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NBA  FINAL            1ST  2ND  3RD  4TH  TOTAL
                      ---  ---  ---  ---  -----
     INDIANA          25   21   34   18    98   
     DETROIT          31   23   24   14    92      FINAL

HIGH SCORERS:   IND - JERMAINE O'NEAL 29, REGGIE MILLER 20, 
                      RON ARTEST 20
                DET - CHAUNCEY BILLUPS 27, RICHARD HAMILTON 
                      22, CORLISS WILLIAMSON 16

HIGH REBOUND:   IND - JERMAINE O'NEAL 13, BRAD MILLER 6, TWO 
                      PLAYERS WITH 4
                DET - BEN WALLACE 15, RICHARD HAMILTON 7, 
                      CHAUNCEY BILLUPS 5

HIGH ASSISTS:   IND - JAMAAL TINSLEY 11, REGGIE MILLER 3, RON 
                      ARTEST 3
                DET - CLIFF ROBINSON 8, JON BARRY 4, CHAUNCEY 
                      BILLUPS 2

         ATT:   22,076

Box Score

INDIANA (98) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp R Artest 28 7-14 5-5 1-3 3 3 20 J O'Neal 47 11-21 6-9 2-13 0 5 29 B Miller 27 0-2 0-0 0-6 2 5 0 R Miller 30 6-14 6-6 0-2 3 3 20 J Tinsley 34 4-9 1-2 1-4 11 3 12 A Harrington 35 5-12 3-4 0-4 0 4 13 T Hardaway 4 0-1 0-0 0-0 2 1 0 J Bender 7 1-1 0-0 0-0 0 1 2 E Strickland 14 1-2 0-0 1-1 1 0 2 A Croshere 13 0-2 0-0 2-3 0 1 0 J Foster 1 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 R Mercer DNP - COACH'S DECISION _____________________________________________________ TOTALS 240 35-78 21-26 7-36 22 26 98 _____________________________________________________ Percentages: FG-.449, FT-.808. 3-Point Goals: 7-14, .500 (R Artest 1-2, J O'Neal 1-2, R Miller 2-4, J Tinsley 3-5, T Hardaway 0-1). Team Rebounds: 8. Blocked Shots:4 (J O'Neal 2, A Harrington, R Artest). Turnovers:8 (J Tinsley 3, R Artest 2, T Hardaway, A Croshere, A Harrington). Steals: 8 (R Artest 4, J Tinsley 2, J O'Neal, A Harrington). DETROIT (92) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp M Curry 17 0-3 0-0 0-0 1 2 0 B Wallace 44 2-8 0-0 4-15 1 2 4 C Robinson 36 2-9 4-5 0-4 8 4 8 R Hamilton 28 8-13 6-7 2-7 0 5 22 C Billups 40 8-16 7-8 0-5 2 3 27 J Barry 25 3-4 4-4 1-4 4 1 11 C Williamson 31 6-12 4-5 2-2 0 4 16 H Davis 8 1-2 0-0 0-2 0 0 3 M Okur 11 0-2 1-2 0-2 0 4 1 D Manning DNP - COACH'S DECISION C Atkins DNP - COACH'S DECISION T Prince DNP - COACH'S DECISION _____________________________________________________ TOTALS 240 30-69 26-31 9-41 16 25 92 _____________________________________________________ Percentages: FG-.435, FT-.839. 3-Point Goals: 6-14, .429 (C Robinson 0-1, C Billups 4-10, J Barry 1-2, H Davis 1-1). Team Rebounds: 7. Blocked Shots:6 (B Wallace 4, C Williamson 2). Turnovers:14 (C Robinson 3, J Barry 2, C Billups 2, M Okur 2, B Wallace 2, R Hamilton 2, C Williamson). Steals: 6 (J Barry 2, C Billups 2, M Curry, B Wallace). ------------------------------------------- INDIANA 25 21 34 18 - 98 DETROIT 31 23 24 14 - 92 ------------------------------------------- Technical fouls: Indiana - 1 (R Miller, 7:16 1st). Detroit - 1 (Defensive Three, 3:12 2nd). Flagrant fouls: None. A: 22,076. T: 2:22. Officials: Gary Benson, Joe Crawford, Tom Washington.


