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NBA FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL --- --- --- --- ----- ATLANTA 17 11 16 24 68 INDIANA 23 21 17 24 85 FINAL

HIGH SCORERS: ATL - NAZR MOHAMMED 15, SHAREEF ABDUR-RAHIM 9, JASON TERRY 9 IND - AUSTIN CROSHERE 19, JERMAINE O'NEAL 11, JAMAAL TINSLEY 10

HIGH REBOUND: ATL - NAZR MOHAMMED 9, IRA NEWBLE 7, TWO PLAYERS WITH 6 IND - JEFF FOSTER 11, JERMAINE O'NEAL 8, THREE PLAYERS WITH 5

HIGH ASSISTS: ATL - JASON TERRY 6, JACQUE VAUGHN 3, TWO PLAYERS WITH 2 IND - RON ARTEST 4, JAMAAL TINSLEY 4, TWO PLAYERS WITH 3

ATT: 15,701


Extended Box

ATLANTA (68) AT INDIANA (85)

ATLANTA

REBOUNDS PLAYER POS MIN FGM-FGA FTM-FTA OFF-DEF-TOT AST PF ST TO PTS ====== === === ======= ======= =========== === == == == ===

I NEWBLE F 30 1-2 3-4 1 6 7 0 2 2 0 5 S ABDUR-RAHIM F 31 4-12 1-2 1 5 6 2 3 0 4 9 N MOHAMMED C 27 7-10 1-3 4 5 9 0 2 2 0 15 D JOHNSON G 24 3-9 2-2 0 1 1 0 2 1 3 8 J TERRY G 37 3-16 2-2 1 2 3 6 1 2 4 9 A HENDERSON 19 2-4 0-2 2 4 6 0 4 0 2 4 T KUKOC 21 2-8 0-0 0 2 2 2 1 2 1 4 J VAUGHN 23 1-7 2-2 0 2 2 3 0 0 2 4 H MOTTOLA 17 4-6 0-0 2 2 4 0 2 0 1 8 M STRICKLAND 9 1-3 0-0 1 3 4 0 1 2 1 2 C BOWDLER 2 0-1 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 D GLOVER DNP - STRESS FRACTURE RT. L SMITH DNP - COACH'S DECISION

TOTALS 240 28-78 11-17 12 32 44 13 18 11 18 68 (.359) (.647) TEAM REBS: 8 TOTAL TO: 19 (23 PTS)

INDIANA

REBOUNDS PLAYER POS MIN FGM-FGA FTM-FTA OFF-DEF-TOT AST PF ST TO PTS ====== === === ======= ======= =========== === == == == ===

R ARTEST F 26 3-8 1-2 0 0 0 4 3 2 1 7 J O'NEAL F 23 5-12 1-1 0 8 8 0 3 0 1 11 B MILLER C 21 3-7 3-4 0 5 5 1 4 1 1 9 R MILLER G 24 3-6 1-2 0 2 2 3 1 0 1 8 J TINSLEY G 34 3-9 3-4 2 3 5 4 0 2 2 10 J FOSTER 29 1-7 2-4 2 9 11 1 1 3 4 4 J BENDER 25 3-6 1-1 2 1 3 0 2 0 1 7 A CROSHERE 25 8-14 2-2 3 2 5 2 1 1 1 19 K OLLIE 14 3-4 2-2 0 1 1 2 0 0 1 8 R MERCER 15 1-4 0-0 1 2 3 3 1 0 1 2 P BREZEC 2 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 B SUNDOV 2 0-1 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0

TOTALS 240 33-78 16-22 10 33 43 20 16 10 14 85 (.423) (.727) TEAM REBS: 12 TOTAL TO: 16 (10 PTS)

ATLANTA 17 11 16 24 - 68 INDIANA 23 21 17 24 - 85

BLOCKED SHOTS: ATLANTA - A HENDERSON, N MOHAMMED. INDIANA - J BENDER 6, J O'NEAL 3, R MERCER, R ARTEST, A CROSHERE. 3-PT. FIELD GOALS: ATLANTA 1-11 (.091), S ABDUR-RAHIM 0-1, D JOHNSON 0- 3, J TERRY 1-5, T KUKOC 0-1, J VAUGHN 0-1. INDIANA 3-13 (.231), R ARTEST 0- 2, R MILLER 1-2, J TINSLEY 1-4, J BENDER 0-1, A CROSHERE 1-4. TECHNICAL FOULS: NONE. FLAGRANT FOULS: NONE. OFFICIALS: GREG WILLARD, HUE HOLLINS. A - 15,701. T - 2:00.


Box Score

ATLANTA (68)

fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp I Newble 30 1-2 3-4 1-7 0 2 5 S Abdur-Rahim 31 4-12 1-2 1-6 2 3 9 N Mohammed 27 7-10 1-3 4-9 0 2 15 D Johnson 24 3-9 2-2 0-1 0 2 8 J Terry 37 3-16 2-2 1-3 6 1 9 A Henderson 19 2-4 0-2 2-6 0 4 4 T Kukoc 21 2-8 0-0 0-2 2 1 4 J Vaughn 23 1-7 2-2 0-2 3 0 4 H Mottola 17 4-6 0-0 2-4 0 2 8 M Strickland 9 1-3 0-0 1-4 0 1 2 C Bowdler 2 0-1 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 D Glover DNP - STRESS FRACTURE RT. L Smith DNP - COACH'S DECISION

_____________________________________________________ TOTALS 240 28-78 11-17 12-44 13 18 68 _____________________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.359, FT-.647. 3-Point Goals: 1-11, .091 (S Abdur-Rahim 0-1, D Johnson 0-3, J Terry 1-5, T Kukoc 0-1, J Vaughn 0-1). Team Rebounds: 8. Blocked Shots:2 (A Henderson, N Mohammed). Turnovers:18 (S Abdur-Rahim 4, J Terry 4, D Johnson 3, A Henderson 2, J Vaughn 2, T Kukoc, H Mottola, M Strickland). Steals: 11 (T Kukoc 2, M Strickland 2, N Mohammed 2, I Newble 2, J Terry 2, D Johnson).

