Pacers split games with former teammates
The Pacers split a reunion week endeavor with two wins and two losses. From Jan. 12 to Jan. 19 the Pacers pretty much saw nothing but former teammates, coaches and old friends. They played against former teammates Stephen Jackson, Al Harrington, Austin Croshere, Ron Artest and Brad Miller.
It started with a 111-105 win against Sacramento that snapped a three-game losing streak. Former Pacer and Purdue alum Brad Miller had six turnovers — five in the first quarter. “It’s always tough to have a good game against your old team,’’ said Miller, after the game.
Mike Dunleavy led the Pacers that night with 23 points as the Pacers never trailed at ARCO Arena.
The next game, a 106-101 loss versus Golden State, was a homecoming for Dunleavy and teammate Troy Murphy, who were traded last year from the Warriors. The crowd was tough on Dunleavy, booing him every time he touched the ball.
Back home at Conseco Fieldhouse, the Pacers faced the Warriors again, on the eve of the anniversary of the 8-player swap. The first period was probably one of their worst efforts of the year but even without Tinsley and O’Neal, they pulled the game out, scoring a ridiculous 46 points in the 4th period. Danny Granger scored 29 points as the Pacers rallied from a 17-point deficit to beat the Warriors 125-117.
The reunion continued with a Saturday night rematch against Sacramento. This time around it included another familiar face — Ron Artest — who missed the first game due to injury. Artest was playing at Conseco Fieldhouse for just the second time since the trade two years ago. “I have fond memories and Indy still has a place in my heart,” said Artest, although the crowd gave him a mixed review. Some cheered, some booed. Artest signed autographs before the game and even threw his jersey into the stands when the game was over.
Although the Pacers tried another late period rally, this time they couldn’t get it done and lost to the Kings 110-104.
There was at least one highlight. Second year player out of Oklahoma State, Stephen Graham, who had played a total of nine minutes all season before Saturday, scored a career-high 15 points.