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Miller Hits the 25,000 Jackpot

Associated Press
Thursday, March 24, 2005; Page D07

Reggie Miller and Austin Croshere turned back the clock last night in Indianapolis.

Miller continued his late-season resurgence by scoring 21 points and becoming the 13th player in league history with 25,000 career points, and Croshere added 18 points and four rebounds to lead the short-handed Indiana Pacers past the San Antonio Spurs, 100-93.

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It rekindled memories of 2000 when Miller and Croshere teamed up to lead the Pacers into the NBA Finals. This time, Indiana is trying to stay ahead of Philadelphia, Orlando and New Jersey in the Eastern Conference playoff chase.

Mission accomplished.

San Antonio (50-18) lost its third straight despite having five players reach double figures. The Spurs were led by Brent Barry with 17 points but clearly missed Tim Duncan, who is out with a sprained right ankle.

"It seems like San Antonio goes without Tim Duncan and they're a little bit lost," Croshere said. "We've been missing guys all year. We wouldn't know what to do if we had everybody."

Indiana (34-33), which has struggled inside during the last 12 games, outscored San Antonio 34-28 in the lane and held a 44-32 rebounding advantage while Miller provided the outside threat.

The Pacers played without all-star Jermaine O'Neal (shoulder), Jamaal Tinsley (foot) and Fred Jones, who was sick with possible food poisoning. Stephen Jackson and Anthony Johnson added 18 points each for the Pacers.

Croshere and Miller did more than fill in, though.

Miller's 20-footer midway through the first quarter ignited a 12-3 run that gave the Pacers a 20-19 lead, and he helped Indiana outscore San Antonio to finish the quarter with a 31-25 lead by making two free throws with 2 minutes 8 seconds left. That gave Miller point No. 25,000. He finished the game with 25,013 and is chasing Jerry West (25,192) for 12th on the all-time list.

In 18 seasons, Miller, 39, is the NBA's all-time leader in three-pointers (2,533) and is one of six players to log more than 47,000 minutes. He and former Utah guard John Stockton are the only players to record 47,000 minutes with one team.

• MAVERICKS 109, WARRIORS 97: Dirk Nowitzki had 29 points and 10 rebounds, and Keith Van Horn scored 24 points in visiting Dallas's fourth straight victory.

Nowitzki also traded shoves with Baron Davis and Jason Richardson in a game featuring 12 technical fouls, Mike Dunleavy's jersey-tossing ejection and plenty of trash talk.

After tempers finally cooled, Dallas remained unbeaten in three games under new coach Avery Johnson, a former Warriors guard -- though the wins came against three teams that are a combined 99 games under .500.

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