Pacers stop off in Beantown
(Sports Network) – The Indiana Pacers got used to life without volatile
forward Ron Artest last season, now they might have to get used to it on a
permanent basis beginning tonight when they battle the Boston Celtics at TD
Artest has asked the Pacers for a trade and team president and chief executive
Donnie Walsh will apparently try and accommodate him. For the time being
Artest, who set off one of the worst brawls in NBA history last season and has
been the source of numerous problems, will remain on the roster, but will be
inactive until a trade is completed.
Indiana comes in on a winning note after Jermaine O’Neal scored 20 points and
grabbed 14 rebounds to lead the Pacers to a 80-66 victory over the Memphis
Grizzlies on Saturday at Conseco Fieldhouse.
Stephen Jackson chipped in 16 points and Anthony Johnson added 13 points in
place of the injured Jamaal Tinsley, who missed his fourth straight game with
a groin injury. Tinsley will likely miss tonight’s contest too.
Austin Croshere, who is questionable tonight with a back injury, grabbed 11
boards for Indiana, which has won two straight games without Artest.
The Pacers are 5-4 away from home this season.
Boston, meanwhile, comes in on a losing note after falling 103-94 to the
Dallas Mavericks on Saturday at AmericanAirlines Center. Paul Pierce poured in
a game-high 28 points and Al Jefferson had 21 along with 12 rebounds for the
Celtics, who had a fourth-quarter comeback effort fall short and suffered
their second straight loss and third defeat in four games.
The Celtics also received 20 points from Ricky Davis.
Boston, which will wrap up a brief two-game homestand against Milwaukee on
Friday, is 6-5 in its arena this season.
The Pacers took two of three from the Celtics last season, but could be at a
disadvantage tonight, as the road team in this series has dropped seven of 11
and 10 of the last 15 meetings.