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NBA FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL --- --- --- --- ----- PHOENIX 22 20 25 20 87 INDIANA 27 29 23 18 97 FINAL

HIGH SCORERS: PHO - JAKE TSAKALIDIS 20, JOE JOHNSON 17, TWO PLAYERS WITH 12 IND - JERMAINE O'NEAL 32, BRAD MILLER 25, JONATHAN BENDER 14

HIGH REBOUND: PHO - JAKE TSAKALIDIS 12, DAN MAJERLE 6, STEPHON MARBURY 6 IND - JERMAINE O'NEAL 10, BRAD MILLER 9, JEFF FOSTER 5

HIGH ASSISTS: PHO - STEPHON MARBURY 7, DAN MAJERLE 6, JOE JOHNSON 4 IND - KEVIN OLLIE 6, JAMAAL TINSLEY 6, BRAD MILLER 4

ATT: 16,419


Extended Box

PHOENIX (87) AT INDIANA (97)

PHOENIX

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

S MARION F 19 3-6 0-0 0 2 2 3 1 2 3 7 C OUTLAW F 23 4-5 1-2 0 3 3 0 3 0 2 9 J TSAKALIDIS C 38 10-16 0-2 5 7 12 0 4 0 5 20 J JOHNSON G 38 7-12 2-2 0 3 3 4 1 1 2 17 S MARBURY G 37 5-15 2-2 2 4 6 7 1 0 2 12 A FORD 8 0-1 0-0 0 1 1 0 4 0 1 0 P HARDAWAY 12 0-1 0-0 0 1 1 2 3 0 2 0 D MAJERLE 33 3-6 0-1 0 6 6 6 1 1 1 8 M PALACIO 11 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 2 0 1 0 0 J VOSKUHL 5 1-1 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 2 J WALLACE 16 6-11 0-0 1 4 5 2 2 0 0 12 J CRISPIN DNP - COACH'S DECISION

TOTALS 240 39-74 5-9 8 31 39 26 20 6 18 87 (.527) (.556) TEAM REBS: 5 TOTAL TO: 18 (26 PTS)

INDIANA

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

R ARTEST F 24 2-8 1-2 1 3 4 2 1 5 0 6 J O'NEAL F 40 14-26 4-6 4 6 10 0 2 1 1 32 B MILLER C 41 10-19 5-7 3 6 9 4 2 0 0 25 R MILLER G 36 4-10 1-1 1 1 2 3 1 1 3 11 J TINSLEY G 23 2-4 0-0 0 3 3 6 1 1 1 5 J BENDER 36 5-11 3-5 3 1 4 1 1 1 2 14 J FOSTER 15 2-3 0-0 3 2 5 0 0 1 2 4 K OLLIE 25 0-3 0-2 0 2 2 6 5 2 1 0 R MERCER DNP - COACH'S DECISION A CROSHERE DNP - COACH'S DECISION B SUNDOV DNP - COACH'S DECISION P BREZEC DNP - COACH'S DECISION

TOTALS 240 39-84 14-23 15 24 39 22 13 12 10 97 (.464) (.609) TEAM REBS: 10 TOTAL TO: 12 (9 PTS)

PHOENIX 22 20 25 20 - 87 INDIANA 27 29 23 18 - 97

BLOCKED SHOTS: PHOENIX - C OUTLAW 4, J TSAKALIDIS 3, J WALLACE, J JOHNSON, S MARION, J VOSKUHL. INDIANA - J O'NEAL 2, R ARTEST. 3-PT. FIELD GOALS: PHOENIX 4-12 (.333), S MARION 1-1, J JOHNSON 1- 3, S MARBURY 0-1, D MAJERLE 2-5, J WALLACE 0-2. INDIANA 5-9 (.556), R ARTEST 1-3, R MILLER 2-3, J TINSLEY 1-1, J BENDER 1-2. TECHNICAL FOULS: PHOENIX - ASSISTANT BIANCHI. INDIANA - B MILLER. FLAGRANT FOULS: INDIANA 1 (B MILLER, 2:45 3RD). PHOENIX 1 (A FORD, 5:58 3RD). OFFICIALS: MARK WUNDERLICH, RON GARRETSON. A - 16,419. T - 2:03.


Box Score

PHOENIX (87)

fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp S Marion 19 3-6 0-0 0-2 3 1 7 C Outlaw 23 4-5 1-2 0-3 0 3 9 J Tsakalidis 38 10-16 0-2 5-12 0 4 20 J Johnson 38 7-12 2-2 0-3 4 1 17 S Marbury 37 5-15 2-2 2-6 7 1 12 A Ford 8 0-1 0-0 0-1 0 4 0 P Hardaway 12 0-1 0-0 0-1 2 3 0 D Majerle 33 3-6 0-1 0-6 6 1 8 M Palacio 11 0-0 0-0 0-0 2 0 0 J Voskuhl 5 1-1 0-0 0-0 0 0 2 J Wallace 16 6-11 0-0 1-5 2 2 12 J Crispin DNP - COACH'S DECISION

_____________________________________________________ TOTALS 240 39-74 5-9 8-39 26 20 87 _____________________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.527, FT-.556. 3-Point Goals: 4-12, .333 (S Marion 1-1, J Johnson 1-3, S Marbury 0-1, D Majerle 2-5, J Wallace 0-2). Team Rebounds: 5. Blocked Shots:11 (C Outlaw 4, J Tsakalidis 3, J Wallace, J Johnson, S Marion, J Voskuhl). Turnovers:18 (J Tsakalidis 5, S Marion 3, P Hardaway 2, C Outlaw 2, J Johnson 2, S Marbury 2, D Majerle, A Ford). Steals: 6 (S Marion 2, D Majerle, J Voskuhl, J Johnson, M Palacio).

