10 of their last 11 overall.

The Pacers, who have won five of their last six on the road, are 15-7 as the
visitor this season.

The Hawks play the second of a four-game homestand this afternoon. Shareef
Abdur-Rahim posted game highs with 20 points and 12 rebounds to lead Atlanta
over the Toronto Raptors, 75-70, on Saturday at Philips Arena.

“He didn’t turn down shots and he had his confidence going to knock them
down,” Hawks head coach Terry Stotts said of Abdur-Rahim after Saturday’s

Stephen Jackson added 19 points and seven boards for the Hawks, who have won
two straight and three of their last four at home. Atlanta has not topped the
100-point mark in its last 16 games.

The Hawks are 7-10 as the host this season.

The home team has won eight of nine and 14 of the last 16 meetings in this
series. Indiana, which snapped a three-game series road losing streak on
November 1, 2003, has lost five of its last seven at Atlanta.