Tinsley, who was the subject of trade rumors in the offseason
and has been criticized for often being injured in recent years,
has been the Pacers' most durable player this season. He has
started every game and has played some of the best basketball of
his six-year career.
"Jamaal can play like that -- you just have to let him play,"
Indiana guard Stephen Jackson said. "He's our floor general. The
better he plays, the better we play.
"We need him playing like that because he's definitely the head
of our monster."
Tinsley scored all but two of his points in the second half and
helped the Pacers win despite forward Jermaine O'Neal sitting out
with a hamstring injury. O'Neal leads the Pacers with 17.8 points
and 9.9 rebounds per game and ranks second in the NBA at 3.1
blocked shots, but without him, the Pacers rallied to win their
second straight home game and improve to 11-10.
"It's been like that the last three years -- this team has had
to play without somebody," Jackson said. "This team is used to it
now. I think everybody embraces their chance to shine and go out
Jackson scored 25 points and Al Harrington had 16 for the
Portland's Zach Randolph had 29 points and four rebounds before
fouling out with 15 seconds left. He flipped off the crowd when he
"I was frustrated there at the end of the game. That shouldn't
happen, and I apologize for that and it won't happen again," he
O'Neal, who saw the gesture, said, "He's going to pay for that
one -- financially."
Portland gave up 66 points in the second half to lose for the
sixth time in seven games.
"We are not mentally or physically strong enough to compete for
48 minutes," Portland coach Nate McMillan said. "Defensively, we
are not mentally coming out. We need to be more aggressive. I see
youth and inexperience in this team."
The Pacers trailed 53-42 at halftime but outscored the Trail
Blazers 35-14 in the third quarter to take a 77-67 lead into the
Tinsley scored 11 points in the third quarter.
"I came out more aggressive and tried to make more
opportunities for myself and my teammates," he said. "I tried to
penetrate and hit the open shots."
The Pacers didn't make a field goal for the first 5:21 of the
second quarter, and their poor shooting allowed Portland to
increase a 24-22 lead at the end of the first quarter to 36-22 in
the middle of the second.
"I thought we got off to a great start and then, as has been
the case, we get a lead and start throwing the ball all over the
place," Indiana coach Rick Carlisle said. "There were some
mind-boggling things going on out there."
Portland controlled the rest of the first half and led by 11
points at the break. The Pacers shot 36 percent from the field and
had 12 turnovers in the first 24 minutes.
The Pacers started the second half on a 7-2 run. A 3-pointer by
Sarunas Jasikevicius cut Portland's lead to 55-49 and forced the
Trail Blazers to call timeout. The Pacers took their first lead of
the second half on a three-point play by Jackson with 5:06 left in
the third quarter.
Portland felt it was a wasted opportunity.
"We didn't take care of the basketball and I feel like we gave
the game away," Randolph said. "We couldn't get any defensive
stops when we needed them. We were giving up a lot of free throws
and offensive rebounds and things like that."
Pacers C David Harrison, who has missed 13 games with a
sore left shoulder, was active for Friday's game. He finished with
two points in five minutes. ... The Pacers are 6-2 at home and 5-8
on the road. ... Portland G Jarrett Jack scored 30 points in the
overtime loss to Milwaukee on Wednesday, but the Pacers held him to
six. ... McMillan was called for a technical foul for arguing a
call with 1:47 left in the third quarter. ... Thirty-year-old Maceo
Baston made his first career start in O'Neal's place and finished
with nine points and two rebounds.