Regular Season Series (Game 2 of 4)

Series starts 11/12

Game 1: Tuesday, November 12th
Game 2: Friday, December 27th
Game 3: Tuesday, February 11th
Game 4: Wednesday, April 2nd

Pacers 113

(21-8, 8-7 away)

Cavaliers 89

(6-25, 5-11 home)

    7:30 PM ET, December 27, 2002

    Quicken Loans Arena, Cleveland, OH

    1 2 3 4 T
    IND 31 29 32 21113
    CLE 21 20 25 2389

    Top Performers

    Ind: M. World Peace 23 Pts, 6 Reb, 2 Ast, 4 Stl, 1 Blk

    Cle: Z. Ilgauskas 21 Pts, 12 Reb, 1 Ast, 2 Stl, 2 Blk

    Miller's three 3-pointers break Cavs' backs, 113-89

    CLEVELAND (AP) -- Reggie Miller rarely misses a chance to put a reeling opponent away.

    Al Harrington

    Al Harrington goes underneath for two of his 23 points for Indiana.

    And as he has done to so many teams, so many times before, Miller made three consecutive 3-pointers Friday night and flattened the Cleveland Cavaliers.

    ''He makes those three shots in a row, and it's like the other team says, 'Ah, it's over,''' Indiana coach Isiah Thomas said. ''He has such an aura, and such a reputation about himself.''

    Miller made three 3-pointers in a 56-second span of the third quarter to restore Indiana's lead, and the Pacers rolled to a 113-89 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Friday night.

    Ron Artest and Al Harrington each scored 23 points and Miller added 17 in 23 minutes for the Pacers, who were again without leading scorer Jermaine O'Neal.

    After the Cavs scored 11 in a row early in the third to trim a 21-point deficit to 10, the Pacers got four consecutive 3-pointers -- three from Miller -- in just 1:33 and pulled away.

    ''We made an 11-0 run,'' Cavs rookie guard Smush Parker said. ''And then Reggie went on a 9-0 run all by himself.''

    Miller began the night 0-for-6 from behind the arc before finally draining his first 3-pointer and then made three of his next four.

    ''I made up for all the ones I missed earlier,'' he said. ''Sooner or later I was going to hit one. Law of averages, I guess.''

    It was Artest who began Indiana's long-range shooting flurry with a 3 from the right corner.

    Miller, who didn't play in the second quarter, then buried two 3s from the left corner, and then hit another from the wing as Indiana opened a 74-55 lead with 5:50 left in the period.

    In true Miller style, the charismatic 37-year-old guard punctuated his last two jumpers by playfully staring into the Cleveland crowd.

    ''When he ignites, it's a different kind of game, and we're a different team,'' Thomas said. ''Anybody else hits those shots and it probably wouldn't have been that big of a deal.''

    Cavs coach John Lucas feared it was only a matter of time before Miller got hot.

    ''He made those 3s and one of our players said, 'But coach, he missed six others,''' Lucas said. ''I told him, 'That's Reggie Miller, he's not going to miss them all.' Then he hits three out of four.''

    Miller scored 11 points in the period, helping the Pacers open a 92-66 lead after three.

    Zydrunas Ilgauskas scored 21 points and Ricky Davis 17 to lead the Cavs, who dropped to an NBA-worst 6-25 and were booed during stretches of the fourth quarter by the Gund Arena crowd.

    Cleveland's starting forwards -- Jumaine Jones and Tyrone Hill -- were outscored 46-9 by Artest and Harrington.

    ''We laid an awful egg,'' Lucas said.

    The Pacers snapped a three-game road losing streak despite not having O'Neal, their leading scorer, who missed his fourth consecutive game with a hyperextended left knee.

    Artest scored 18 points and Harrington 16 in the first half as the Pacers opened a 21-point lead against the Cavs, who seemed more interested in getting off their shots than playing defense.

    Indiana had at least six uncontested layups in the first half, including two on long inbounds passes after baskets when the Pacers caught the Cavs napping.

    Playing more point guard than usual, Artest scored nine points in a 20-6 burst that gave Indiana a 56-35 lead with 2:22 left in the half. He highlighted the run by blocking a shot at one end, dribbling the length of the floor and scoring on an easy layup.

    ''He's got a chance to be great,'' Thomas said of Artest. ''He can do it all.''

    Austin Croshere and Artest each buried 3-pointers as the Pacers closed the first quarter with a 14-4 spurt to open a 31-21 lead.

    Game notes

    Trying to find the right mix, Cavs coach John Lucas used his 14th different starting lineup. With the NBA's youngest team, Lucas said he's struggling as he attempts to balance playing time for veterans at the cost of developing his young players. ''It's a juggling act every night,'' he said. ... Indiana also was without forward Jonathan Bender, who missed his third consecutive game with a sore left calf. ... The Pacers are 20-2 when leading after three.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 113 89
    FGM-FGA 41-86 (.477) 35-87 (.402)
    3PM-3PA 9-23 (.391) 3-14 (.214)
    FTM-FTA 22-24 (.917) 16-20 (.800)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 11-45 14-42
    Assists 29 23
    Turnovers 15 20
    Steals 10 9
    Blocks 2 6
    Fast Break Points 9 7
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 16 (0/0) 20 (0/0)

    Top Performers

    Metta World Peace World Peace
    Points: 23
    Reb: 6
    Ast: 2
    Stl: 4
    Blk: 1
    Zydrunas Ilgauskas Ilgauskas
    Points: 21
    Reb: 12
    Ast: 1
    Stl: 2
    Blk: 2