Saturday , Jan , 24 , 2004 C.Y. Ellis

Indiana Pacers Team Report – January 24

=== Indiana Pacers Team Report – January 24 ===

(Sports Network) – The Indiana Pacers try to get back on the winning track
this evening when they tangle with the Washington Wizards at the MCI Center.

On Friday, the Pacers had their five-game winning streak stopped with a 78-74
setback at the hands of the Houston Rockets. Jermaine O’Neal scored a game-
high 31 points for the Pacers, who lost for just the second time in their last
14 games.

Ron Artest, playing through an injured left thumb, added nine points in the
setback, but shot just 3-of-18 from the field and is only 5-for-50 from the
floor in his last three games.

To make matters worse, prior to the game the Pacers placed forward Jonathan
Bender on the injured list with a sore left knee.

Bender, who missed 39 straight to open the season after undergoing
arthroscopic surgery on the knee, missed the last three games. He has played
in just three games this season for the Pacers.

Forward Scot Pollard also missed the game with the flu and will miss tonight’s
contest as well.

However, all the news was not bad for the Eastern Conference leaders on
Friday. With Detroit’s loss to Minnesota, Pacers coach Rick Carlisle will
coach the Eastern Conference All-Stars on February 15 in Los Angeles.

Carlisle becomes the third Pacers coach to head an All-Star squad. Larry Bird
did it in 1998, while Isiah Thomas and his staff had the honor last season.

Indiana has won six of its last seven games on the road and is 16-7 away from
home this season.

Indiana defeated the Wizards earlier in the season and has won four of six and
10 of the last 13 meetings.The Pacers have also won four of six and seven of
their last 10 in Washington.