Indiana wins series 4-3 (Game 5 of 7)

Indiana wins series 4-3

Game 1: Saturday, April 23rd
Game 2: Monday, April 25th
Game 3: Thursday, April 28th
Game 4: Saturday, April 30th
Game 5: Tuesday, May 3rd
Game 6: Thursday, May 5th
Game 7: Saturday, May 7th

Pacers 90

(44-38, 19-22 away)

Celtics 85

(45-37, 27-14 home)

7:30 PM ET, May 3, 2005

TD Garden, Boston, MA

1 2 3 4 T
IND 23 27 20 2090
BOS 21 21 23 2085

Top Performers

Ind: J. O'Neal 19 Pts, 10 Reb, 4 Ast, 3 Stl, 3 Blk

Bos: P. Pierce 27 Pts, 7 Reb, 3 Ast, 1 Stl, 2 Blk

O'Neal, Jackson anchor Indy's resolve

BOSTON (AP) -- Jamaal Tinsley was back on the court for the first time in 2½ months, making a return that helped the Indiana Pacers head home with a chance to eliminate the Celtics.

The point guard, out since Feb. 24 with a foot injury, passed and defended like he had never been away to spark Indiana to a 90-85 win and a 3-2 lead in their playoff series Tuesday night.

"The way he played tonight was really key for us," Pacers coach Rick Carlisle said. "We needed, I think, the spiritual lift of having him out there."

Now, the Pacers can finish off the best-of-seven series Thursday night on their own court.

A bruised left foot had kept Tinsley out of the last 29 regular-season games and the first four playoff games. He found out he would play a few hours before Tuesday's game.

"He hurt us," Boston coach Doc Rivers said. "He wasn't trying to score. He just ran the team."

Tinsley had six points, seven assists and five steals in 28 minutes and kept the Celtics from employing a press because of his ability to handle the ball better than his backup, Anthony Johnson. Tinsley was at his best when the Celtics threatened down the stretch after trailing by 15 with four minutes left in the third quarter.

A layup by Antoine Walker, returning from a one-game suspension for pushing referee Tom Washington in Game 3, had cut the lead to 77-75.

Then Tinsley assisted on Indiana's next two baskets, a 3-pointer by Reggie Miller and a jumper by Jermaine O'Neal. Stephen Jackson's 3-pointer gave the Pacers an 85-80 lead, and Tinsley kept the Celtics from coming back with two steals in the last two minutes.

"It was a big test for me," said Tinsley, who felt sore afterward. "I just wanted the ball in my hands down the stretch, knowing that there was a whole lot of pressure and I just wanted to make plays."

The Celtics, especially Paul Pierce, forced up shots and stopped passing the ball.

"Both teams had focus. One team had better composure," Rivers said.

The Pacers were led by O'Neal with 19 points and 10 rebounds and Jackson with 15 points. For Boston, Pierce scored 27 points but committed six turnovers, and Ricky Davis has 19 points.

Road teams have won three of the five games in the series, and the Celtics must win away from home to prolong their season.

"We worked so hard to get homecourt advantage the second half of the season," said Walker, who finished with 10 points and seven rebounds. "I need to be a little bit more effective down low for this team to win."

The Celtics also must be more careful. They had 22 turnovers that led to 27 of Indiana's 90 points. And they allowed the Pacers to move the ball well, giving up 21 assists.

"The team that's going to win this series is the team that's going to hold defensively," O'Neal said.

Indiana's defense was much better than it was in its worst playoff loss ever, 110-79 in Game 4 on Saturday night, when the Celtics hit 57 percent of their shots. On Tuesday, Boston made 45 percent of its shots and was less effective near the basket than it had been in the previous game.

The Pacers took a 6-5 lead on O'Neal's dunk 3:17 into the game. They built that to 13 points several times late in the half, the last at 45-32, and led 50-42 at halftime.

Indiana took its biggest lead, 67-52 with 4:10 left in the third quarter.

With Indiana ahead 85-80, Pierce and Dale Davis traded free throws and Marcus Banks cut the lead to 86-83 with a layup with 28 seconds remaining, and the Pacers got the last four points on two free throws each by Johnson and Reggie Miller.

But it was the starting point guard, Tinsley, who made the difference.

"J.T. was big for us," Jackson said. "We call him the head of our monster. With him, we definitely run smoother."

Game notes

Quarterback Tom Brady was one of several New England Patriots at the game. Others included tight end Daniel Graham and defensive lineman Ty Warren. ... Miller took just three shots in the first half. Davis, Gary Payton and Delonte West took turns guarding him throughout the game. ... Boston is 23-7 in seven-game series that have been tied 2-2. ... Johnson played as Tinsley's backup despite hurting his back Saturday night when he was hit accidentally by teammate James Jones.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


Team Stat Comparison

Points 90 85
FGM-FGA 32-70 (.457) 29-64 (.453)
3PM-3PA 6-15 (.400) 4-14 (.286)
FTM-FTA 20-26 (.769) 23-30 (.767)
Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 9-34 7-36
Assists 21 15
Turnovers 18 22
Steals 16 8
Blocks 3 6
Fast Break Points 5 10
Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 24 (2/0) 21 (0/0)
Largest Lead 15 2

Top Performers

Jermaine O'Neal O'Neal
Points: 19
Reb: 10
Ast: 4
Stl: 3
Blk: 3
Paul Pierce Pierce
Points: 27
Reb: 7
Ast: 3
Stl: 1
Blk: 2