Wednesday , Feb , 08 , 2006 C.Y. Ellis

Blazers, Pacers meet in Indiana

(Sports Network) – The Indiana Pacers shoot for their third straight win this
evening when they continue a seven-game homestand versus the Portland Trail
Blazers at Conseco Fieldhouse.

On Saturday, Stephen Jackson scored 20 points and Indiana’s bench took control
in the second half, as the short-handed Pacers stunned Detroit, 93-85.

No one could blame the Pacers if they lost Saturday night, as the club played
the NBA’s best team without guard Jamaal Tinsley (elbow), forward Austin
Croshere (concussion) and star forward Jermaine O’Neal, who is sidelined two
months with a left groin tear.

Also, forward Jonathan Bender announced Saturday that he could no longer
continue his basketball career because of a chronic knee ailment.

However, the no-name Pacers played team basketball, normally Detroit’s forte,
to post their second consecutive victory.

David Harrison scored 15 points, Fred Jones added 13 and Danny Granger
contributed 11 — all off the bench — for the Pacers, who assisted on 25 of
38 made baskets.

Tinsley and Croshere will both miss tonight’s contest as well.

The Pacers, who haven’t won three straight overall since December 16-21, are
14-7 in their arena this season.

Portland, meanwhile, comes in on a sour note after falling to the Denver
Nuggets, 105-104, on Saturday at the Pepsi Center. Zach Randolph had 28 points
and 12 boards for the Trail Blazers, who started a seven-game road trip in
disappointing fashion.

Ruben Patterson added 14 points, but his three-point attempt at the buzzer was
blocked by Camby and Portland fell to 3-3 in its last six games.

The Blazers own the worst record on the road in the Western Conference, as it
is 5-16 away from home this season.

Indiana defeated Portland earlier in the season and has won four straight in
the series. The Blazers have also lost two straight, three of their last four
and eight of 11 in Indiana.