Wednesday , Apr , 21 , 2004 C.Y. Ellis

Pacers use fourth-quarter rally to grab 2-0 advantage

=== Pacers use fourth-quarter rally to grab 2-0 advantage ===

Indianapolis, IN (Sports Network) – Jermaine O’Neal scored 22 points and
grabbed 11 rebounds to lead Indiana to a 103-90 win over Boston in Game 2 of
their Eastern Conference quarterfinal series at Conseco Fieldhouse.

Fred Jones added 17 points and Jamaal Tinsley contributed 15 for the Pacers,
who took a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven set. Al Harrington chipped in 12
points and 13 boards in the win.

Game 3 is scheduled for Friday night at the FleetCenter in Boston.

The Pacers played without the recently-named Defensive Player of the Year Ron
Artest, as the forward was suspended one game. Artest left the bench in Game 1
when O’Neal was involved in a brief scuffle with Boston’s Brandon Hunter.
Artest started onto the court when he saw O’Neal lose his composure, but
headed back to the bench after a few steps.

“Obviously it was a very tough game,” said Indiana head coach Rick Carlisle.
“We knew it was going to be coming in, for a lot of reasons, not just because
we were missing Ron Artest. Game 2 in a series is always tough. The losing
team makers good adjustments and comes out fired up.”

Paul Pierce scored 27 points and grabbed seven rebounds for the Celtics.
Chucky Atkins had 21 points and Mark Blount added 10 points and 10 boards in
the setback.

The Pacers dominated the fourth quarter as they outscored Boston 38-21 over
the final 12 minutes.

“We were not a very mature team and it showed in the fourth quarter,” said
Boston head coach John Carroll.”

Indiana trailed by four after three quarters, but scored the first seven
points of the period to pull ahead 72-69. Jonathan Bender’s three-point play
with 10:53 remaining capped a 10-0 burst that bridged the third and fourth

The Pacers continued to widen the margin as Anthony Johnson’s jumper with
around 8 1/2 minutes left staked Indiana to a 79-70 edge. Bender’s three-
pointer moments later made it 82-72 and culminated a commanding 17-3 burst
to begin the fourth.

Indiana made it 89-76 on Jones’ basket with 4:09 left and the Celtics never
threatened again. The lead grew as high as 16 points in the waning minutes.

The Celtics grabbed a 12-7 lead on Pierce’s basket with around six minutes
left in the first quarter. The advantage grew to 16-10 later in the period on
a pair of free throws by Atkins and Boston eventually led 22-17 after one.

In the second, Indiana tied the score at 31 apiece on O’Neal’s jump hook near
the midway point and the Pacers then grabbed a 37-35 edge on Harrington’s
bucket later in the period. The Celtics, though, ended the frame on an 11-4
spurt, keyed by seven from Pierce, to claim a 46-41 halftime lead.

Pierce scored 11 points, while O’Neal netted 13 and grabbed seven rebounds for
Indiana in the opening 24 minutes.

“We just wanted to come out and play well and show how deep we are,” said

Boston scored the first four points of the third, but Indiana countered with
an 8-0 surge, highlighted by threes from Tinsley and Reggie Miller, to climb
within one point at 50-49.

The game stayed close for the next several minutes as the Pacers led 55-54,
but the Celtics then used an 8-0 run to take a 62-55 lead with 5:10 remaining
in the third. Boston increased the gap to eight moments later and led 69-65
after 36 minutes.