Regular Season Series (Game 1 of 4)

Series starts 11/9

Game 1: Sunday, November 9th
Game 2: Friday, November 28th
Game 3: Saturday, February 28th
Game 4: Monday, April 12th

Pacers 85

(6-1, 4-0 away)

76ers 74

(3-4, 1-2 home)

    Coverage: CSN

    6:00 PM ET, November 9, 2003

    Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia, PA

    1 2 3 4 T
    IND 26 17 16 2685
    PHI 15 26 23 1074

    Top Performers

    Indiana: M. World Peace 30 Pts, 10 Reb, 3 Ast, 1 Stl

    Philadelphia: A. Iverson 37 Pts, 4 Reb, 4 Ast, 2 Stl

    Pacers rally in fourth for win

    PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- Indiana's Ron Artest lay on the court, his hands covering his face after taking a forearm to the face from Derrick Coleman.

    Artest's teammates swarmed to help him up and coach Rick Carlisle rushed off the bench to try and prevent an altercation.

    "I think last year's Ron would have probably took out a couple of fans in the front row," teammate Reggie Miller said.

    There was no need for concern. Artest calmly got up and sank a couple of free throws.

    Artest scored 30 points and had 10 rebounds to lead the Indiana Pacers to their fifth straight win, an 85-74 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers on Sunday night.

    Jermaine O'Neal added 23 points and 10 rebounds for the Pacers, whose 13-point first-quarter lead turned into a five-point deficit entering the fourth quarter.

    But Artest and O'Neal led the Pacers on an 18-4 run while improving to 4-0 on the road.

    Indiana rallied from the start of the fourth quarter, getting a 3-pointer from Miller to tie it, then Artest followed with a 3 on the next possession for a 69-66 lead.

    On the next possession, Artest drove down the baseline from the left side with his left arm fully extended when Coleman collided with him under the basket.

    Artest crashed hard to the floor in pain because he chipped his tooth -- the same tooth he cracked last season in Game 6 against Boston. There was reason to think the incident might escalate into something more -- Artest led the league in flagrant-foul points a year ago and lost more than $250,000 in salary.

    This year, Artest is flagrant free.

    "He's a year older, a year wiser," coach Rick Carlisle said. "The guy's showing me he's putting the team ahead of any other things that might be going on."

    Artest's free throws gave Indiana a 71-66 lead. Later, he hit another 3 for an 80-70 lead and the Pacers cruised to their first double-digit victory.

    "Tonight is an indication of the new and improved Ron," Miller said.

    Artest brushed off the incident, and said Coleman was just playing his role as the Sixers' enforcer. Even if others notice a difference, Artest said he hasn't changed his approach.

    "I'm just having fun," Artest said. "A couple of things were blown out of proportion. I'm just here to play basketball."

    Allen Iverson scored 37 points for the Sixers, who were scoreless in the first six minutes of the fourth and scored only 10 points in the quarter.

    Philadelphia's frontline didn't have the height or the strength to compete with the big-bodied Pacers. Indiana outrebounded Philadelphia 45-29 and no Sixers player had more than six rebounds. O'Neal shot 10-for-19 for the floor, scoring most of his baskets on easy dunks.

    The starting frontcourt of Artest, O'Neal and Jeff Foster had 59 points and 30 rebounds to 20 points and 15 points for Sixers starters Glenn Robinson, Marc Jackson and Coleman.

    "That's something we've got to go back and work on and be more consistent in that area," Sixers coach Randy Ayers said. "We've got to defend and rebound the ball to be competitive."

    It was a different result in the third when the Sixers, behind Iverson, shot 59 percent in the quarter.

    Iverson scored 13 points in the third on 5-for-7 shooting, rallying Philadelphia from a 13-point first quarter deficit. He broke down Indiana's defense -- proving much too quick for Miller -- and led the charge on the fastbreak.

    Iverson also settled in nicely on the left wing where he hit the jumpers that gave the Sixers the lead entering the fourth quarter. His 3-pointer as time expired in the quarter gave the Sixers a 64-59 lead.

    Then it all fell apart.

    "Once we got the lead, we kind of relaxed a little bit," Iverson said. "We didn't keep fighting. We didn't try to finish the game."

    Iverson, who finished 15-for-30 from the floor, had little offensive help. Samuel Dalembert and Coleman each had 10 points.

    Kenny Anderson had 11 points and Jeff Fosterscored 10 for the Pacers.

    Game notes

    Artest's career high is 32 points last season. ... Jackson started in place of Kenny Thomas, who sat out with a lower back injury. ... Iverson had a steal in his 31st straight game, the longest active streak in the league. ... Robinson had five rebounds and reached the 4,000 for his career. ... Dalembert added a career-high five blocked shots.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 85 74
    FGM-FGA 34-74 (.459) 30-72 (.417)
    3PM-3PA 5-14 (.357) 2-8 (.250)
    FTM-FTA 12-16 (.750) 12-16 (.750)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 13-45 7-29
    Assists 24 14
    Turnovers 19 16
    Steals 9 8
    Blocks 3 6
    Fast Break Points 4 5
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 19 (1/0) 20 (1/1)

    Top Performers

    Metta World Peace World Peace
    Points: 30
    Reb: 10
    Ast: 3
    Stl: 1
    Blk: 0
    Allen Iverson Iverson
    Points: 37
    Reb: 4
    Ast: 4
    Stl: 2
    Blk: 0