Regular Season Series (Game 2 of 2)

Series starts 3/6

Game 1: Sunday, March 6th
Game 2: Friday, March 18th

Lakers 97

(32-33, 11-21 away)

Pacers 103

(33-31, 19-13 home)

Coverage: FSMW

7:30 PM ET, March 18, 2005

Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, IN

1 2 3 4 T
LAL 22 24 23 2897
IND 30 20 28 25103

Top Performers

LAL: C. Butler 19 Pts, 10 Reb, 1 Ast, 6 Stl

Ind: R. Miller 39 Pts, 3 Reb, 2 Ast

Indy withstands L.A.'s fourth-quarter rally

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -- Reggie Miller's most prolific scoring output in nearly 4½ years carried the Indiana Pacers.

Miller scored a season-high 39 points, and the Pacers held off a fourth-quarter rally to defeat the Los Angeles Lakers 103-97 Friday night.

Miller made a 3-pointer with 59 seconds left to give the Pacers a 95-90 lead, then made six straight free throws in the final 24.8 seconds to seal the victory.

His 39 points were the most he had since scoring 41 against Milwaukee on Nov. 8, 2000.

"Hopefully, I won't always have nights like this, but right now we're short-handed," said Miller, who will retire after this season. "Stephen (Jackson) and myself recognize that we are going to take the brunt of the scoring load each and every night, so we both try to take an active role of getting into games early."

Miller, who shot 13-of-18 from the field and 3-of-5 from 3-point range, had 14 points in the first quarter as the Pacers opened a 30-22 lead.

"We obviously don't want him to retire," said Jackson, who finished with 19 points and five assists. "I think he's got at least three years left in him."

The Lakers trailed by as many as 15 points in the second half before a 13-5 run to start the fourth quarter made it 83-82 with just over six minutes left. Indiana pushed the lead to 88-82 after five straight points from Johnson, but Los Angeles scored eight of the next 10 points to make it 90-90 with 1:47 left.

Johnson gave the Pacers a two-point lead with a jumper, and Miller put the game away with a 3-pointer while falling into the Lakers bench.

"When you can score your age in this league, it's not time to quit," Lakers coach Frank Hamblen said of the 39-year-old Miller. "If I were Reggie's agent, I'd try to sign him to a multiyear contract."

Chucky Atkins had 23 points, Caron Butler added 19 points and 10 rebounds, and Kobe Bryant scored 12 points on 5-of-14 shooting for the Lakers, who finished their six-game road trip with a 2-4 record.

Miller gave much of the credit for his recent scoring success to teammates Jeff Foster and Dale Davis. Miller is averaging 23 points over his last seven games, helping Indiana to a 5-2 record.

"We're setting great screens, and we're having a lot more motion and a lot more movement," Miller said. "When you got shooters and scorers coming off both sides, you've got to be able to set good screens."

Davis was not surprised that Miller scored more points than he had since 2000. Davis played with the Pacers from 1991-2000 before re-signing with the club two weeks ago.

"He looks the same to me," said Davis, who had 16 rebounds and three blocks. "He's the type of guy who doesn't mind putting a team on his shoulders. When it's time for the big shot, he'll take it."

The Lakers, who return home to play Seattle on Sunday, lost forward Lamar Odom to a strained left shoulder. Odom hurt it in the first half and reaggravated it in the third quarter before going to the locker room. He did not return.

"If Lamar Odom is out for any period of time, everybody is going to have to step up and do their best," Bryant said.

Game notes

Odom had nine points and three rebounds in 21 minutes before leaving. ... The Lakers are 4-11 this season in the second game of back-to-backs. They lost to Miami 102-89 on Thursday. ... The Lakers are 12-16 against the Eastern Conference, including 3-12 on the road. ... Jermaine O'Neal missed his seventh straight game after suffering a sprained right shoulder against Denver on March 3. The Pacers are 5-2 since the injury. ... Pacers center Scot Pollard left the game in the second quarter with a sprained right ankle. He did not return.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


Team Stat Comparison

Points 97 103
FGM-FGA 38-91 (.418) 40-77 (.519)
3PM-3PA 5-14 (.357) 8-24 (.333)
FTM-FTA 16-20 (.800) 15-15 (1.000)
Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 17-40 11-47
Assists 17 29
Turnovers 5 16
Steals 9 2
Blocks 1 4
Fast Break Points 20 11
Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 19 (1/0) 20 (0/0)
Largest Lead 2 15

Top Performers

Los Angeles
Caron Butler Butler
Points: 19
Reb: 10
Ast: 1
Stl: 6
Blk: 0
Reggie Miller Miller
Points: 39
Reb: 3
Ast: 2
Stl: 0
Blk: 0