INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -- Jeff Foster desperately wanted to give the
fans something to cheer about. A 2-2 start at home had made the
locals uneasy, their frustration leading to boos during a loss to
Boston two nights earlier.
"It really left a bad taste in my mouth," Foster said.
Determined not to let it happen again, Foster had 19 points and
12 rebounds and Ron Artest shut down Rashard Lewis, leading the
Indiana Pacers to a 101-78 win over the Seattle SuperSonics on
Foster's previous career-high of 17 came exactly two years
earlier against Boston. His willingness to run the floor and hustle
down rebounds created easy scoring opportunities for the Pacers as
they handed Seattle its second loss of the season.
"I don't think (the fans) realized that Seattle had the best
record going into tonight," Foster said. "But it was a good game
and a good win for us."
Foster was one of six Indiana players to score in double
figures. Artest and Jermaine O'Neal scored 16 apiece, with Al
Harrington adding 13 off the bench.
"I think we did a better job of getting out and running,"
O'Neal said. "I think we're really good when we keep teams on
their heels and make guys play helter-skelter defense."
Lewis, already the object of frequent double-teams this year as
the NBA's third-leading scorer, was held by Artest to 12 points on
"We knew they were a physical team," Seattle guard Ronald
Murray said. "They got close to you, They'd body you, and we
couldn't handle it. They pretty much got what they wanted, inside
The loss snapped a four-game road win streak for the Sonics, who
were led by Murray's 16 points and Antonio Daniels' 15.
The Pacers used 3-pointers from Reggie Miller and Artest to
ignite a 11-0 run for an early eight-point lead. Miller scored 11
points in the first half on 3-of-3 shooting to put the Pacers up
51-42, but missed his final four shots.
The Sonics struggled in their half-court offense, the Pacers'
big bodies bullying them into 32 percent shooting in the second
quarter, two shot clock violations and 14 turnovers. Seattle shot
only 28 percent in the second half.
The Pacers led by as many as 24 points.
Indiana defeated Seattle twice last season but had never
beaten the Sonics three times in a row. ... Carlisle served as the
Sonics' TV analyst during the 2000-01 season after leaving Indiana
as Larry Bird's top assistant. He said the year he spent observing
Nate McMillan, then in his first year with the Sonics, was "great
preparation for being a head coach." Carlisle was named the NBA's
Coach of the Year with the Pistons a year later. ... Murray is best
known to his teammates as "Flip." He got the nickname from the
movie "Above the Rim," which stars Tupac Shakur. Bernie Mac plays
Flip in the movie.