Friday , Jan , 27 , 2006 C.Y. Ellis

Indiana struggling to find form

(Sports Network) – The Pacers have lost four consecutive games following their
embarrassing 30-point loss to Cleveland on Tuesday night. LeBron James netted
a game-high 23 points, pulled down seven rebounds and dished out eight
assists, as the Cleveland Cavaliers pounded the Pacers at the Quicken Loans

Adding insult to injury, Indiana star forward Jermaine O’Neal left the rout
with 9:30 remaining in the game with a groin injury and did not return. He is
expected to miss up to eight weeks with the injury.

The players did get some good news – Ron Artest has finally been traded. The
result is that the team will have its best “outside” threat since Reggie
Miller retired in sharpshooter Peja Stojakovic.

Stojakovic is averaging 16.5 points per game this season, his lowest scoring
output since the 1999-2000 campaign. The three-time All-Star is shooting just
40-percent from the floor and has been slowed by numerous injuries.

“Obviously, we’re very happy about getting a player of his caliber,” said
Larry Bird. “He’s one of the best shooters in the league and we definitely
feel he can come in and help us right away.

He’ll have to hit the ground running as the Pacers’ next game is against
division rival Cleveland (23-17) on Friday. Then the team will have four days
off in which to practice before a game next Tuesday in Washington against the
Wizards (19-21).

Steven Jackson is averaging 17.75 ppg during the current losing streak.