Stephen Jackson added 18 points to help the Pacers spoil the NBA
debut of Charlotte rookie Adam Morrison, who scored 14.
But the Bobcats, in their first game with Michael Jordan in
charge of personnel decisions, were short-handed. Wallace, their
leading scorer last season, left in the second quarter with
dizziness, neck and back injuries after he hit his head on the
floor following a flagrant foul by Danny Granger.
Pacers coach Rick Carlisle came into the Bobcats' locker room
after the game to check on Wallace, and Granger was apologetic.
"I didn't want to give him a dunk. I wasn't trying to flagrant
foul him," Granger said. "I was trying to go for the ball. He
plays above the rim, but I was just trying to stop a fast break. I
wasn't trying to hurt him."
Wallace sat in the locker room with his eyes closed and his
warmup jersey over part of his head until Carlisle arrived. He did
not speak to reporters and will be evaluated Thursday.
Emeka Okafor had 19 points, 13 rebounds and a team record-tying
six blocks for the Bobcats, who began a new era after Jordan became
a part owner in the offseason. But Jordan spent the entire game in
a suite and was never introduced to the crowd.
The Pacers, trying to move to an up-tempo offense, took their
first lead on Jeff Foster's layup midway through the third quarter.
They led by as many as 14 in the fourth, overcoming 41 percent
shooting, and a tumultuous offseason which saw Jackson charged with
a felony after being accused of firing a gun outside a strip club.
"Any legal situation is going to take its toll, but
basketball-wise we don't feel like we had any problems in the
preseason," O'Neal said.
Morrison, the No. 3 pick in the draft, entered midway through
the first quarter and hit his first shot, a leaner along the left
baseline. Morrison's liability -- defense -- showed itself early as
he picked up two fouls trying to guard Jackson.
Morrison, who shot 5-for-13, brought fans to their feet at the
end of the first quarter. Catching an inbounds pass deep on the
left side, he spun around and drained a 41-foot shot.
"I played good in stretches, but obviously we are trying to
win," Morrison said. "I'm not worried about looks or scoring or
anything like that."
The Bobcats, who led 13-4, couldn't sustain the momentum due to
22 turnovers and the loss of Wallace.
He was going in for a dunk when Granger swiped at the ball from
behind, hitting both of Wallace's arms and his shoulder. Wallace's
head hit the floor first and he was attended to for several minutes
before getting to his feet.
"Gerald was up in the air. I don't think he did it
intentionally, but it's a foul he shouldn't have committed,"
Bobcats guard Raymond Felton said. "He should have just given him
Othella Harrington rushed over and shoved Granger, who was not
ejected. No fight ensued, but Harrington and Jasikevicius were
called for technical fouls.
New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter attended the game.
While the Bobcats never showed Jordan on the big screen, they did
show Jeter during a fourth-quarter timeout. ... Pacers president
Larry Bird sees some similarities between himself and Morrison.
"He'll learn how to do it," Bird said before the game. "He's a
smart player. They said the same thing about me." ... Al
Harrington, in his first game back with Indiana after being
reacquired in an offseason trade with Atlanta, had eight points and
five fouls in 20 minutes.