Final

Regular Season Series (Game 2 of 2)

Series starts 2/16

Game 1: Wednesday, February 16th
Trail Blazers87Final
Pacers95
Game 2: Friday, March 4th
Pacers106Final
Trail Blazers97

Pacers 106

(29-29, 13-16 away)

Trail Blazers 97

(22-34, 14-14 home)

    7:00 PM ET, March 4, 2005

    Moda Center, Portland, OR

    1 2 3 4 T
    IND 24 24 28 30106
    POR 24 30 24 1997

    Top Performers

    Indiana: F. Jones 23 Pts, 6 Reb, 8 Ast, 2 Stl

    Portland: D. Miles 26 Pts, 4 Reb, 2 Ast, 1 Stl

    Miller, Jackson score 24 each

    PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) -- Reggie Miller and Stephen Jackson scored 24 points each and the Indiana Pacers spoiled the Portland coach Kevin Pritchard's debut with a 106-97 victory over the Trail Blazers on Friday night.

    The Pacers, playing just hours after learning they would be without injured All-Star Jermaine O'Neal for the near future because of a sprained right shoulder, snapped a three-game losing streak.

    Pritchard took over the Blazers as interim coach this week when the team unexpectedly fired Maurice Cheeks.

    Cheeks was popular among the players and the fans, but the Blazers fell further out of playoff contention as losses mounted in January and February. The Blazers went 41-41 last season and missed the postseason for the first time in 22 years.

    Portland has lost three straight and eight of its last 10.

    Miller's 3-pointer made it 90-85 before Fred Jones' driving layup and free throw gave Indiana its biggest lead of the game.

    The Blazers closed to 97-94 on Darius Miles' layup, and tied it at 97 on Shareef Abdur-Rahim's layup with 2:04 left.

    Jones answered with a 3-pointer for Indiana with 1:36 left, and Jackson added a 23-foot jumper to seal it.

    Abdur-Rahim led the Blazers with 27 points.

    O'Neal went the injured list just as Indiana jostles for playoff position in the Eastern Conference. He will miss at least five games.

    O'Neal hurt his shoulder in the second quarter of Thursday night's 96-87 loss to Denver, his armed knocked back by Denver's Francisco Elson. O'Neal, who had an MRI in Portland earlier Friday, sat at the end of the Pacers' bench wearing as sling.

    Indiana signed former Pacer center Dale Davis, waived by New Orleans earlier in the week, and gave him a start against the Blazers.

    The move brought Davis' career full-circle: He was the top draft pick, 13th overall, by the Pacers in 1991. He spent the next nine seasons in Indiana before he was traded to the Blazers in a deal that sent O'Neal to Indiana.

    The Blazers also were hurting. Earlier in the day, rookie center Ha Seung Jin was activated from the injured list to fill the roster spot left by Ruben Patterson, who went on the injured list the day before because of tendinitis in his right knee.

    Guard Nick Van Exel sat on the bench in street clothes because of an arthritic left knee, and forward Zach Randolph did not play because of a sore right knee.

    It was not unexpected that the Blazers would rest some of their veterans. With the playoffs looking like an impossibility, Pritchard -- the team's director of player personnel -- was named interim coach to help evaluate the younger players.

    That in mind, rookie guard Sebastian Telfair made his first start. Telfair was the 13th overall pick in the draft out of Lincoln High School in New York.

    Telfair had 10 points and six assists.

    The Blazers led 54-48 at the half, then went up 58-48 on Telfair's jumper. The Pacers kept it close and tied it at 69 on Jackson's 3-pointer.

    Game notes


    A Portland fan held aloft a sign: "Mo and Martha. Set Free," in reference to both Cheeks and Martha Stewart, who was released from federal prison this week after serving five months for a stock scandal. ... Indiana waived forward Michael Curry.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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    Team Stat Comparison

     
    IND
    POR
    Points 106 97
    FGM-FGA 38-84 (.452) 40-73 (.548)
    3PM-3PA 10-23 (.435) 2-10 (.200)
    FTM-FTA 20-25 (.800) 15-21 (.714)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 15-44 5-30
    Assists 21 25
    Turnovers 14 14
    Steals 11 8
    Blocks 2 7
    Fast Break Points 15 23
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 18 (0/0) 20 (0/0)
    Largest Lead 9 9

    Top Performers

    Indiana
    Portland
    Fred Jones Jones
    Points: 23
    Reb: 6
    Ast: 8
    Stl: 2
    Blk: 0
    Darius Miles Miles
    Points: 26
    Reb: 4
    Ast: 2
    Stl: 1
    Blk: 0