Regular Season Series (Game 2 of 2)

Series starts 1/29

Game 1: Wednesday, January 29th
Game 2: Saturday, February 22nd

Pacers 96

(37-19, 13-16 away)

Spurs 105


    Coverage: KENS

    7:30 PM ET, February 22, 2003

    AT&T Center, San Antonio, TX

    1 2 3 4 T
    IND 21 18 20 3796
    SA 26 24 33 22105

    Top Performers

    Ind: E. Strickland 22 Pts, 4 Reb, 2 Ast, 2 Stl

    SA: T. Duncan 21 Pts, 10 Reb, 4 Ast, 5 Blk

    Spurs make it 10 of 11 while Pacers folding up

    SAN ANTONIO (AP) -- While the Indiana Pacers couldn't score, Tony Parker couldn't miss.

    Parker scored 14 of his 18 points in the third quarter on 5-for-5 shooting to key a 24-4 run as the San Antonio Spurs beat Indiana 105-96 Saturday night. The win was San Antonio's 10th in 11 games.

    The Spurs' defense clamped down on Indiana, which missed 11 consecutive shots over a seven-minute span in the third and made only five of its 20 attempts during the period.

    "This was by far our worst performance on the road all season,'' Indiana coach Isiah Thomas said. "It was such an ugly game.''

    The Pacers, who have lost four straight, cut San Antonio's lead in the final minutes, as Erick Strickland made four 3-pointers in the fourth quarter.

    Tim Duncan was high scorer for the Spurs with 21, while Malik Rose had 15 off the bench.

    Strickland led all scorers with 22, while fellow reserves Al Harrington and Austin Croshere added 19 and 13, respectively. Jermaine O'Neal led Indiana's starters with 12, well below his 19.8 average, on 4-for-15 shooting. Reggie Miller finished with four points.

    "Shots kind of come and go,'' O'Neal said. "We need to put a few good (games) together to get our confidence back.''

    The Pacers' Ron Artest left the game early in the third with what the team described as a sore right elbow. Artest, averaging 15.4 points, did not score or grab a rebound in 13 minutes.

    Artest was not available for comment after the game, and no one on the Pacers wanted to talk about his apparent injury.

    "I just heard there is something wrong with him physically,'' Thomas said. "I can't comment on medical things. Ask me about basketball.''

    David Robinson was activated before the game after missing seven games with lower back spasms and a sore right knee. He threw down two thunderous dunks in the opening minutes before going to the bench midway through the first period, and finished with nine points and five rebounds in 14 minutes.

    "The same thing happened the last time he sat out a stretch,'' Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said, referring to Robinson's brief stint on the injured list in January. "He had spunk and was spry. He was very mobile.''

    Robinson, now in his 14th NBA season, said he felt excited to be back in uniform.

    "I still have to continue to work out and get into a rhythm,'' he said. "However, it was just so much fun being back there with the guys.''

    San Antonio ran out to a 10-0 lead just over two minutes into the game before Miller made a jumper to put the Pacers on the board.

    About five minutes later, Indiana went ahead 16-14 on a pair of free throws by Harrington as the Spurs missed six straight shots from the floor.

    Danny Ferry's 3-pointer early in the second period started an 18-8 run that gave San Antonio a 44-29 lead late in the half. Duncan scored 11 points in the period on 5-for-6 shooting to finish the half with 15.

    A pair of 3-pointers by Strickland just before the break pulled Indiana to within nine, 48-39, before Stephen Jackson's finger roll with 2.7 seconds remaining gave the Spurs a 50-39 advantage.

    Game notes

    Indiana's reserves made 21 of the team's 32 field goals in the game. ... The Spurs have beaten the Pacers in eight of their last nine meetings, including both of their matchups this season. ... San Antonio is now 31-31 all-time against Indiana. ... San Antonio's Steve Smith, the starting shooting guard when the season began, entered the game in the fourth. He has played in only five of the team's 14 games since Jan. 24. ... Indiana is 13-16 on the road this season.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 96 105
    FGM-FGA 32-79 (.405) 40-70 (.571)
    3PM-3PA 7-16 (.438) 5-13 (.385)
    FTM-FTA 25-26 (.962) 20-33 (.606)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 14-37 9-33
    Assists 18 24
    Turnovers 17 17
    Steals 8 13
    Blocks 5 7
    Fast Break Points 4 9
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 32 (1/0) 24 (0/0)

    Top Performers

    San Antonio
    Erick Strickland Strickland
    Points: 22
    Reb: 4
    Ast: 2
    Stl: 2
    Blk: 0
    Tim Duncan Duncan
    Points: 21
    Reb: 10
    Ast: 4
    Stl: 0
    Blk: 5