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Jackson leads Pacers past injury-riddled Kings

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) -- Stephen Jackson stared down the
Sacramento crowd and blew on his hot fingers after his fourth
consecutive 3-pointer ripped through the net.

The Indiana Pacers were well on their way to a blowout victory --
and the Kings' stars were on their way to a benching.

Jackson scored 17 of his season-high 31 points while hitting
five of the Pacers' 13 3-pointers, and Jermaine O'Neal had 12
points and eight rebounds in his return to the lineup for a 108-83
win Sunday night.

Coach Rick Carlisle got exactly what he expected out of his team
after a tremendous practice at Arco Arena one day earlier. The
Pacers took control with a 23-6 run in the second quarter and a
19-6 surge in the third, while their defense completely flummoxed
Mike Bibby and Peja Stojakovic, who were benched shortly after
halftime.

"We played with an edge, especially on the defensive end,"
Carlisle said. "When you have that type of aggression defensively,
generally good things happen on the offensive end. It was one of
our better efforts of the year."

Fred Jones scored 18 points for the Pacers, while Jackson's four
straight 3-pointers put Indiana up by 33 points in the third,
practically guaranteeing the end of a six-game losing streak
against the Kings.

O'Neal didn't start and played just 22 minutes after missing the
last three games with the flu, but the Pacers didn't need him.
Jones, Austin Croshere and Sarunas Jasikevicius combined for seven
3-pointers against Sacramento's pathetic perimeter defense, and the
Pacers led by 35 points late.

"Winning two straight was huge for us, (because) we have been
going through a lot," Jackson said of the Pacers, who have been
distracted by O'Neal's illness and Ron Artest's pending departure,
among several issues. "That tells a lot about this team. Everybody
is handling our situation pretty well. No matter what we're going
through, we have a job to do every day."

The Kings seem to do their jobs only every other day.

Kenny Thomas scored 21 points for the injury-depleted Kings, who
showed none of the life from their 118-114 victory over the Los
Angeles Clippers two nights earlier. Bibby went 1-for-10 before
getting pulled, and Stojakovic had 12 points -- just two after
halftime, when Sacramento was booed off the floor with a 21-point
deficit.

"We didn't compete. It's hard for me to understand," coach
Rick Adelman said. "They started imposing their will, and we just
backed down and moved out of the way. I don't know how you could do
that. Everybody in that room is going to have to look at themselves
and try to figure out what's going on, and think about why we're so
up and down."

With their final basket, the Kings avoided surpassing their
biggest loss ever to the Pacers, a 26-point defeat in 1993.
Sacramento also was one point better than in its biggest loss of
the season, a 26-point defeat in Oklahoma City on opening night.

Jackson tied the Kings franchise record for the most 3-pointers
in a quarter by an opponent. Both clubs' reserves played the
fourth, and Bibby sat away from the Kings' huddle during the rest
of the night's timeouts, gazing into the crowd while Adelman spoke
to the team.

"We just didn't come in with any energy," said Jason Hart, who
had a season-high 10 points. "We didn't even give ourselves a
chance to win. It was a bad, bad loss. You don't want to go on the
road with a loss like that, because the next team will feed on
that."

The Kings dropped to 9-11 at home, losing as many games as they
did all last season. Sacramento has been one of the NBA's toughest
home teams since Adelman's arrival in 1998, but his club will have
its worst record at Arco Arena during his tenure with one more
loss.

Shareef Abdur-Rahim has missed five straight games with a broken
jaw, and Bonzi Wells has missed seven straight with a torn groin
muscle. Neither first-year Kings starter is expected back any time
soon.

Game notes
While O'Neal returned, G Jamaal Tinsley remained sidelined
for the Pacers, missing his fifth straight game with a torn biceps
muscle. ... C Scot Pollard, the popular former Sacramento backup,
also was back in uniform after missing the last game with the flu.
He got a loud ovation when he got off Indiana's bench in the third
quarter, and finished with four points and four rebounds. ...
Pacers C David Harrison got a technical foul for arguing while his
team was ahead by 33 points with 3:39 to play.