AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (AP) -- The NBA's most resilient team bounced
Jermaine O'Neal scored 22 points, Reggie Miller had 19 and Jeff
Foster grabbed a career-high 20 rebounds Wednesday night to lead
the Indiana Pacers past the Detroit Pistons 92-83 in Game 2, tying
their Eastern Conference semifinal series 1-1.
"I don't think any pro team -- in any sport -- can handle what
we've handled," O'Neal said before getting on the team bus. "Our
goals haven't changed. Our goals are to get to the NBA Finals, and
win a championship. We still believe."
Many wrote the Pacers off when their Nov. 19 brawl with the
Pistons and their fans led to unprecedented suspensions, but the
Pacers didn't let the loss of Ron Artest and others -- or a slew of
injuries later in the season -- devastate them.
Indiana even pulled off a rare road win in a Game 7 of the first
round at Boston to advance to play the defending NBA champions, who
ended the Pacers' season in the conference finals last year.
"These guys have been tough. They've been through a lot,"
Indiana coach Rick Carlisle said. "When they get knocked down,
they tend to get back up fighting."
After losing Game 1 by 15, the Pacers trailed by 15 after the
first quarter and didn't take the lead until there was 4:10 left in
the third when Miller's 3-pointer capped an 11-4 run.
There were five lead changes in the fourth before the score was
tied at 77 midway through the quarter. Miller's 3-pointer put
Indiana ahead 82-77 with just under 5 minutes left.
The Pacers outrebounded Detroit 52-43 and had nine more steals.
"They did all the effort things that we did in Game 1,"
Pistons coach Larry Brown said. "That was the key.
"When the game really meant something, they made every single
The next two games in the best-of-seven series are in
Indianapolis on Friday night and Sunday afternoon.
"Nothing is secure for us at home. We lost twice at home
against Boston," Miller said. "That's probably a bad thing for
us, and a good thing for Detroit."
The Pistons had won eight straight home playoff games dating to
last year's conference finals.
Foster gave the Pacers a huge lift off the bench with 14 points,
two blocks, two steals and the best rebounding game of his six-year
Wallace dominated Monday with 21 points, 15 rebounds and four
steals, but was limited to three points -- on 0-for-4 shooting --
Detroit's Tayshaun Prince scored 24, Rasheed Wallace and Richard
Hamilton each had 14 and Chauncey Billups scored 13. Hamilton
played the second half with his right calf wrapped after hurting it
in the first half.
"I think we played like a bunch of strangers and they had a lot
to do with that," Brown said. "We shot 50 percent in the first
half. In the second half, we didn't pass the ball."
Indiana's Jamaal Tinsley had 12 points -- mostly on driving
layups -- and 12 assists while Stephen Jackson added 13 points.
O'Neal prevented the Pacers from falling behind more than they did
early with eight points in the first quarter, then led their
third-quarter surge with 10 points. He finished with 10 rebounds
and five blocks.
Miller, who plans to retire after the season, scored just two
points in each of the first two quarters before scoring 15 in the
second half. He scored six points in the series opener.
"Reggie was phenomenal when the game was on the line," Brown
Detroit started the second quarter ahead 33-18 with Prince
scoring 11 -- three more than he had in Game 1 -- and Hamilton adding
"Things were not looking real good," Carlisle said.
The Pistons led 50-40 at halftime, then fell behind by five in
the third before going back ahead.
Artest told ESPN he thought his season-long suspension for
his role in the infamous melee was "a bit harsh," in an interview
broadcast Wednesday. Artest did add, however, he respected NBA
commissioner David Stern's decision. "I know what I did wasn't
right," Artest said. "It was only a cup. It wasn't like it was a
brick." ... Gabrielle Nettle, 18, of nearby Clarkston, was
identified as the Pistons' 1,000,000th fan this season before the
game. She was given an authentic Detroit jersey, two seats for next
season's opener and passes to a VIP area along with Pistons
merchandise. David Wieme, a team official, said Nettle was laid off
from her job earlier in the day. ... Foster's previous career high
in rebounds was 18.