Kings 113, Pacers 87
Saturday, December 4th 2004, 11:25 am
News On 6
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) _ The Indiana Pacers' shortcomings finally caught up to them. They had nobody on their suspension-depleted roster who could measure up to Chris Webber or Brad Miller.
Webber made his first eight shots and scored 29 points to lead the Sacramento Kings to their 10th victory in 11 games, 113-87 Friday night.
Miller had 17 points and 13 rebounds against his former Indiana teammates as the Kings' big men dominated the Pacers' depleted frontcourt. Sacramento outrebounded Indiana 57-28, grabbing 23 offensive boards and even holding the Pacers without a rebound for the first 7 1/2 minutes of the fourth quarter.
When it mercifully ended, Indiana had been blown out for the first time in its seven games since the brawl in Detroit on Nov. 19. The suspensions of their top three scorers finally hurt the Pacers, who won three of their first four after the brawl.
``There's no mercy in this league,'' said Miller, who joined the Kings in July 2003 after a trade from Indiana. ``No one feels pity for a team missing its players. We just had to put it on them.''
Mike Bibby had 12 points and six assists for the Kings, who took a 28-point lead in the third quarter with a 24-5 run. Sacramento's starters all scored in double figures, then sat out the fourth.
Since Indiana beat the Kings 96-87 on March 3, 2002, Sacramento is 35-1 against Eastern Conference teams at Arco Arena _ and the remnants of the Pacers' East-leading squad had no shot to buck that trend. The Kings ran, passed and rebounded with teamwork Indiana couldn't match.
``We were moving the ball, and we made a lot of plays where we put them out of position and we opened it up for us to get the points,'' coach Rick Adelman said.
Jamaal Tinsley scored 21 points for the Pacers, who lost their third straight with just 10 players in uniform. Indiana's loss and Orlando's win at New York left the Magic with the best record in the East at 10-5.
``The last two weeks, I've been very happy with the way we competed,'' Indiana coach Rick Carlisle said. ``Tonight ... we're better than this. We all know we didn't compete.''
Webber set the Sacramento franchise record with 51 points against the Pacers four seasons ago, and he lit up Indiana again with a steady outside shot and growing confidence in his jumping ability. He scored 16 points in the first quarter, making every shot before missing a jumper in the closing seconds.
Peja Stojakovic scored just 10 points on 3-of-9 shooting, but made his 36th consecutive free throw. Doug Christie had 12 points and nine assists while extending his free-throw streak to 26 straight.
The Pacers activated Reggie Miller from their injured list before the game, and he served his one-game suspension for leaving the bench shortly before the brawl in Detroit on Nov. 19. He'll make his first appearance of the season Saturday night at Golden State in the finale of their four-game road trip.
Indiana put Scot Pollard on the injured list before the game with a sore lower back, and rookie center David Harrison was out with a strained tendon in his right ankle. John Edwards, an undrafted rookie who's barely played this season, scored nine points while making his first career start in Harrison's place.
``Guys who aren't used to playing a lot of minutes are now playing 40 minutes, (and) they're a little banged up,'' said Austin Croshere, who 10 points but also aggravated his rib injury. ``It's just another in a long line of excuses this team can come up with. We're capable of much better than we did tonight.''
Notes: The Pacers still exceeded the franchise low of 23 rebounds. ... The teams meet again in eight days in Indianapolis. ... Webber and Miller had as many rebounds (21) as all five Indiana starters combined.