INDIANA (97)

fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp R Artest 24 2-8 1-2 1-4 2 1 6 J O'Neal 40 14-26 4-6 4-10 0 2 32 B Miller 41 10-19 5-7 3-9 4 2 25 R Miller 36 4-10 1-1 1-2 3 1 11 J Tinsley 23 2-4 0-0 0-3 6 1 5 J Bender 36 5-11 3-5 3-4 1 1 14 J Foster 15 2-3 0-0 3-5 0 0 4 K Ollie 25 0-3 0-2 0-2 6 5 0 R Mercer DNP - COACH'S DECISION A Croshere DNP - COACH'S DECISION B Sundov DNP - COACH'S DECISION P Brezec DNP - COACH'S DECISION

_____________________________________________________ TOTALS 240 39-84 14-23 15-39 22 13 97 _____________________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.464, FT-.609. 3-Point Goals: 5-9, .556 (R Artest 1-3, R Miller 2-3, J Tinsley 1-1, J Bender 1-2). Team Rebounds: 10. Blocked Shots:3 (J O'Neal 2, R Artest). Turnovers:10 (R Miller 3, J Bender 2, J Foster 2, J O'Neal, K Ollie, J Tinsley). Steals: 12 (R Artest 5, K Ollie 2, R Miller, J Foster, J Tinsley, J Bender, J O'Neal).

------------------------------------------- PHOENIX 22 20 25 20 - 87 INDIANA 27 29 23 18 - 97 -------------------------------------------

Technical fouls: Phoenix - 1 (ASSISTANT Bianchi, 4:14 1st). Indiana - 1 (B Miller, 3:00 3rd). Flagrant fouls: Indiana 1 (B Miller, 2:45 3rd). Phoenix 1 (A Ford, 5:58 3r). A: 16,419. T: 2:03. Officials: Mark Wunderlich, Ron Garretson.


Game Story

INDIANAPOLIS (Ticker) -- If the Indiana Pacers get nearly 60 points per game from Jermaine O'Neal and Brad Miller, they should have no problem making the playoffs.

Jermaine O'Neal had 32 points and 10 rebounds and Brad Miller added 25 and nine as the Indiana Pacers collected a crucial victory with a 97-87 triumph over the Phoenix Suns.

Indiana had lost six of its previous seven games and was tied for the final playoff position in the Eastern Conference with the surging Toronto Raptors, who have won seven straight games.

With Sunday's visit to Toronto looming, O'Neal and Miller made sure the Pacers would enter the contest with at least a tie for eighth place.

"The win was huge," O'Neal said. "We played a great two halves of basketball. At this stage of the season, we can't afford to play any other way, I really just tried to work off Miller. He's been playing really well and people pay attention to him. That frees me up more."

O'Neal made 14-of-26 shots and Miller added 10-of-19 but picked up his sixth flagrant foul of the season in the third quarter and will likely be suspended for Sunday's visit to Air Canada Centre.

"That's the rules, that's how they do it," he said. "I guess coach (Isiah Thomas) is going to ask for a review and we'll see what happens."

Indiana had a 46-40 lead with just under four minutes left in the second quarter before O'Neal and Miller each scored four points during a 10-0 run. Reggie Miller capped the burst with a layup for a 56-40 edge.

The Pacers had their largest lead, 75-53 on a 3-pointer by rookie Jamal Tinsley with 5:54 left in the third quarter. But they were held scoreless in the final 2:53 of the period as the Suns pulled within 79-57 entering the fourth.

Jake Tsakalidis scored 10 of his 20 points in the fourth quarter as Phoenix rallied within 94-57 with 96 seconds left before falling short.

Jonathan Bender scored 14 points and Miller finished with 11 as Indiana remained tied with Toronto, which won in Chicago.

The Pacers shot just 46 percent (39-of-84) but scored 26 points off 18 Phoenix turnovers and grabbed 15 offensive rebounds leading to 22 points.

"We're a poor ball-handling team," Phoenix coach Frank Johnson said. "We just made too many mistakes. If we could have had 15 more shots and do a better job on the offensive boards, we could have pulled this one out." Rookie Joe Johnson scored 17 points and Stephon Marbury and John Wallace added 12 apiece for the Suns, who shot 53 percent (39-of-74) from the floor but went to the line only nine times.

Phoenix has lost three straight games and fell to 1-3 on a five-game road trip.

The Pacers never surrendered the lead after O'Neal made a finger roll for a 10-9 edge with 7:30 remaining. They had a 29-24 lead early in the second before reeling off eight straight points.

"We came out and set the pace and continued to play well throughout," Miller said. "This is a very rewarding game. We just didn't get that dead spot and let it stay with us."

Miller sparked the spurt with a three-point play and Bender followed with a 3-pointer before Foster made a layup for a 37-24 cushion with 9:26 remaining.

"It's hard when you're on the road especially down as much as we were," Marbury said. "If we would have come out in the first half like we did in the second half, we would have been in better shape."

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