INDIANA (85)

fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp R Artest 26 3-8 1-2 0-0 4 3 7 J O'Neal 23 5-12 1-1 0-8 0 3 11 B Miller 21 3-7 3-4 0-5 1 4 9 R Miller 24 3-6 1-2 0-2 3 1 8 J Tinsley 34 3-9 3-4 2-5 4 0 10 J Foster 29 1-7 2-4 2-11 1 1 4 J Bender 25 3-6 1-1 2-3 0 2 7 A Croshere 25 8-14 2-2 3-5 2 1 19 K Ollie 14 3-4 2-2 0-1 2 0 8 R Mercer 15 1-4 0-0 1-3 3 1 2 P Brezec 2 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 B Sundov 2 0-1 0-0 0-0 0 0 0

_____________________________________________________ TOTALS 240 33-78 16-22 10-43 20 16 85 _____________________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.423, FT-.727. 3-Point Goals: 3-13, .231 (R Artest 0-2, R Miller 1-2, J Tinsley 1-4, J Bender 0-1, A Croshere 1-4). Team Rebounds: 12. Blocked Shots:12 (J Bender 6, J O'Neal 3, R Mercer, R Artest, A Croshere). Turnovers:14 (J Foster 4, J Tinsley 2, R Miller, J O'Neal, R Mercer, K Ollie, A Croshere, B Miller, J Bender, R Artest). Steals: 10 (J Foster 3, R Artest 2, J Tinsley 2, A Croshere, B Miller, B Sundov).

------------------------------------------- ATLANTA 17 11 16 24 - 68 INDIANA 23 21 17 24 - 85 -------------------------------------------

Technical fouls: None. Flagrant fouls: None. A: 15,701. T: 2:00. Officials: Greg Willard, Hue Hollins.


Game Story

INDIANAPOLIS (Ticker) -- The Indiana Pacers appear to be getting hot at the right time.

The Pacers turned in their best defensive effort of the season, routing the Atlanta Hawks, 85-68, for their fourth straight victory and sixth in eight games.

Austin Croshere scored 15 of his 19 points in the fourth quarter for Indiana, which opened a 16-point halftime lead after allowing a season-low 28 points in the opening 24 minutes. The Pacers twice led by as many as 21 in the fourth period.

"I love the way we're challenging every shot, defending and executing," Indiana coach Isiah Thomas said. "It's making it very difficult for the other team to get off a shot. We're playing good basketball at that time you need to in this league, March, April and going into the playoffs."

The 28 points also were a franchise low for the Hawks since they moved to Atlanta, while the 68 points represented a season low.

Prior to Sunday, the Pacers had held only one opponent under 80 points this season, and that came in an 81-79 victory over the Chicago Bulls in early January.

But Indiana appears to jelling, especially on defense, with the players acquired from the Chicago Bulls in a pre-deadline deal starting to mesh.

"I thought defense was really good tonight," Croshere said. "When we play this tough defense, I think we can beat anybody."

A strong finish is nothing new for the Pacers as they went 14-5 down the stretch last season just to finish .500 and secure the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

Indiana is in a better position this season as Sunday's win left the Pacers just one-half game behind Philadelphia for sixth place in the East.

"We're getting to feel more comfortable with them (new guys) and they're getting more comfortable with us and learning our game and being very helpful," Croshere said.

"We have the players to execute the defensive screen we want to run and they're putting the energy and effort into it," Thomas added.

Nazr Mohammed was the only player in double figures for Atlanta with 15 points. Jason Terry and Shareef Abdur-Rahim were held to nine points apiece. The Hawks, who had a three-game winning streak snapped, shot under 36 percent (28-of-78) from the field.

"We never got going in this one today," Terry said. "You can look for every excuse in the book, but there are no excuses for the way we played. Our shots were not falling and they were hitting theirs."

The Pacers opened a 23-17 lead after the first quarter, then allowed only 11 points in the second period. Indiana took a 61-44 lead into the final period.

"It was a good effort on everyone's part," Indiana forward Jeff Foster said. "This is certainly a good time to start a streak in the direction that we have started it. We can't look back. We've got to build on this and until the end of the year."

Atlanta's only lead came when Addur-Rahim hit a jumper to make it 3-2. The Pacers opened a 20-11 lead on Brad Miller's short jumper with four minutes left in the first period and never looked back.

"We looked very good on defense and I think we did a good job of keeping the offense spread and hitting the open shot," Indiana guard Jamaal Tinsley said. "When we are playing hard and tough and playing win, we don't really care what color the opponent's uniform is or where they're from."

Jermaine O'Neal chipped in with 11 points and Tinsley added 10 for the Pacers, who also held the Hawks to just 1-of-11 from beyond the arc.

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