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Pacers win sixth in a row

1/7/2004

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -- Jermaine O'Neal had 25 points, nine rebounds
and four blocks to help the Indiana Pacers overcome a 43-point
performance by Tracy McGrady in a 114-107 victory over the Orlando
Magic on Tuesday night.

McGrady made eight 3-pointers and shot 14-of-27, but he didn't
have the support O'Neal had for Indiana. O'Neal was one of six
Pacers in double figures as they won their sixth in a row.

The 114 points were a season high for the Eastern
Conference-leading Pacers, who also got a little payback for an
embarrassing home loss to the Magic on Dec. 17, 2003.

The difference? McGrady was one of five Magic players in double
figures that night, but he was Orlando's primary offensive threat
Tuesday.

McGrady dominated the opening minutes of the second quarter,
scoring 15 of Orlando's first 17 points, including 13 in a row.

After McGrady's free throws with seven minutes to play brought
the Magic within six, 43-37, the Pacers responded with runs of 17-6
and 8-0 that pushed their lead to 18.

It was more of the same in the third quarter. McGrady scored
Orlando's first 12 points to pull the Magic back within six. He
went scoreless for the final seven minutes of the period, however,
and the Pacers took a 94-81 lead into the fourth.

The Magic got as close as seven in the final period on Rod
Strickland's layup with 7:38 to play.

Ron Artest, who scored 23 points, helped hold them off with
seven points down the stretch, including a fast-break dunk that
made it 114-103 with less than a minute to play.

O'Neal played much of the game with a sore left ankle. He rolled
it on Juwan Howard's foot in the second quarter and had to go to
the locker room to get it taped.

He scored 10 points in the first quarter to help Indiana build a
33-18 lead.

The game seemed out of place for the sluggish, defensive-minded
Eastern Conference. Orlando scored 33 fast-break points, and both
teams shot 50 percent from the field.

Al Harrington had 19 points, Jamaal Tinsley had 16, including
four 3-pointers, Reggie Miller scored 11 and Jeff Foster added 10
points and 11 rebounds for Indiana.

Howard had 19 points for Orlando, which lost its fifth in a
row.

Game notes
Pacers G Anthony Johnson played 14 minutes off the bench
after missing four games with an abdominal strain. ... Orlando
coach Johnny Davis got a technical foul with 4:42 to play in the
second quarter for arguing. ... Indiana's 69 first-half points were
a season high for points in a half. ... Indianapolis Colts kicker
Mike Vanderjagt sat courtside at the game and obliged a long line
of autograph seekers at halftime.