Thursday , Mar , 09 , 2006 C.Y. Ellis

Indiana losing pace in East

(Sports Network) – March is not the time of year in the NBA to start
getting caught in losing streaks and playing tired basketball.

Tell that to the Indiana Pacers.

After squelching a seemingly comfortable 17-point lead in the third quarter of
Wednesday’s 103-99 loss to the Houston Rockets, the Pacers find themselves
staring down a two-game losing streak and five losses in eight tries.

Indiana led 86-69 with 3:48 remaining in the third quarter, then the Rockets
took flight and shocked the fifth-seeded Pacers at the Toyota Center.
Washington and Philadelphia are both 30-30 and creeping from behind in the
Eastern Conference playoff hunt.

Rick Carlisle’s club scored only 11 points and made 4-of-25 shots from the
field in the final 12 minutes of play.

The Pacers are 0-1 on their current three-game road trip and will play at New
Orleans/Oklahoma City before closing out the swing in Toronto. Indiana has
lost eight of its last 11 road games and is 12-18 away from Conseco Fieldhouse
this season.

In injury news, Pacers guard Fred Jones is expected to miss the last two games
of the road trip because of a torn ligament in his left thumb. Jones suffered
the problem in a loss to New York on Tuesday missed Wednesday’s game.

Guard Jamaal Tinsley returned to the lineup against the Knicks for the first
time since January 24 after a right elbow injury. He is expected to see
increased playing time at point guard.