Final

Regular Season Series (Game 1 of 2)

Series starts 10/18

Game 1: Tuesday, October 18th
Spurs81Final
Pacers94
Game 2: Tuesday, October 25th
Pacers97Final
Spurs86

Spurs 81

(0-5, 0-3 away)

Pacers 94

(3-1, 3-0 home)

Coverage: FSMW

7:00 PM ET, October 18, 2005

Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, IN

1 2 3 4 T
SA 23 14 21 2381
IND 18 21 27 2894

Duncan, O'Neal sit out Pacers' win

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -- Two-time defending NBA champion San Antonio is winless after five preseason games.

But there is no sense of panic by Spurs coach Gregg Popovich after his team's latest loss Tuesday night to the Pacers, 94-81.

"It was a typical preseason game, where everybody wants to get the thing [exhibitions] over with and you hope nobody gets hurt," said Popovich, who didn't dress Tim Duncan and gave many of his normal starters most of the night off.

"You want to give everyone a run so they get in shape," Popovich said.

Ron Artest had 20 points and 13 rebounds to lead Indiana to its third preseason win.

Three other Pacers also finished in double figures. Rookie Danny Granger had 19 points and 15 rebounds off the bench. Reserve Jonathan Bender had 17 points in just 13 minutes of the first half, and Jamaal Tinsley contributed 11 points and 6 assists.

"He's getting over his jitters," Indiana coach Rick Carlisle said of Granger, the team's first-round draft pick. "It's tough. We're asking him to learn two positions. Danny has a tendency at times to be in a hurry.

"But he is a guy that is going to study the game and work to get better. He certainly brings effort to our team," he said.

Carlisle also liked what he saw of Bender, who has been sidelined by a series of injuries that limited him to 73 games the past three seasons.

"We're trying to condition him into a position where he can play with consistency," Carlisle said. "My decision was to play him heavy minutes the first half and then ice him down, have him for practice tomorrow."

Bender had no problem with the decision.

"I must keep building up strength, taking the ball to the hoop and sometimes taking people with me, which will allow me to dish off to the other players," said the 7-footer.

Indiana also played shorthanded.

Jermaine O'Neal did not dress because of a bruised right thigh that has sidelined him the entire preseason. Jeff Foster (sore Archilles), David Harrison (abdominal strain) and Scot Pollard (strained calf) also did not dress for Indiana.

San Antonio opened a nine-point edge in the first period, but Indiana managed to lead 39-37 at halftime. The game was tied seven times and the teams exchanged the lead four times in the first half.

Tony Parker had 11 points and was the only player in double figures for San Antonio.

"Our bench is a lot better. We've got a lot of new guys coming off of it," Parker said. "This team is just working to get back in shape, and it's hard to improve a championship team, but I think we've done that."

The Spurs opened a 52-45 advantage early in the third quarter and the Pacers pulled away with a 21-4 run.

With the score tied at 56, Artest came up with a steal and made two free throws to put Indiana ahead to stay with 3:28 left in the third period. That started a 10-point Indiana run that included two free throws by Granger and four points by Tinsley.

The Spurs played much of the game without several players expected to have significant roles as the team goes for a second straight NBA championship. Bruce Bowen played about eight minutes, Robert Horry fouled out in less than 18 minutes, Parker played less than 16 minutes and Manu Ginobili was in for about 17 minutes.

The Pacers won despite shooting under 40 percent from the field.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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