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Thursday's Games

Torrid Pacers Crush Cavaliers

Associated Press
Saturday, February 26, 2005; Page D07

Stephen Jackson scored 28 points, including 11 straight late in the fourth quarter, and the Indiana Pacers won their season-high fifth straight game by routing the visiting Cleveland Cavaliers, 106-82, last night.

"I am beginning to let the game come to me," Jackson said. "I want to work hard and score off my teammates' screens."

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Jermaine O'Neal had 20 points, 8 rebounds and 5 assists, and Anthony Johnson and Austin Croshere each scored 10 points for the Pacers, who shot 52 percent and won for the eighth time in their last 10 games.

LeBron James scored 21 points on 9-of-25 shooting, and Zydrunas Ilgauskas finished with 20 points, 15 rebounds and 4 blocks for Cleveland, which lost to the Pacers for the 10th time in its last 11 tries.

"Our intensity just wasn't there," James said. "We have to play better. We have a tough stretch coming up, and if we don't get things right, we can lose four straight."

Indiana took control in the second quarter with a 12-0 run. Reserve guard Eddie Gill had seven points during the rally, including a three-pointer to start it, helping Indiana open a 47-33 lead. Following a pair of free throws by James to cut the deficit to 52-39 with 1 minute 24 seconds left, the Pacers scored six of the final eight points of the half to take a 58-41 lead.

Indiana didn't let up in the third quarter, quickly extending its lead to 66-45 on a basket by O'Neal. The Cavaliers scored the first four points of the fourth quarter to pull to 78-65, but that was as close as they would get.

PISTONS 111, LAKERS 90: In Los Angeles, Tayshaun Prince scored 26 points and Chauncey Billups added 23 to lead Detroit to its sixth win in a row.

Richard Hamilton had 18 points and eight assists and Rasheed Wallace added 19 points for the defending NBA champions, who have 11 wins in their last 12 games.

Kobe Bryant had 20 points and 11 assists for the Lakers, who came in riding a season-high three-game winning streak.

The rematch of last year's NBA Finals again was a mismatch, with the Pistons drubbing the Lakers for the second time in two weeks. Detroit never trailed in either game.

CELTICS 109, JAZZ 102: Antoine Walker collected 24 points and 10 rebounds to help visiting Boston outlast Utah in his first game back with the Celtics since being traded by Atlanta.

Ricky Davis scored 16 of his 17 points in the second half and Delonte West followed his career high of 17 at Denver on Wednesday with 16 points and seven rebounds to help the Celtics overcome Paul Pierce's foul trouble. Pierce scored 15 points in just 25 minutes.

Andrei Kirilenko scored a season-high 29 points for the Jazz, who have lost six of their last seven games.


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