Final

Regular Season Series (Game 1 of 2)

Series starts 12/2

Game 1: Friday, December 2nd
Pacers98Final
Trail Blazers78
Game 2: Wednesday, February 8th
Trail Blazers69Final
Pacers101

Pacers 98

(10-5, 5-3 away)

Trail Blazers 78

(5-10, 3-3 home)

7:00 PM ET, December 2, 2005

Moda Center, Portland, OR

1 2 3 4 T
IND 18 32 27 2198
POR 22 16 14 2678

Top Performers

Indiana: J. O'Neal 27 Pts, 15 Reb, 3 Ast, 2 Blk

Portland: J. Jack 15 Pts, 1 Reb, 3 Ast, 1 Stl

Pacers, led by O'Neal, cruise past Trail Blazers

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) -- Jermaine O'Neal didn't have it out for Portland. Quite the contrary.

O'Neal scored 27 points and had 15 rebounds for his eighth double-double of the season and the Indiana Pacers beat the Trail Blazers 98-78 on Friday night.

It is the first time that O'Neal has won in the city where he played his first four years in the NBA.

"When people look at the way I played tonight they're going to say I tried to play that way because it's Portland," he said. "It wasn't because of that. Portland will always be a special place for me."

The Pacers were playing on the road for the fourth time in six days, but they had no trouble with the struggling Blazers, who have lost seven of nine.

Indiana trailed 22-18 to start the second quarter, but went on a 16-2 run to take a 34-24 lead on O'Neal's 18-foot jumper.

The Pacers went on to lead by as many as 28 points en route to their sixth win in eight games.

Sarunas Jasikevicius had 14 points, and Ron Artest added 12 and five rebounds for Indiana, which came off a 109-91 loss to Phoenix on Wednesday night -- a game the Pacers never led.

The Blazers were back at home after going 2-5 on an East Coast road swing, including losses in their last two games.

Jarrett Jack came of the bench to lead the Blazers with 15 points. Zach Randolph, averaging 18.6 points and 9.8 rebounds going in, had 12 points and two rebounds against the Pacers.

"It was like running in quicksand," said coach Nate McMillan, in his first year with the Blazers. "We just couldn't get the motor running."

The Blazers drafted O'Neal out of high school in the first round in 1996. He played four seasons with Portland before being dealt to Indiana in 2000.

O'Neal had a shoulder injury and didn't play last season when the Pacers beat the Blazers 106-97 at the Rose Garden. The Pacers were winless in their previous four visits to Portland with O'Neal.

"Maturity is everything and if I wasn't here to start my career, I don't know where I'd be at," O'Neal said. "I give all the credit to all the teammates I had the four years, to all the fans, to all the people of Portland, to really get me ready -- kind of bake that cake and pass me on to Indianapolis where that city kind of put the icing on the cake."

The Pacers saw the return of forward Jeff Foster, who has been on the inactive list this season with a sore left Achilles' heel. He scored four points and grabbed six rebounds.

"Jeff Foster gave us a lift," coach Rick Carlisle said. "It's great to have him back out there."

Disgruntled Blazers reserve forward Ruben Patterson remained on the team's inactive list Friday, although McMillan said he had agreed to return to the team.

Patterson was suspended for two games and then went on the inactive list after cursing at McMillan during a game against the New York Knicks on Nov. 20.

Patterson has been unhappy about his minutes, playing a reserve role behind Darius Miles and Randolph.

Game notes


Blazers rookie Martell Webster was not with the team because of a death in his family. ... Blazers center Theo Ratliff was inactive because of foot pain. ... Pacers guard Jamaal Tinsley had a sore left groin and didn't play. Carlisle said he was day-to-day. Jasikevicius started in his place.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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Team Stat Comparison

 
IND
POR
Points 98 78
FGM-FGA 36-75 (.480) 31-77 (.403)
3PM-3PA 6-16 (.375) 1-7 (.143)
FTM-FTA 20-26 (.769) 15-26 (.577)
Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 15-47 13-34
Assists 16 12
Turnovers 13 9
Steals 5 5
Blocks 2 4
Fast Break Points 8 6
Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 24 (1/0) 17 (1/0)
Largest Lead 28 4

Top Performers

Indiana
Portland
Jermaine O'Neal O'Neal
Points: 27
Reb: 15
Ast: 3
Stl: 0
Blk: 2
Jarrett Jack Jack
Points: 15
Reb: 1
Ast: 3
Stl: 1
Blk: 0