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Rush scores 25 in losing effort for Bobcats

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -- Sarunas Jasikevicius gave the Indiana Pacers
a big lift in the second half.

After sitting out the first half, the 29-year-old rookie from
Lithuania scored 14 points to lead the Pacers to a 93-85 victory
over Charlotte on Friday night.

Jasikevicius entered the game as the Pacers' third point guard
and went 6-of-6 from the line in the final 2 minutes to seal the
win.

"I just tried to get in and give some energy to the team," he
said. "I tried to pick the team up a little bit and give them some
emotion."

Jermaine O'Neal had 29 points and 18 rebounds for the Pacers. He
was 9-of-17 from the field and 11-of-12 from the line for Indiana,
which rebounded from a 122-90 loss in Charlotte on Wednesday night
to snap a two-game losing streak.

Kareem Rush led Charlotte with 20 points. He scored a
career-high 35 against the Pacers on Wednesday.

Jasikevicius gave the Pacers a 70-67 lead, hitting three free
throws with 0.2 seconds left in the third quarter after he was
fouled on a 3-point attempt.

The Pacers' defense stiffened in the final quarter, forcing
consecutive shot-clock violations early in the period. Charlotte
didn't score for the first 5:02 of the quarter, while the Pacers
went on a 9-0 run.

"The key was holding them to two sub-20-point quarters in the
second half," Indiana coach Rick Carlisle said. "The game turned
in the second half when we got on the floor and got after loose
balls."

Jasikevicius said the Pacers are not hustling consistently and
players are still trying to get on the same page.

"There's not going to be many pretty wins, many blowouts, even
though we have the talent to do it. We still need to establish
chemistry. This is a lot of times why we're struggling."

The Bobcats trailed 81-68 with 6:44 remaining but pulled to
within 85-81 before fading.

"We did nothing wrong," Rush said. "We just missed shots.
They converted, especially down the stretch."

Austin Croshere had 15 points and 11 rebounds for the Pacers,
and Jamaal Tinsley and Stephen Jackson both scored 12 points.

Emeka Okafor had 14 points and 10 rebounds and Brevin Knight had
14 assists for the Bobcats. Primoz Brezec, a former Pacer, finished
with 12 points and six rebounds for Charlotte. Brezec last played
for the Pacers during the 2003-04 season.

O'Neal isn't sure why some consider the Pacers' start
disappointing.

"We're not holding people to 60-point games," he said.
"That's something this city has been used to. It's a marathon. It
doesn't matter how you start."

Game notes
Charlotte scoring leader Gerald Wallace missed his firth
straight game because of a wrist injury. ... Charlotte's Sean May
was booed every time he touched the ball and was cheered when he
committed fouls. His father, Scott May played in college at
Indiana, but May chose North Carolina over the Hoosiers. May
finished with 14 points ... Jasikevicius is 22-for-22 from line
this season.