Daniels sparks Pacers past 76ersDec 20, 2007 - 4:56 AM By Gary Knight PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer
INDIANAPOLIS (Ticker) - Marquis Daniels spearheaded a second-half surge to lead the Indiana Pacers to a 102-85 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers on Wednesday.
Indiana used an 18-7 third-quarter burst to open up a tight game, with Daniels scoring 10 of his game-high 26 points in that key stretch.
The win was Indiana's third in a row and fourth in their last five games.
Daniels made all four of his shots in the third quarter, including a pair from long range, with all 10 of his points coming over the last 4:24. He scored the last seven Pacer points in the period.
"We needed it," Daniels said of his third quarter burst. "We had a lackluster first half, so we wanted to come out and get on track. I was just trying to be aggressive."
Daniels played 32 minutes off the bench, many in place of an injured Jamal Tinsley, who was a last-minute scratch with a thigh injury. Little used Andre Owens started in place of Tinsley, but played just over 18 minutes.
"I asked him if he wanted to start and he said no," Pacer coach Jim O'Brien said of Daniels. "He's comfortable in that role (coming off the bench) and that's very unselfish of him. He cares about finishing games, not about who starts."
The loss was just the second in the last seven games for Philadelphia, which had clawed its way back near .500, just four games behind second-place Toronto in the Atlantic division.
Andre Miller and Andre Iguodala each scored 16 points for Philadelphia, which came into the game having won five of its last six.
The Sixer bench was outscored 35-16. Kyle Korver, averaging 10 points per game off the bench, was held to two points. He was 0-5 from the field.
"It was one of those nights where you don't get many good looks and you can't hit the looks you get," Korver said.
"Our offense went flat and their offense picked it up," Sixers coach Maurice Cheeks said. "We talked about not letting your offense dictate our defense. We had a stretch where we didn't score on our end and we held them on their end, but we were already down 10 or 12 by then. Daniels off the bench really hurt us."
Jermaine O'Neal and Mike Dunleavy each scored 19 points for the Pacers, who won despite being outrebounded 55-39.
"We only had eight turnovers and we were playing without our starting point guard, so that's a positive," Dunleavy said. "Against this team, who is long and athletic, to be able to move the ball and get shots was great."
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