Sun, Nov 23, 2003 - Page 22 News List

Indiana paces the NBA with win

NATIONAL BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION Jermaine O'Neal had 24 points and Reggie Miller hit a pair of free throws with 8.4 seconds left as the Pacers beat the Hornets

AP , NEW ORLEANS

Nuggets center Marcus Camby, bottom front, scoops up a loose ball in front of Wizards center Brendan Haywood, bottom back, and forward Jared Jeffries, top, in the fourth quarter of their game in Denver on Friday.

PHOTO: AP

The Indiana Pacers, with the NBA's best record, stayed unbeaten on the road thanks to a last-second miss by New Orleans rookie David West.

Jermaine O'Neal scored 24 points and Reggie Miller hit a pair of go-ahead free throws with 8.4 seconds left to lift the Indiana Pacers to a 76-75 victory over the Hornets on Friday night.

Ron Artest scored 22 points and O'Neal also had 11 rebounds and five blocks for Indiana, which snapped the Hornets' four-game winning streak.

The Hornets got one last chance with a second left after O'Neal missed a pair of free throws -- the second purposely in an effort to run out the clock. But West just missed converting a backdoor alley-oop pass from Sean Rooks, shooting the ball just a bit too hard off the backboard.

Baron Davis led New Orleans with 33 points.

76ers 87, Celtics 85

In Philadelphia, Allen Iverson missed 14 of his first 18 shots, including a breakaway layup, but finished with 24 points.

Paul Pierce scored 33 and Vin Baker had 22 for the Celtics, who have lost three straight and four of five.

The Sixers, again playing without Glenn Robinson (ankle) and Derrick Coleman (knee), have won two straight for just the second time this season. Kenny Thomas added 14 points and 12 rebounds.

Pierce scored eight straight points on a dunk and consecutive 3-pointers as Boston tied it at 83 with 1:28 left. Aaron McKie answered with a jumper to give the Sixers an 85-83 lead with 1:05 to go, and Boston let the shot clock expire on its next possession. After Iverson missed a driving layup, Walter McCarty missed a 3-pointer with 9.5 seconds left. Iverson then iced it with two free throws.

Pistons 95, Knicks 85

In Auburn Hills, Michigan, Chauncey Billups scored 23 points and Richard Hamilton added 21 to lead the Detroit Pistons to their fourth consecutive win.

The Knicks played without forward Keith Van Horn, who missed his second game with a sprained right ankle, and lost for the sixth time in seven tries. They never led.

Kurt Thomas led New York with 16 points and nine rebounds before fouling out with four minutes to play, while Shandon Anderson scored 15 and Charlie Ward had 13.

Hamilton's three-point play in the final minute of the period helped Detroit take a 74-66 lead into the fourth. Billups' 3-pointer moved the margin to 79-69 early in the fourth, and the Knicks never got closer than seven after that.

Timberwolves 97, Cavaliers 83

In Cleveland, Latrell Sprewell scored a season-high 31 points and Kevin Garnett added 20. Sprewell's 3-pointer with 5:47 remaining gave Minnesota a 15-point lead, and the Timberwolves helding off the inexperienced Cavaliers from there.

Cleveland rookie LeBron James scored 19 points -- 13 in the fourth quarter -- and added nine rebounds. However, he shot 8-of-19 and played just four minutes of the third quarter because of foul trouble.

Garnett added 15 rebounds and Fred Hoiberg came off the bench and matched a season-high with 14 points for Minnesota, which only trailed for the game's first 2:18.

Spurs 114, Hawks 75

In San Antonio, Tim Duncan had 20 of the Spurs season-high 68 first-half points and finished with 25.

Manu Ginobili had 20 points on 9-for-10 shooting with five rebounds and five assists, and Tony Parker had 17 points and six assists as the Spurs bounced back from a 95-92 defeat the previous night at Dallas.

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