Pacers
Pelicans
100 - 93 Final
  for this game

O'Neal leads Pacers past reeling Hornets

Jan 7, 2007 - 5:53 AM OKLAHOMA CITY (Ticker) -- Jermaine O'Neal took out his frustration on the New Orleans Hornets.

O'Neal scored nine of his 22 points in the fourth quarter and Jamaal Tinsley made a pair of clutch shots down the stretch as the Indiana Pacers snapped a two-game slide with a 100-93 victory over the reeling Hornets.

"I think we played a tough game tonight," Pacers coach Rick Carlisle said. "I think it was obvious how bad we needed a win. New Orleans threw the kitchen sink at us, and we didn't fold."

Al Harrington and Stephen Jackson scored 27 points apiece for the Pacers, who got virtually all of their offense from four players and rediscovered their top option when they needed him.

"If (O'Neal is) not involved, we don't have a chance to win the game," Jackson said. "He's our All-Star, he's our franchise guy. So he has to be out there and be happy for us to win games."

Following Thursday's loss to Dallas, O'Neal suggested that Indiana might be better off trading him after the season if it could not snap out of its season-long doldrums.

"We have to do what it takes to win," Carlisle said. "We are not going to go out of our way to give Jermaine the ball 25-30 times a game but we can be creative and find ways to get him more involved. We have a lot of guys that can score for us, but we have to find a way to keep everyone involved."

"It's a very difficult situation because we have guys that can make shots, but at times when we are struggling and losing, I do want the ball in my hands," O'Neal said. "I have a lot of confidence in my teammates, but in a tough situation I want the ball in my hands. In any given matchup, I feel I can make plays. Even when I'm double-teamed, I can find the open guy to score for us."

The Pacers have not won more than two in a row or been more than three games above .500 this season. Among their losses are setbacks to Boston, Seattle and Charlotte, three of the worst teams in the NBA.

"We'll play extremely well one night, then come back the next game and play extremely bad," O'Neal said. "If we can get at least a three-game win streak together, then we can say we're making strides."

O'Neal scored 12 points in the second quarter and came alive again in the fourth period. His lefthanded layup gave Indiana a 76-70 lead with 10:17 to go and his three-point play kept the margin at 83-79 with 6:16 left.

A basket by Desmond Mason, who scored a season-high 28 points, pulled the Hornets into an 83-83 tie, but O'Neal again scored inside with his left hand, then went righthanded for another hoop and an 87-83 advantage with 2:53 to go.

"Jermaine is a great player and the thing I always tell him is not to underestimate how much better he can make his teammates," Carlisle said. "Not only with his abilities on the court, but he has a leadership quality that makes him unique and a special player. He raised the level of this team tonight."

"That's what he is supposed to do," Harrington said. "When we are struggling or we are down, or like tonight when they got close and even tied it up, he is going to come through for us."

The Hornets halved the deficit, but Jeff Foster made two free throws and Tinsley - who also sparked a third-quarter surge - drained a jumper for a 91-85 lead with 1:10 to play. He sealed matters with another jumper 32 seconds later.

"We had a lot of guys that scored for us tonight," O'Neal said. "It's a team game, and that's what we need from our team every night."

Tinsley scored 13 points for the Pacers, who shot 47 percent (33-of-70) from the field and made 28-of-32 free throws.

Reserve Jannero Pargo scored 14 points for the injury-riddled Hornets, who had all five starters in double figures but still lost for the 18th time in 22 games.

"We had so many mistakes," Hornets coach Byron Scott said. "I thought we played hard, but there were a lot of little things that we didn't do that cost us the game, and that is something we can not afford to do right now. We played hard, but we didn't play smart. That is one thing we need to do better."

Before the wave of injuries, the Hornets got off to an 8-3 start, including a win at Indiana in the season's first week.

Indiana grabbed a 23-18 lead after one period as Harrington scored 12 points and Jackson added nine. O'Neal's 12 in the second quarter helped the Pacers maintain the lead.

A circus shot arced over the backboard by Mason gave the Hornets their first lead at 52-51 early in the third quarter. Tinsley had a pair of 3-pointers in a 10-0 burst late in the period that reclaimed a 67-60 advantage for the Pacers.








  • AT OKLAHOMA CITY OK
    NBA INDIANA 100
    NEW ORLEANS 93 FINAL

    Jan 6 10:53 PM
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    Pacers vs. PelicansJan 6 10:41 PM
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    Pacers vs. PelicansJan 6 10:32 PM
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    Pacers vs. PelicansJan 6 10:25 PM


  • AT OKLAHOMA CITY OK
    NBA INDIANA 71
    NEW ORLEANS 70 END, 3RD QTR

    Jan 6 10:10 PM


  • AT OKLAHOMA CITY OK
    NBA INDIANA 50
    NEW ORLEANS 46 HALFTIME

    Jan 6 9:24 PM


  • AT OKLAHOMA CITY OK
    NBA INDIANA 23
    NEW ORLEANS 18 END, 1ST QTR

    Jan 6 8:46 PM