Rally lifts Indiana over Orlando
Published: Saturday, January 11, 2003 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Friday, January 10, 2003 at 10:56 p.m.
ORLANDO - Jermaine O'Neal scored 21 points and Ron Artest hit two game-clinching free throws with 14.6 seconds left in overtime as the Indiana Pacers rallied for their third straight win, beating the Orlando Magic 101-97 Friday night.
Artest, returning from a three-game suspension for destroying a television camera following a loss at New York on Jan. 3, had 18 points, nine rebounds and four steals. Al Harrington added 16 points and eight rebounds off the bench.
Orlando led 94-84 with 3:52 remaining in regulation, but Indiana reeled off 11 straight points to take the lead. The comeback was capped by Reggie Miller's 3-pointer with 24.1 seconds to play.
Miller finished with nine points, making two of nine 3-point tries, as Indiana shot 4-for-21 from beyond the arc. But he had a season-high five of Indiana's 18 steals.
After Miller's shot, the Pacers blew a chance at some breathing room when Jamaal Tinsley missed two free throws with 16.3 seconds to go. But they got a break when Orlando's Darrell Armstrong - an 87-percent foul shooter - hit only one of two free throws with 8 seconds left to tie the game at 95.
During Indiana's comeback and into overtime, Orlando missed 13 of its last 14 shots and committed five of its 24 turnovers.
Tracy McGrady had 23 points, a season-high 10 assists and eight rebounds for the Magic, who fell to the .500 mark for the first time since Dec. 16.
Pat Garrity had 22 points - 16 in the third quarter but none after that - and Mike Miller added 21.
Grant Hill had nine points in 16 minutes during a brief return from a left ankle injury that had sidelined him the last six games. But the tendinitis flared up again, and he went to the locker room for good early in the third quarter.
With Hill starting, the Magic looked nothing like the sluggish, struggling squad that had relied too much on jumpers en route to dropping three of their last four.
Orlando's offense took advantage of Indiana's turnovers to spark fast breaks while spreading the floor for a pair of 3s by Garrity. Barely five minutes into the game, the Magic had 17 points and soon led by 11.
The Magic scored 29 points in the first quarter, their most in a period in 4 games. Indiana rallied against Orlando's reserves, and trailed 47-45 at the break.
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