Saturday , Feb , 28 , 2004 C.Y. Ellis

New Orleans runs by Pacers; takes care of East’s top team

New Orleans, LA (Sports Network) – Jamal Mashburn poured in a game-high 22
points and pulled down nine rebounds to lead the New Orleans Hornets to an
89-77 victory over Indianapolis at the Arena.

Jamaal Magloire posted a double-double with 16 points and 11 boards in the win
for the Hornets, who won their second straight after dropping the previous two
contests. Baron Davis and P.J. Brown scored 18 and 17 points, respectively.

“It’s getting close to playoff time and we have to play as hard as we can from
here on out,” Davis said. “We also have to keep getting stronger mentally.”

Jermaine O’Neal paced the Pacers with 15 points and eight rebounds, as
Indianapolis had a three-game winning streak halted. Jamaal Tinsley chipped in
14 points and Fred Jones came off the bench to add 10.

Trailing since the midway point of the first quarter, the Pacers mounted a 9-2
run, capped with an Austin Croshere three-pointer from the baseline, to trim
the deficit to 78-70 with 4:58 remaining in the game.

It was the closest Indianapolis came to getting back in the contest. The
Hornets responded by scoring the nine of the next 11 points to push their lead
to 87-72 with only 1:48 left. Davis started the burst with a three, and
Magloire put an exclamation on it with a thunderous slam dunk.

The Pacers got no closer than the final margin in the last 90 seconds.

Indianapolis held a 15-8 lead with five minutes remaining in the first
quarter, but the Hornets closed out the period on a 14-2 run, sparked by
seven points from Brown, to take a 22-17 edge.

New Orleans pushed its lead out to 31-22 on a Davis three-pointer with 8:52
remaining in the second quarter. The edge lead hovered between 9-to-10 points
the rest of the period before Davis laid in a basket in the final seconds to
put the Hornets up 46-34 at halftime.

Darrell Armstrong expanded New Orleans cushion to 52-38 two minutes into the
third quarter, but the Pacers countered by going on an 11-2 run with five
points from Harrington and four from O’Neal to cut the deficit to five.

However, the Hornets regrouped and outscored Indianapolis 16-6 over the final
5:57 of the frame, capped by a Magloire tip-in, to take a 70-55 advantage
heading into the final quarter.