Saturday , Mar , 11 , 2006 C.Y. Ellis

Pacers sneak past Hornets

Oklahoma City, OK (Sports Network) – Peja Stojakovic scored a game-high 26
points, including a big three-pointer in the fourth quarter, to lead the
Indiana Pacers past the New Orleans/Oklahoma City Hornets, 92-90, at the Ford
Center.

Stephen Jackson added 21 points and Anthony Johnson chipped in 12 points for
the Pacers, who got a much needed win after losing three of their last four
games coming in.

“It was a lot of fun tonight,” said Indiana head coach Rick Carlisle. “It was
a hard-fought game and this is a team that is really tough to play in here. I
give our guys credit for hanging in through some tough stretches and some
runs, along with calls that were not going our way. We found a hot hand late
with Peja.”

David West paced his team with 20 points and six rebounds, while Desmond Mason
and Kirk Snyder both added 16 points for the Hornets, who have dropped five
straight contests, including their last four home games.

A Stojakovic bucket early in the fourth put the Pacers up five, 79-74, but the
Hornets battled back as West banked in a tough shot in the lane with 2:41 to
go, giving the Hornets a 90-89 lead, but Stojakovic sank a three-pointer with
1:39 left to put the Pacers up for good, 92-90.

With under a minute to play, Jackson stripped P.J. Brown in the lane, forcing
a big turnover. The Pacers could not capitalize as Stojakovic missed a jumper,
giving the Hornets a chance to tie.

On the final possession, West found himself wide open at the top of lane, but
his three-pointer found only iron at the buzzer.

“I got a good look at it,” said West. “I just thought the way the momentum of
the game was going, I had the look and it didn’t go in.”

Jackson hit a pair of free throws to give the Pacers a seven-point lead,
22-15, their largest edge of the first quarter. They led 28-24 after the first
stanza.

A Johnson bucket with less than two minutes to play in the second quarter
extended the Pacers’ lead to nine, 54-45. They took an eight-point lead into
the locker room, 56-48.

The Hornets took the lead in the third thanks to a 12-0 run. West started and
ended the run with back-to-back buckets, scoring eight of the 12 points during
the run to give the Hornets a 62-60 lead.

Indiana went back ahead with less then one minute to play in the quarter as
Scot Pollard hit a jumper to put the Pacers up two, 74-72. They took a one-
point lead, 75-74, into the fourth quarter.

Game Notes

Indiana swept the season series between the two teams, winning both
meetings…Speedy Claxton scored 11 points off the bench for the Hornets…The
Pacers won despite shooting only 4-of-18 from beyond the arc…Chris Paul
scored seven points and dished out eight assists for the Hornets…Jeff Foster
pulled down 12 rebounds for the Pacers.

IND NOH