Tuesday , Jan , 10 , 2006 C.Y. Ellis

Indiana ready for tough divisional battles

(Sports Network) – The Indiana Pacers (18-14) bounced back after a four-game
losing streak at the end of December to win three of their next five games and
maintained third place in the tough Eastern Conference’s Central Division.

The team will play three more games this week, two against division rivals
Milwaukee (17-14) and Chicago (15-19).

The Pacers enter the game against the Bucks on Wednesday night following a
96-90 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers at the Staples Center. Kobe Bryant poured
in 45 points and grabbed 10 rebounds to lead the victorious Lakers.

Jermaine O’Neal recorded a double-double with 24 points and 16 rebounds. It
was O’Neal’s second game back after missing three games with pneumonia.
Anthony Johnson added 14 points for Indiana, which had a two-game winning
streak snapped. Danny Granger contributed 12 points and nine rebounds, while
Sarunas Jasikevicius donated 10 points in the loss. Indiana finished a four-
game win streak 2-2. The Pacers made just 3-of-16 from beyond the arc.

The Bucks come to Indiana on Wednesday for a battle over third-place in the
division trailing the Pacers by just a 1/2 game. Milwaukee is 1-0 against the
Pacers, having defeated them in November by a score of 103-102. Maurice
Williams made a desperation three-point basket as time expired to give
Milwaukee the thrilling victory.

Guard Jamaal Tinsley (biceps) is doubtful for Wednesday s game while forward
Austin Croshere (concussion) is questionable.

After the game against the Bucks, Washington will visit Conseco Fieldhouse.

The Pacers will finish up the week with a game at the United Center in Chicago
against the Bulls.

After the game between Indiana and Sacramento last week, King’s center Brad
Miller indicated that he would like to come back to the Pacers when his
contract with the Kings is completed.

“If it’s possible, when I’m done with this, I’ll try to finish up there
(Indiana),” Miller told the Indianapolis Star. “There won’t be an issue of a
contract. Whatever it takes.”