Sun, Jan 11, 2004 - Page 24 News List

Pacers keep streak alive

NATIONAL BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION While the focus this season has been on the Lakers' All-Star cast, Indiana has quietly forged the league's best record

AP , DALLAS, TEXAS

Ron Artest scored 26 points Friday to help the Indiana Pacers stretch their winning streak to seven games and improve the NBA's best record with a 92-80 victory over the Dallas Mavericks.

Al Harrington and Jermaine O'Neal added 16 points each, and Jamaal Tinsley had 11 points and 12 assists for the Eastern Conference-leading Pacers (28-10).

Indiana's up tempo offense produced a 25-4 edge in fast break points. Dallas lost for only the third time at home.

"We were more aggressive offensively," Pacers coach Rick Carlisle said. "You have to be when you play this team."

Dirk Nowitzki's 20 points led the Mavericks, but he had only five in the second half. Antawn Jamison had 19 points and Shawn Bradley added a season-high 12.

"A lot of it was their defense," Mavericks coach Don Nelson said. "We couldn't get where we wanted and the openings we wanted. And then they block shots in the open court."

Spurs 94, Hornets 84

In New Orleans, Tim Duncan and Bruce Bowen each scored 15 points to lead seven San Antonio players in double figures as the Spurs defeated New Orleans for their 16th win in 17 games.

Turkey's Hedo Turkoglu scored 13, Tony Parker and Ron Mercer each scored 12, and Slovenia's Rasho Nesterovic and Devin Brown had 10 points each for the Spurs.

Baron Davis led the Hornets with 19 points, but early foul trouble limited his playing time.

76ers 97, Nets 81

In Philadelphia, Glenn Robinson scored 24 of his season-high 26 points in the first half, leading Philadelphia over New Jersey.

Robinson's best game of the season helped offset a poor first half by Allen Iverson, who was bothered by the flu.

Iverson, playing his third game since missing 10 straight with a bruised knee, came on late and finished with 17 points and 11 assists for his first double-double since Nov. 14.

Nets guard Jason Kidd left with 7:01 remaining because of a sprained middle finger and did not return.

Celtics 107, Cavaliers 82

In Boston, Paul Pierce had 30 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists before sitting out most of the fourth quarter as Boston coasted to its 13th consecutive victory over Cleveland.

Boston held James LeBron James to 19 points on 7-for-19 shooting. But he was still the high scorer on a team that has five former Celtics -- a result of two trades in the past six months as the struggling franchise tries to rebuild around the top pick in last year's draft.

Tony Battie had 10 points and 13 rebounds in the first game between the teams since the Dec. 15 trade that sent him to Cleveland with Eric Williams and Kedrick Brown for Ricky Davis, Chris Mihm and Michael Stewart.

Magic 103, Wizards 92

In Orlando, Florida, Tracy McGrady scored 35 points as Orlando ended a six-game losing streak by holding on to beat Washington.

Keith Bogans added 13 points, and Juwan Howard had 10 points and 12 rebounds. Lee Nailon came off the bench to score 11 points, all in the fourth quarter, while Andrew DeClercq grabbed a season-best 13 rebounds before fouling out.

Lakers 113, Hawks 67

In Los Angeles, Kobe Bryant scored 26 points to help the Los Angeles Lakers end a four-game losing streak and send Atlanta to its second-worst loss ever.

Stanislav Medvedenko of the Ukraine scored a career-high 26 points and grabbed 11 rebounds for the Lakers, still playing without injured stars Shaquille O'Neal and Karl Malone.

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