Final

Regular Season Series (Game 3 of 3)

Series starts 11/26

Game 1: Friday, November 26th
Bobcats77Final
Pacers82
Game 2: Wednesday, December 29th
Pacers74Final
Bobcats71
Game 3: Wednesday, February 9th
Bobcats87Final
Pacers94

Bobcats 87

(10-36, 2-22 away)

Pacers 94

(23-25, 12-11 home)

    Coverage: FSMW

    7:00 PM ET, February 9, 2005

    Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, IN

    1 2 3 4 T
    CHA 17 19 26 2587
    IND 26 28 18 2294

    Top Performers

    Charlotte: M. Ely 20 Pts, 17 Reb, 3 Ast, 1 Stl, 2 Blk

    Indiana: J. O'Neal 29 Pts, 10 Reb, 1 Blk

    O'Neal's 29 and 10 lead Indiana

    INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -- Jermaine O'Neal validated his addition to the Eastern Conference All-Star team.

    One day after being selected to play in his fourth straight All-Star game, O'Neal scored 29 points and grabbed 10 rebounds, helping the Indiana Pacers hold off a late rally in a 94-87 win over the Charlotte Bobcats on Wednesday night.

    "To be invited is an honor, but it's only for a couple of days," O'Neal said. "Then I've got to get back to the real mission, that's this team. This is my team."

    O'Neal, who is averaging 32.3 points in his last three games, scored 15 points in the first half on 7-of-10 shooting, leading the Pacers to a 54-36 lead.

    "He's an All-Star everyday," Stephen Jackson said. "It feels like I'm with Tim Duncan (in San Antonio) all over again."

    Jackson finished with 22 points and seven rebounds, and Fred Jones scored 12 for Indiana, which saw a 22-point, first-half lead dwindle to five late in the fourth quarter.

    Melvin Ely, who was starting his fifth straight game in place of injured rookie Emeka Okafor, led Charlotte with 20 points and 17 rebounds. Primoz Brezec added 15 points and 10 rebounds for the Bobcats, who dropped their fourth straight game despite a spirited comeback try.

    "We are never going to give up," Brezec said. "If you watch our games, you know we never give up. We made a good run, but you can't play a game for 24 minutes."

    Trailing 81-67 early in the fourth quarter, Charlotte began to whittle away at the deficit. Jason Kapono hit consecutive jumpers to bring the Bobcats within 86-79 with 4:20 left.

    O'Neal's jumper with the shot clock winding down pushed the lead back to 92-83 with 1:35 left. Charlotte continued to fight back, getting two straight baskets from Brevin Knight to make it 92-87 with 11.8 seconds left. But O'Neal broke loose for an open dunk to seal the victory.

    "Our second half was scary," Pacers coach Rick Carlisle said. "A lot of credit goes to them. Even though it's February and they don't have much to play for, they showed a lot of heart."

    Aided by O'Neal's nine first-quarter points, the Pacers quickly built a double-digit lead. Indiana went on an 11-0 run early in the first.

    Charlotte, which made just one of its first seven shots, closed within 20-17 late in the first, but the Pacers scored six straight points to close out the quarter.

    In the second quarter, the Pacers used a 12-0 run to take a 52-30 lead with 1:23 left in the half.

    "That's what we want to do, start games good," O'Neal said.

    Charlotte used a 9-0 run to close within 61-52 in the second half, but the Pacers closed out the quarter with a 7-2 run, pushing their lead back to 10 points.

    Game notes


    Pacers guard Jamaal Tinsley missed his fifth straight game with a bruised left foot, an injury sustained against Philadelphia. ... Charlotte dressed only nine players after cutting Jamal Sampson on Tuesday... Bobcats coach Bernie Bickerstaff picked up a technical foul for arguing a non-call late in the second quarter. ... Reggie Miller got a technical late in the second quarter. ... Carlisle got a technical in the third quarter for arguing a traveling call. ... Charlotte dropped to 1-4 without Okafor. ... The Pacers swept the season series against the Bobcats 3-0.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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    Team Stat Comparison

     
    CHA
    IND
    Points 87 94
    FGM-FGA 34-83 (.410) 35-72 (.486)
    3PM-3PA 6-10 (.600) 6-21 (.286)
    FTM-FTA 13-14 (.929) 18-20 (.900)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 12-38 8-39
    Assists 15 20
    Turnovers 14 16
    Steals 7 8
    Blocks 6 4
    Fast Break Points 9 9
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 17 (1/0) 18 (3/0)
    Largest Lead 0 22

    Top Performers

    Charlotte
    Indiana
    Melvin Ely Ely
    Points: 20
    Reb: 17
    Ast: 3
    Stl: 1
    Blk: 2
    Jermaine O'Neal O'Neal
    Points: 29
    Reb: 10
    Ast: 0
    Stl: 0
    Blk: 1