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NBA Game Summary - Indiana at Houston

(Tuesday, January 18th)

Final Score: Indiana 87, Houston 74

Houston, TX (Sports Network) - Jamaal Tinsley poured in 28 points and Jermaine O'Neal collected 27 points and seven rebounds, as the Indiana Pacers downed the Houston Rockets, 87-74, at the Toyota Center.

Tinsley was excellent from three-point range, as he hit 5-of-6 from beyond the arc to help Indiana win for the third time in four games. Jeff Foster added 11 points for the Pacers, who made 8-of-12 three-pointers as a team.

Tracy McGrady led the Rockets with 28 points, but he missed all seven of his three-point attempts. Houston, which dropped its second straight contest after a four-game winning streak, was just 1-of-13 from long distance

Yao Ming posted 21 points and nine rebounds while Bob Sura finished with 10 points, six rebounds and six assists for Houston.

Indiana led 42-38 at halftime and extended that lead to 49-40 early in the third quarter. The Rockets would respond with a 6-2 spurt as Yao's bucket made it a 51-46 game with 7:35 left. The Pacers then scored six of the next eight points to inflate their lead to 57-48, but Houston rattled off the next nine points to even the score at 57-57 with 1:44 left in the third.

The teams would trade baskets the next two times down the court, but O'Neal's 16-foot jumper at the buzzer would give Indiana a 61-59 lead heading into the final 12 minutes.

"We just want to continue to get better," said O'Neal. "We have to put ourselves in good position to be extremely competitive and going for the division title. We had to put our hard hats on in the first half of the season."

McGrady tied the game with a long jumper to start the fourth, but Indiana responded with a 14-4 burst to take control of the game. Tinsley led the Pacers with six points during the spurt and O'Neal hit a baseline jumper to cap the run and give the Pacers a 75-63 lead with 6:37 left in the fourth. The Rockets would never get closer than seven points the rest of the way.

"It's chemistry," said Tinsley. "We're all on the same page. We play for each other and we play through adversity. "It was very important to get an All-Star back. It�s great to see him come back and also to see how he plays at the same level as before he left."

The Pacers jumped out to a quick start and held a 12-5 advantage after Foster converted a traditional three-point play with 5:35 remaining in the first quarter. Indiana extended its lead to 19-9 after O'Neal hit 1-of-2 from the foul line with 2:15 left and the Pacers would hold a 21-13 lead after 12 minutes of play.

"Tonight, we got down in the first quarter and found ourselves digging out of a hole," said McGrady. "You can't come out like that. We came out in the third quarter flat. We're not going to win like that."

O'Neal had 13 points to lead Indiana in the opening period, while McGrady scored 10 of his team's 13 points.

The Rockets opened the second quarter with six straight points to make it a two-point game, but Tinsley answered with consecutive three-pointers to give Indiana a 27-19 advantage with 9:03 remaining. However, the Rockets didn't let the lead get too big and they were able to cut the deficit to 33-30 on McGrady's 15-footer with 4:41 left. Houston would keep it close and trailed 42-38 when the buzzer sounded at halftime.

McGrady led all scorers with 16 points at the break, while O'Neal and Tinsley each had 15.

Game Notes

The Rockets set a season-low with just one three-pointer made...Indiana has won five of the last seven meetings with the Rockets and three of the last four matchups in Houston...The Pacers made 52 percent of their shots (35- of-67) to become the fifth team to shoot over 50 percent from the field against Houston this season...The Rockets placed forward Maurice Taylor on the injured list with the flu and activated forward Clarence Weatherspoon.

01/19 00:27:28 ET

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