Regular Season Series (Game 1 of 2)

Series starts 1/6

Game 1: Thursday, January 6th
Game 2: Wednesday, March 23rd

Pacers 98

(16-14, 7-8 away)

Spurs 111

(27-7, 16-1 home)

8:30 PM ET, January 6, 2005

AT&T Center, San Antonio, TX

1 2 3 4 T
IND 24 27 27 2098
SA 31 26 27 27111

Top Performers

Ind: J. O'Neal 32 Pts, 9 Reb, 4 Ast, 1 Stl, 1 Blk

SA: T. Parker 26 Pts, 5 Reb, 6 Ast, 1 Stl

San Antonio improves to 16-1 overall at home

SAN ANTONIO ( news services) -- Tim Duncan and the San Antonio Spurs knew exactly what to expect from Indiana.

Duncan scored 27 points, Tony Parker had 26 and San Antonio clamped down on defense in the second half for a 111-98 victory over the Pacers on Thursday night.

"These are great games for us," Duncan said. "We know they're a tough defensive team. They have (former Spurs assistant coach) Mike Brown, who basically runs our defense. He runs our zone. It's like playing ourselves on defense."

Manu Ginobili added 18 points and Duncan grabbed 12 rebounds for San Antonio, which improved to 8-0 at home against Eastern Conference teams and 16-1 overall at the SBC Center.

The Spurs earned their seventh double-digit victory in eight games, but it didn't come easy.

Jermaine O'Neal had 32 points and nine rebounds for Indiana, and Jamaal Tinsley finished with 18 points and eight assists.

"They played very well," O'Neal said. "There were some questionable things that happened with the officials, but you've got to play the game, and the Spurs just outplayed us tonight."

Parker got San Antonio off to a fast start by scoring 10 points in the first quarter on a series of layups.

Still, the Spurs only led 57-51 at halftime despite shooting 54 percent from the field and 50 percent from 3-point range. San Antonio also held a 10-0 advantage in second-chance points through the first two quarters and a 10-point edge in the paint.

For the game, the Spurs outrebounded Indiana 43-23.

"Our undoing tonight was the difference between the rebounds and second-chance points," Pacers coach Rick Carlisle said. "We shot a good percentage and we didn't play great defensively, but when you have a difference of 20 possessions you're going to pay the price against a good team."

O'Neal scored 14 points in the first half and Tinsley added 13. O'Neal was able to draw three early fouls on Spurs center Rasho Nesterovic, who played only eight minutes in the first half.

Spurs coach Gregg Popovich turned to Robert Horry with Nesterovic in foul trouble, and the veteran responded with his best performance of the season. Horry scored 10 points, grabbed five rebounds and had two blocked shots, including a monstrous swat on O'Neal's drive in the first quarter.

"He's been great," Parker said. "Robert in the last couple of games brings us a lot of energy. He had great blocks and hit some 3s. That's what we need from him. He's playing great."

With Horry starting in the second half, San Antonio went on a 22-12 run to open the third quarter. Duncan, Parker and Bruce Bowen combined to score all the points during the run.

The Spurs outscored Indiana 46-36 in the paint, but the Pacers' frontcourt of O'Neal, David Harrison and Jeff Foster did pull their team to 84-78 at the end of the third quarter.

The Spurs closed the game with a strong defensive effort in the final period, however. They limited the Pacers to two points off turnovers in the second half.

Game notes

O'Neal said he would donate $1,000 to disaster relief efforts in South Asia for every point he scored against San Antonio but opted instead to donate $55,000 based on the 55 points he scored against Milwaukee on Tuesday night. O'Neal was one of several players -- including Kobe Bryant, Tracy McGrady, Pau Gasol, Jalen Rose, Bob Sura and Mike Miller -- represented by agent Arn Tellem who said he would make the contribution based on Thursday's and Friday's scoring. Tellem agreed to match the highest donation. ... The Pacers are 4-2 since O'Neal returned from a 15-game suspension. ... In their eight previous meetings, Duncan averaged 19.4 points and 11 rebounds and O'Neal averaged 17.1 points and 8.1 rebounds. ... The Spurs have been outscored in the paint only five times this season. They are averaging 42.7 points in the lane while holding opponents to 34.5.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


Team Stat Comparison

Points 98 111
FGM-FGA 37-73 (.507) 37-73 (.507)
3PM-3PA 5-13 (.385) 8-15 (.533)
FTM-FTA 19-27 (.704) 29-38 (.763)
Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 6-23 16-43
Assists 21 15
Turnovers 9 13
Steals 5 6
Blocks 1 7
Fast Break Points 10 16
Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 29 (3/0) 24 (0/0)
Largest Lead 2 16

Top Performers

San Antonio
Jermaine O'Neal O'Neal
Points: 32
Reb: 9
Ast: 4
Stl: 1
Blk: 1
Tony Parker Parker
Points: 26
Reb: 5
Ast: 6
Stl: 1
Blk: 0