NBA Game Summary - Indiana at New York
(Saturday, December 17th)
Final Score: Indiana 102, New York 96
New York, NY (Sports Network) - Jermaine O'Neal scored a season-best 31 points and Jamaal Tinsley added 23 as Indiana posted a 102-96 victory over New York at Madison Square Garden.
Sarunas Jasikevicius contributed 18 points, 12 of which came after halftime, to the win, the Pacers' fourth in five games.
Tinsley and Jasikevicius' efforts offsetted the loss of Stephen Jackson, who did not return after spraining his right thumb in the first half.
"This team has been through a lot of issues, but we're still winning games" said O'Neal, mostly in reference to the Pacers' ongoing saga with Ron Artest, who was once again inactive while the team looks into possible trades for the enigmatic forward.
Stephon Marbury topped the sagging Knicks, losers of six in a row, with 25 points. Jamal Crawford finished with 15 but made just 4-of-14 shot attempts, while rookie Channing Frye pulled down a career-high 12 rebounds.
Quentin Richardson's three-pointer with 3:29 left gave the Knicks a 94-91 lead, but New York would not make another field goal the rest of the way.
Marbury had a layup attempt blocked by Danny Granger, and Tinsley grabbed the rebound and was fouled at the other end with around three minutes to go. He hit both shots to pull Indiana within one.
Tinsley later fed O'Neal for an easy dunk to put the Pacers up 95-94 with 1:56 to go. After two Jasikevicius free throws with under a minute left extended it to 99-96, Marbury had the ball stolen by Jasikevicius and the turnover led to Austin Croshere's game-sealing layup with 18 seconds to play.
"I was impressed by the way we stayed together," said O'Neal. "We didn't really play the type of game we wanted to in the beginning."
New York held a slim 36-35 edge with just over four minutes to go in the first half, but then embarked on a 10-2 run to take control. Marbury fed Antonio Davis for a transition dunk to cap the spurt and put the Knicks up 46-37 with under two minutes remaining before the break.
A Tinsley three-pointer, Indiana's first field goal in nearly five minutes, sparked a 7-2 burst to end the half and brought the Pacers within 48-44 at intermission.
Indiana then opened the third quarter with a 6-0 run ending with Jasikevicius' basket from beyond the arc, and the Pacers were ahead 71-67 late in the period before back-to-back three-point plays from Maurice Taylor and Crawford sent New York into the final quarter with a 73-71 edge.
The Pacers were up 21-19 after one quarter, but Crawford drained back-to-back threes to start the second. Richardson followed with a jumper that extended New York's advantage to six less than two minutes into the period. However, Indiana would reclaim the upper hand when O'Neal's three-point play with 6:41 left in the frame made the score 31-30.
Indiana's Fred Jones missed the game with a sprained left ankle...The Knicks played their second straight contest without center Eddy Curry, who could miss up to a week with a sprained left ankle...New York fell to 1-15 when they score under 100 points...Indiana shot 82 percent (28-of-34) from the foul line, with O'Neal hitting 12-of-13 attempts...The Knicks dropped to 3-6 at the Garden this year...New York's bench outscored Indiana's reserves 41-13.
12/18 01:12:56 ET