Regular Season Series (Game 3 of 3)

Series starts 11/5

Game 1: Saturday, November 5th
Game 2: Sunday, March 5th
Game 3: Sunday, March 26th

76ers 79

(32-37, 12-22 away)

Pacers 92

(35-33, 22-13 home)

1:00 PM ET, March 26, 2006

Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, IN

1 2 3 4 T
PHI 25 20 12 2279
IND 23 29 24 1692

Top Performers

Phi: C. Webber 24 Pts, 5 Reb, 3 Ast, 4 Stl, 2 Blk

Ind: D. Granger 17 Pts, 12 Reb, 1 Ast

Balanced attack leads Pacers past outgunned Sixers

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -- After a season filled with turmoil and injuries, the Indiana Pacers finally are at full strength.

Stephen Jackson, Peja Stojakovic, Jamaal Tinsley and Jermaine O'Neal started together for the first time this season, and they all played major roles in Indiana's 92-79 win over Philadelphia on Sunday afternoon.

Jackson scored 23 points, Stojakovic added 18, Tinsley finished with a season-high 14 assists and O'Neal added 11 points and nine rebounds. It's a group Indiana had been hoping to get on the floor since Stojakovic joined the team two months ago in the trade that sent Ron Artest to Sacramento.

Tinsley and O'Neal started for the first time in two months after injuries. Jackson, who benefited most from the upgraded lineup, said more games like Sunday's should follow.

"It's hard to double-team us," Jackson said. "Before Peja came and J.O. came back, I was getting double-teamed. I never thought I'd get double-teamed in my life. But with them out there, it's easier to beat my man."

Reserve Danny Granger had 17 points and 12 rebounds and Jeff Foster grabbed 14 rebounds to help the Pacers recover from Friday night's 75-72 loss to the Detroit Pistons. Philadelphia lost its second straight.

Allen Iverson scored 26 points and Chris Webber added 24 for the 76ers, but no other Philadelphia player scored more than eight. Iverson, the league's second-leading scorer, shot 2-for-12 from the field in the second half.

Iverson said the effort was pathetic for a team that is fighting to get into the playoffs.

"There's no way to explain it," he said. "We got beat up today. We are not stopping anybody. It's hard to get into a running game or get easy baskets when you are always taking the ball out of bounds after the other team scores."

Tinsley, who guarded Iverson for much of the game, wasn't as worried about starting as he was about getting on the floor. He has played in only 34 of the Pacers' 68 games because of right elbow and biceps injuries.

"I'm just happy to be out there," he said. "I've had two tough injuries, but that's the nature of the business. I'm just glad to have the opportunity to play. I just go out there and do it."

Indiana held Philadelphia to 37 percent shooting and outrebounded the 76ers 48-36 in a sloppy game that featured a combined 45 turnovers. The Pacers set a season high with 29 turnovers.

The Pacers shot 50 percent in the first half to offset their 15 turnovers and take a 52-45 lead at the break. Granger scored 15 points and Foster grabbed 12 rebounds in the first half.

The Pacers opened the second half with a 6-0 run that gave them a 58-45 lead and forced a Philadelphia timeout. The Pacers extended their lead to 76-57 at the end of the quarter by holding the 76ers to 5-for-19 shooting in the period.

"They just came down and executed," Webber said. "They did whatever they wanted to and controlled the pace."

With all its major pieces in place, Indiana now is focused on its preseason goal of winning an NBA title.

"Our goal hasn't changed," Jackson said. "Once everybody got healthy and we got everybody on the same page, the sky's the limit."

Game notes

Stojakovic averaged 11.5 points in his first two games after O'Neal returned. He averaged 19.7 points in 23 games before O'Neal came back. ... Indiana point guard Anthony Johnson came off the bench after starting 13 games in a row. ... This was the first time in this season's series that a team won on its home court. Philadelphia won 111-109 on Dec. 5 in Indianapolis and Indiana won 94-93 on March 5 in Philadelphia. ... Philadelphia barely avoided its season low of 76 points.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


Team Stat Comparison

Points 79 92
FGM-FGA 32-86 (.372) 34-67 (.507)
3PM-3PA 4-12 (.333) 9-21 (.429)
FTM-FTA 11-12 (.917) 15-20 (.750)
Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 16-36 13-48
Assists 17 28
Turnovers 16 29
Steals 16 13
Blocks 4 4
Fast Break Points 18 8
Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 16 (0/0) 22 (0/0)
Largest Lead 4 21

Top Performers

Chris Webber Webber
Points: 24
Reb: 5
Ast: 3
Stl: 4
Blk: 2
Danny Granger Granger
Points: 17
Reb: 12
Ast: 1
Stl: 0
Blk: 0