Extended Box

INDIANA (98) AT DETROIT (92) INDIANA REBOUNDS PLAYER POS MIN FGM-FGA FTM-FTA OFF-DEF-TOT AST PF ST TO PTS ====== === === ======= ======= =========== === == == == === R ARTEST F 28 7-14 5-5 1 2 3 3 3 4 2 20 J O'NEAL F 47 11-21 6-9 2 11 13 0 5 1 0 29 B MILLER C 27 0-2 0-0 0 6 6 2 5 0 0 0 R MILLER G 30 6-14 6-6 0 2 2 3 3 0 0 20 J TINSLEY G 34 4-9 1-2 1 3 4 11 3 2 3 12 A HARRINGTON 35 5-12 3-4 0 4 4 0 4 1 1 13 T HARDAWAY 4 0-1 0-0 0 0 0 2 1 0 1 0 J BENDER 7 1-1 0-0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 2 E STRICKLAND 14 1-2 0-0 1 0 1 1 0 0 0 2 A CROSHERE 13 0-2 0-0 2 1 3 0 1 0 1 0 J FOSTER 1 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 R MERCER DNP - COACH'S DECISION TOTALS 240 35-78 21-26 7 29 36 22 26 8 8 98 (.449) (.808) TEAM REBS: 8 TOTAL TO: 9 (13 PTS) DETROIT REBOUNDS PLAYER POS MIN FGM-FGA FTM-FTA OFF-DEF-TOT AST PF ST TO PTS ====== === === ======= ======= =========== === == == == === M CURRY F 17 0-3 0-0 0 0 0 1 2 1 0 0 B WALLACE F 44 2-8 0-0 4 11 15 1 2 1 2 4 C ROBINSON C 36 2-9 4-5 0 4 4 8 4 0 3 8 R HAMILTON G 28 8-13 6-7 2 5 7 0 5 0 2 22 C BILLUPS G 40 8-16 7-8 0 5 5 2 3 2 2 27 J BARRY 25 3-4 4-4 1 3 4 4 1 2 2 11 C WILLIAMSON 31 6-12 4-5 2 0 2 0 4 0 1 16 H DAVIS 8 1-2 0-0 0 2 2 0 0 0 0 3 M OKUR 11 0-2 1-2 0 2 2 0 4 0 2 1 D MANNING DNP - COACH'S DECISION C ATKINS DNP - COACH'S DECISION T PRINCE DNP - COACH'S DECISION TOTALS 240 30-69 26-31 9 32 41 16 25 6 14 92 (.435) (.839) TEAM REBS: 7 TOTAL TO: 16 (23 PTS) INDIANA 25 21 34 18 - 98 DETROIT 31 23 24 14 - 92 BLOCKED SHOTS: INDIANA - J O'NEAL 2, A HARRINGTON, R ARTEST. DETROIT - B WALLACE 4, C WILLIAMSON 2. 3-PT. FIELD GOALS: INDIANA 7-14 (.500), R ARTEST 1-2, J O'NEAL 1-2, R MILLER 2-4, J TINSLEY 3-5, T HARDAWAY 0-1. DETROIT 6-14 (.429), C ROBINSON 0-1, C BILLUPS 4-10, J BARRY 1-2, H DAVIS 1-1. TECHNICAL FOULS: INDIANA - R MILLER. DETROIT - DEFENSIVE THREE. FLAGRANT FOULS: NONE. OFFICIALS: GARY BENSON, JOE CRAWFORD, TOM WASHINGTON. A - 22,076. T - 2:22.


Game Story

AUBURN HILLS, Michigan (Ticker) -- The Indiana Pacers refused to let the Detroit Pistons clinch the division title they let slip away. Jermaine O'Neal had 29 points and 13 rebounds and Ron Artest scored all 20 of his points in the second half as the Pacers held on for a 98-92 victory over the Pistons. Indiana led the Central Division for most of the first half of the season before enduring a stretch in which it lost 15 of 20 games, allowing Detroit to surge ahead in the standings. But Indiana is regaining its first-half form and temporarily denied Detroit its second straight Central Division crown. The Pacers won for the fourth time in five games and pulled within 2 1/2 games of the Pistons with six games left. "We had chances to be first in the division, but a couple of things happened to our team," Artest said. "No matter where we finish, we don't plan on losing in the first round no matter who it's against. And we don't plan on losing in the championship no matter who it's against." "This was a big win for us," O'Neal said. "This was a situation where we had to have this win. We want to win as many as possible and hopefully at the end of the year, when it's all said and done, we're No. 1 in the Eastern Conference." Artest made 7-of-12 shots and 5-of-5 free throws in the second half and overshadowed his latest disciplinary problem. He was fined $20,000 by the league Thursday for making obscene gestures toward the crowd in Cleveland on Wednesday. "Basketball is just like a soap opera," he said. "I'm like the enemy of every arena. To me, I take it as a comic book. I'm the villain, but the good villain. As long as I'm going out there, trying to win games and not getting suspended, I'm happy." "I love Ron Artest and wish I had three more like him," Indiana coach Isiah Thomas said. "He's a good basketball player and unfortunately he has some things that he's trying to overcome as a person. We'll continue to work with him. He's worth the effort." Artest was the villain again Friday as he torched the Pistons down the stretch. He gave the Pacers the lead for good at 80-78 on a three-point play with 2.4 seconds remaining in the third quarter. Indiana scored 12 of the first 16 points in the fourth quarter, highlighted by six from Al Harrington, who had nine of his 13 points in the final 11 minutes. O'Neal capped the burst with a pair of free throws to give the Pacers their largest lead at 92-82 with 3:07 left. Detroit's Richard Hamilton responded with consecutive baskets, but O'Neal answered with a jump hook and Harrington buried two free throws to restore a 10-point advantage for Indiana. Reggie Miller scored 12 of his 20 points in the first quarter and Jamaal Tinsley collected 12 and 11 assists for the Pacers, who have won consecutive road games on the heels of an 11-game road losing streak. Chauncey Billups scored 27 points and Hamilton finished with 22 as Detroit's lead in the Eastern Conference was reduced to one-half game over the New Jersey Nets. "It's a tough loss but it doesn't kill us," Pistons forward Clifford Robinson said. "For us, we're still in the driver's seat. It's just a matter of us taking care of business." "We're not worried about the playoffs. We're not worried about the Pacers," Billups said. "We're worried about the Pistons. We need to fix what we need to fix right now and that's the bottom line. It has nothing to do with two weeks from now, two days from now, we've got to worry about right now and what we've got to fix." Billups scored 15 points in the first quarter as the Pistons jumped out to a 31-25 lead. Detroit carried an 54-46 lead into halftime despite the dominance of O'Neal, who scored 15 points in the second quarter. Artest opened the second half with a layup and, after consecutive jumpers by Miller, made two free throws to forge a 54-54 tie with 9:43 left. Indiana took its first lead since the first quarter on Artest's 3-pointer with nine minutes left.


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